Have you ever seen a couple that’s been together for years, or even decades, and wondered what their secret to staying happily in love is? Well I’ve got the deets, and you don’t want to miss this!
I want to start off by saying that yes, it IS possible to stay happy and in love with the same partner, indefinitely. However, it does take work. Very few couples, if any, stay in love without sacrifice, compromise, and selflessness. Now let’s get to the good stuff!
1. Effectively Handle Disagreements
Make sure you listen as much as you talk. Keep an open mind. Genuinely try to understand their point of view, even if you fully disagree. Their opinion is as important as yours, and they want to be heard and understood the same as you do. Make sure you let them know you really hear them. Never resort to name calling or angry jabs. If you can’t stay calm, it’s best to take a break and reconvene once you can talk things out with a level, cool head. Remember, words can never be taken back. It may take you seconds to say something, but those wounds will last a lifetime.
2. Never Stop the Sweet Stuff
Everyone feels special and loved at the beginning of a romantic relationship. KEEP THAT FEELING ALIVE! Love letters, gifts, affection, long conversations, surprises… all the sweet stuff you did when you first met, keep it up! I always say love is a verb, not a noun. Actions speak louder than words, so show your love everyday. This lets your partner know that they’re still special to you, and they’ll love knowing you’re still putting in effort. Hopefully they are too!
3. Compliment Them. Genuinely and Generously
Don’t stop complimenting your other half because you think they already know how you feel. If you feel it, say it! HOWEVER, always be honest. Don’t lavish them with compliments you think they want to hear. They’ll know you’re being insincere, and that breaks trust. And hearts.
Not only will communication prevent conflicts, but it also brings you closer together. Keep sharing your dreams and your deepest secrets. Let them know they’re still your “go to” person. And always keep them in the loop on boring but important matters as well – finances, work, house/car repairs, etc. After all, everything that affects you, affects them as well. Your partner wants to feel important and connected to you!
5. Don’t Bottle Up Feelings
If something is bothering you, it’s always best to address it as soon as possible. Silently letting things simmer creates animosity, anger, and distance. If your partner is doing something you don’t like, I’m sure they’d want to know! You can’t fix a problem your partner doesn’t know exists. If it’s a real problem, it will eventually come out, most likely during a disagreement. You want to discuss these things in a calm, judgement free environment. Just make sure your delivery isn’t confrontational. Approach it from an angle of wanting to improve your relationship.
6. Practice Empathy
Empathy is paramount. Put yourself in your partner’s situation and think about how you’d feel, and what you’d want your significant other to do or say. Really put yourself in their shoes, and try to feel what they are feeling. This will help you understand their side of arguments, and you’ll be more understanding of their pain.
7. Affection: Touch Often
Once things get stale, it’s really hard to get that passion back. This doesn’t have to be sexual. Keep holding hands, kissing, and hugging. A gentle squeeze on their shoulders as you walk by can speak volumes. It’s all about making sure your partner knows you’re important to them, you’re still attracted to them, and you can’t keep your hands off them!
8. Compromise, Without Grudge
Ideally, both partners will give in a little to mutually arrive at a shared decision. BUT, there will be times this isn’t possible, and one partner will have to be the only one sacrificing (this is absolutely fine as long as you take turns). Make sure you compromise without ill feelings. Don’t “throw it in their face” later! See #9.
9. Leave the Past in the Past
Once you’ve truly forgiven someone, there’s no reason to bring it up later. Doing so means you haven’t truly forgiven. And when you compromise or make sacrifices, you do so because you want to. So there is no reason at all it should come up again in the future.
10. Never Forget Special Days
Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays – write them all down so you never forget! Remembering days that are special to your sweetie makes them feel loved and special, and lets them know you really care and think of them often. You don’t always have to buy expensive gifts – sometimes a heartfelt letter or quiet dinner at home is enough.
11. Set Priorities
Your lover should be your TOP PRIORITY, and your actions should prove that. He/she comes before friends, work, sports, shopping, etc. You definitely shouldn’t neglect important things, but your partner always know they’re your #1.