I often work with women who’ve just broken up with their partners and cannot understand the reason behind the end of their relationships. These women doubt positive, fruitful relationships exist. I’ve also worked with couples, whose last resort was coming to see me in an attempt to mend their relationship.
I work with wonderful people who deserve love and happiness. These people long to give love, and that desire often stands at the root of their problems.
It is for this reason I want to talk about the eight principles of long-lasting relationships.
- Honesty. One of the most common mistakes people make in relationships is that they’re not honest with their partners. They either lie or omit the truth! Unwilling to admit what bothers them, they hide things in the fog. If you want to establish a long-lasting relationship, you have got to remain honest with your partner, share your concerns, and communicate when you feel hurt.
- Trust. Long-term relationships are based on trust. If you do not trust your partner and constantly doubt their words and actions, and your doubts are not unfounded, you should end that relationship as soon as possible. Accusations of lying and adultery—unfounded or not—can ruin your relationship. Still, it is crucial to mention that trust is built rather than found. You can build trust by being honest, vulnerable, and respectful of your partner’s boundaries.
- Acceptance of differences. Another common mistake many make is thinking that their partner is just like them. You cannot expect your partner to think, act, and behave the same way you do. Such a belief can prove destructive to the long-term success of your relationship. Women, for instance, express love and care by asking questions and sharing their concerns. The problem is—many women expect their partners to express love in the same way. Therefore, unless they hear questions like “Honey, what’s wrong? Did anything happen today?,” women jump to the conclusion that their partners do not love them.
- Communication. One of the most serious troubles that plague relationships these days is the lack of communication. Speak with your partner and tell them how you feel and what you think. Remember: is it not “you vs. your partner” but “you and your partner vs. the problem.” Don’t expect your partner to read your mind. Hear them out and try to decipher both their words and their emotions.
- Compromise. People are becoming more and more individualized by the day! However, for a relationship to work, you have got to make compromises. Leave your ego aside and put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Still, do not forget to assert yourself and calmly defend your point of view.
- Healthy Disagreements. No relationship is perfect. We all argue and enter conflict. The trick is—these arguments, or disagreements, need to be healthy and productive rather than turn into violent emotional outbursts. Discuss facts and feelings. Do not insult your partners intentionally. Don’t throw ad-hominem attacks and be ready to apologize in case you hurt the other person.
- Diversity. Routine kills relationships. To avoid this, seek adventure and change. Never stop surprising your partner! Do something crazy and unexpected. Gift your partner something interesting! Dine at a different restaurant! Try out new things to keep your partner’s interest and incite sexual excitement.
- Great Intimacy. Couples who’ve been together for many years, if not decades, tend to underestimate the value of sex. There is nothing better than giving pleasure to someone you love—and then receiving it! A good sex life fuels relationships; don’t leave sex in the background.
If you want to examine these principles and learn how to apply them in your own relationship, I recommend you join my “Marathon – From loneliness to a happy relationship”.
Psychologist, family therapist, author
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