Once you’ve had the experience of a failed relationship, you want the next one to last, especially if you’ve found the right person. In this day of casual throwaway relationships, finding one with staying power can be a challenge.
There is a common expression that in order to have a successful relationship, each person only needs one thing; the man always needs to know that he is respected, and the woman needs to know that she is loved. Although this certainly sounds true, there is much more to sustaining a lasting relationship than just love and respect.
When we talk about whether your next relationship will last or not, there will need to be some self-reflection on what caused the previous relationships to fail. What responsibility did you have in the breakup of your previous relationships? What have you learned and how will you use it in your next relationship to make it last?
Infidelity does happen in relationships, but if you are the one who is likely to stray, you won’t be likely to maintain a lasting relationship. Being committed, loyal and devoted to your partner is something that you can do to help make your next relationship last. You can read more about commitment and other important traits in our article here.
Other than remaining committed to your partner, let’s look at 3 things that you can do to help make your next relationship last.
3 Things That Will Make Your Next Relationship Last
Being together forever is the ideal, romantic view of relationships that we see so often portrayed in movies. You can read more about that in our article here.
What those romantic movies don’t show us is that the couples who do stay together go through ups and downs and really have to work on being excellent at communication if they hope to have a lasting partnership.
1. Honest and open communication
It’s unlikely that you are going to date someone who can read your mind. The skill of expressing your feelings in a respectful way is important to making a relationship last. If you are angry at your partner, say ‘What you just said/did made me angry.’ If you are sad, say that too. You can’t expect your partner to know what you aren’t able to communicate.
Being able to express your feelings to your partner means that your partner will be able to help meet your needs and you will be happier in return. Being able to do the same for your partner means learning effective listening skills so that you can learn and meet all of your partner’s needs and keep them in a happy, long-term relationship.
2. Be equal partners
No relationship is one-sided. Having it your way all the time is a dictatorship, not a partnership. There will be times that you can’t have things your way and there will be times that you partner can’t either. Making sure that your basic emotional and physical needs are met while being able to compromise on other areas is a skill that is very important to help your next relationship last.
Communication is so important that some couples choose to go to Marital Relationship Education courses so that they can learn how to handle disagreements effectively. Couples who can handle conflict effectively are more likely to have happy long-term relationships.
You can read more about how to fight fairly in our article here.
You are not the same people and you will have disagreements over your differences. A successful couple will be able to balance togetherness while also respecting each person’s own separate identity. The relationship should be a safe place partners to work through conflict with a respectful discussion.
3. Keep it interesting
When you are just getting to know each other, things are exciting and new.
Boredom in long-term relationships can happen. When you both feel like there is nothing new to discover about each other, introducing newness will help keep things feeling fresh.
There is a phenomenon in long-term relationships known as ‘The 7 Year Itch.’ At this point in a marriage or close, committed relationship, people start to wonder if there isn’t something more interesting elsewhere. Cheating can happen as a result of a longing for newness.
This tendency toward boredom doesn’t have to be the case. You can use challenging new experiences to reignite passion in the relationship. In a study of marriages at the 7 year and 16 year mark, those who had experienced changes in the closeness of their relationship had less boredom and greater marital satisfaction over time.
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To avoid boredom, use humor and laughter to keep things fun. The more you can laugh with your partner, the better. Make time for intimacy and don’t allow work stress or family life to interfere with your close, quiet, alone time with your partner. A happy sex life is definitely important to a lasting relationship.