Long-term relationships, or LTR’s, are what many of us search for. But they’re something few of us can sustain in the long run. It often seems there’s a secret to getting through the rough patches of a marriage or LTR once the honeymoon phase is long gone. Even in the case of true love, we find that there is far more involved in learning how to get love to last for the long term.

Most people struggling to keep a positive relationship afloat face the trouble of failing to understand that no long term relationships are perfect. All romantic relationships require consistent work, no matter how well-matched two partners may be. For those of us wondering how to make it through those rough patches, it helps to know the basic truth about long-term romances. Read on to see what truths most people have to learn about making it work the hard way.

The Secret to Making Long Term Relationships Work

traits in long-term relationships

1. It’s Perfectly Normal to Question Your LTR

“When true love finds you, you’ll know”. That is the common misconception that ruins so many good relationships. It’s part of human nature to ask questions. So it makes perfect sense that you may have a little doubt about whether or not you should be with your significant other. When the doubt creeps in every now and then, know that it is healthy. However, if you have persistent doubts that are difficult to shake, it may be time to address those concerns with your significant other.

2. You’ll Be Attracted to Other People and Even Tempted

Being in love doesn’t automatically shut down what makes you attracted to other people. Though your happiness may be true, it won’t prevent temptation from creeping in. It is common for people in a LTR to be attracted to others and even develop a crush from time to time. Keep your eyes open and be honest with yourself and your lover. By firmly establishing yourself as committed to your partner, you will be ready to fight whatever temptation comes your way.

3. You May Get “Bored” In Your LTR

When you think about all the adventurous antics of your single days, the steady, day-to-day sameness of your romantic life can seem boring. This is one of the biggest secrets of long-term life. Your romantic partnership will be boring more often than not. It’s no surprise that a new romantic interest’s heightened excitement, lust, and passion is seemingly more interesting than the same person over 15 years. Still, there is much more to a romance than escaping boredom. As you work towards strengthening your relationship, you’ll realize that your focus is on building a positive future, rather than reveling in the constant uncertainty that short-term flings provide. With the right person, you will find happiness and excitement throughout your daily lives.

4. Vulnerability is Best

The best experience in a LTR is truly being known and loved anyway. The truly vulnerable moments where you and your SO know each other’s deepest identities can only be experienced in a romance. Getting this close to someone can be scary. But it’s the only way to deepen your LTR and make it last.

5. Find Ways to Be Independent in Your Long Term Relationships

A new lover can feel like a whirlwind, making you want to stay with your loved one every waking moment. However, as your LTR wears on, you’ll realize the need for your interests and space. Keep your other hobbies alive and well, making them a regular part of your life. By nourishing these outside interests, you’ll be able to keep your romance from being stifled or getting jealous when your significant other is spending time with their own hobbies.

6. Forgiveness is Key

Two people in a relationship are bound to offend and even hurt one another at times, no matter how positive they try to be. When this happens, it’s important to always communicate with your significant other about how you feel and what you would like to change. Once things are discussed, it is important to exercise forgiveness and move past any hurt feelings.

7. Your Sex Drive Will Change During Your Romantic Life

Dry spells in one’s sex life can happen to anyone. Be sure to be open with your partner about your sexual desires and anything that may have recently changed for you. The secret to sexual desire in a romance is that it must be worked at regularly.

8. Going to Bed Angry Isn’t as Bad as You Think

While you may want to work out arguments as soon as possible, sometimes forcing a reconciliation is not practical. At the end of the day, both partners are probably very tired and not in a positive place to solve a conflict. Get a good night’s rest and work towards figuring the problems out in the morning.

9. Your Partner’s Unique Quirks May Aggravate You One Day

As you get to know your SO, what you may have thought was a positive quirk may turn into an annoying aggravation one day. While these quirks may become irritating, it is unfair to expect your partner to change. Try to be open with your lover about what you’re experiencing. But at the end of the day, try to value your significant other for what you do like about them.

10. Sharing the Bathroom Won’t Kill the Romance

In new romances, sharing the bathroom with your SO can be terrifying. Despite trying to hide your bathroom behavior from your lover, there will come a time when you both will need to share the same bathroom. As you truly get to know your significant other, sharing a bathroom will be another intimacy between you.

Why So Many Relationships End

difficult times in relationships

The truth about long term relationships will help you navigate your romance better, but it’s also important to determine why so many long-term romances fizzle out.

1. Trust Issues

A lack of trust in one’s SO has been the number one downfall in relationships. No relationship will have a strong bond if the partners cannot fully trust one another. In such situations, possessiveness, jealousy, infidelity, and the like, can run amok, ruining whatever chance you may have had to keep your long-term relationship going.

2. Varied Expectations

When considering the truths of the reality of our daily lives, couples’ expectations may differ. What one lover may have hoped for their future may end up being totally different than their significant others. When it comes to the LTR itself, many couples will find that they view each other differently. One half of a couple may have had marriage on their mind while the other was simply looking for a short-term situation.

3. Incompatibility

Compatibility can be found at several stages in a relationship. Whether you’re considering your personality types, styles of intimacy, or intellect levels, it is important to find a SO that you match well with. On their way to a long-term journey, many couples find that they are much less compatible than they initially imagined.

4. Boredom and Growing Apart

Couples in relatively new romances should be focused on getting to know each other further. If it feels that you both have grown apart before you’ve truly even started building a LTR, likely, the pairing will not last. While boredom will find its way into any partnership. But it is sometimes too much to handle. As a result, couples do grow apart.

long-term relationships

Final Thoughts on Better Long-Term Relationships

Strong relationships are built over time and maintained through the dedication of both partners. Not every couple is meant to last. So it’s important to acknowledge that if things aren’t working out, no matter how hard you both try. As you work towards understanding the ten truths of any LTR. and why so many don’t work out, you’ll realize that staying together is far from easy. However, if you and your lover are firmly committed to growing your love and furthering each other’s happiness, you’ll be able to keep things together. And that means through the good and the bad.