In addition, it is helpful to approach the challenges and triumphs of life (and the relationship) as a team. Fighting fairly, supporting one another, and not holding grudges all help with this goal.
Have a goal in mind
Be aware of what you and your partner want for yourselves and what you want from the relationship. Ask each other “What do we want to achieve at the end of the day?” because eventually most of us want to settle down. So make a plan with each other, for instance do up a timeline, marking down the achievements that both of you want to occur in the near future, such as school, TAFE or uni studies, sporting events, work commitments or even financial investments and draw an end goal. It is important that you two are on the same page and have the same goals. So that even if you are achieving different life goals both of you are still working together in the same direction towards a future that includes one another.
Stay honest with each other
Talk about your feelings of fear, insecurity, jealousy, apathy, whatsoever. If you try to hide anything from your partner, that secret will sooner or later swallow you up from inside out. Don’t try to deal with things all by yourself. Be open and honest with each other. Let your partner help you and give you the support you need. It’s better to look at the problem during its initial stage than to only disclose it when it’s all too late.
Know each other’s schedules
It’s helpful to know when the other person is busy and when they are free, so that you can drop a text or make a call at the right time. You wouldn’t want to disturb your partner when they are in the middle of class or halfway through a business meeting. Know the small and big events that are taking place or will take place in each other’s life e.g. university exams, sport events, important business meetings, and job interviews. This is especially essential when the both of you are living far apart or even in different time zones.
Research shows that communication style is more important than commitment levels, personality traits or stress in predicting which couples will stay happy. Healthy couples don’t avoid conflict, but they do know how to keep the lines of communication open. Happy couples know that the best conversations happen without the distraction of phones, tablets and laptops.
Don’t Forget the Small Things
Saying please and thank you shouldn’t be reserved for the company. Manners are important – even with the person you’ve been with for 20 years. Extend the same respect to your partner as you would to a visiting guest. Say please and thank you and make polite conversation? A few manners and niceties will go a long way to maintaining a culture of mutual respect.
Studies show that couples who exercise together are not only healthier, but more satisfied with their marriage. There is research that reports the symptoms of physiological arousal (the type of high you get from exercise) mimic the effects of sexual and romantic arousal. If you work out together, you will feel sexy, and in love!
Laughter relaxes the whole body, boosts the immune system and releases endorphins. Laughter experts often say that smiling and laughing will make you feel better -even if it is forced! So, even if you and your loved one are both having a hard day, try smiling and laughing for no reason at all. The physical act of laughing will make you happier and healthier.
Families that eat together, stay together. The supper table is a place for couples and their family members to connect and to receive nourishment – both physical and spiritual. Eating healthy food together at a table will not only encourage good family nutrition, but provides a regular, sacred space for conversation and laughter.
Be tolerant of physical change
As your partner and you grow old together, you will both mature and change – and because you have grown so comfortable together, you may be quick to point out flaws in each other. But, if you want your happy relationship to last, you should never mention the stretch marks, the beer belly or the bald spot! No matter how old and wrinkly you both get, the answer to “How do I look?” is always: “You look beautiful (and I love you)”. Read about body confidence here.