The beginning of any romantic relationship is a period filled with fun, excitement and happiness. You may be thinking about your partner all day, and you probably view him or her as the greatest human being in the whole world. Eventually, however, the flood of “love hormones” in your brain slows, and the honeymoon period comes to an end. Once the initial strong feelings fade, keeping a relationship going can become hard work. Here are some ways to maintain a healthy, happy, and rewarding long-term relationship.
- Communicate and compromise. Although this may seem obvious and cliché, good communication is one of the most important aspects of any relationship, romantic or not. Be honest with your partner about what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling. In a polite and calm manner, let him know when you want him to change some of his behaviors. On the other hand, compliment and praise him for doing things you appreciate. When you and your partner are both open about what you want, you’ll be able to compromise and come to agreements that will keep you both happy.
- Try new things. Escape from your normal routine by trying new activities or traveling to new places. Pick a hobby you and your partner are both interested in, such as art, biking or gardening, and set aside some time each week to pursue the activity together. Sharing new experiences will refresh the bond between you and your partner and will provide opportunities to learn new things about each other.
- Make time: Even when you feel swamped by responsibilities and commitments, it’s important to make time for your partner. Dedicate one night a week to spending time with her. Go out for a meal, or just relax at home. Turn off distractions like phones or laptops, and focus completely on talking with your partner. Check in with her about how she's been, share funny stories from the past week, and bond over activities like card games or cooking.
- Be committed. Commitment is the most important aspect of any relationship. More than any other factor, a person’s ability to devote themselves to his partner and remain loyal will determine whether a relationship lasts. Every couple goes through ups and downs, but the most successful couples learn from their low points and come out stronger on the other side.
- Don’t Hold Grudges: Nobody’s perfect. Everyone, including your partner, makes mistakes from time to time. Holding a grudge against your partner for something that was done in the past will not only put a strain on your relationship, but it will also impact your own health and happiness. You don’t have to forget what happened, and you don’t have to act like you were okay with it, but you should be able to forgive and let go of any negative feelings surrounding the event. Address the issue with your partner, come to a conclusion, and keep moving forward.
Like much else in life, relationships require hard work, dedication and sacrifice. However, if both of you are willing to stay through the tough times, you will reap the benefits of having a lifelong friend and partner.