7 Secrets Of A Successful Long-Term Relationship
Creating a loving and lasting partnership clearly isn’t easy. There are a few basic truths which you should be aware of if you want a successful relationship. Having this knowledge will enable you to transform a mediocre relationship into something deeply satisfying. Most people enter marriage fully expecting to share a life together, but in reality, 40-50 percent of those marriages are predicted to end in divorce. Stable marriages, moreover, are not necessarily happy: People stay in unsatisfying relationships for a variety of reasons (e.g., children, finances, religion). The question then is not one of mere stability, but also of quality: How do two people create and maintain a mutually happy relationship?
There are a few basic truths which you should be aware of if you want a successful relationship. Having this knowledge will enable you to transform a mediocre relationship into something deeply satisfying. Although these truths are founded in common-sense, it’s as though they’ve been forever locked away in a vault for only the lucky few to access.
Here are few secrets of a successful relationship:
- Leave Your Fantasy world: The first secret is to give up living in hopeful fantasy and to see and accept your partner for who they really are. If this new clarity means that you discover some intolerable or unacceptable behaviors or attitudes on their part, then don’t waste anyone’s time and just walk away. Knowing the truth gives you the power to take good care of yourself. You’ll be avoiding a whole lot of misery in this way.
You also need to know that your partner fully sees and accepts you as you are. There’s no point in presenting a “cleaned up” version of yourself to them because then the person that they’re loving isn’t the real you. You can never feel truly loved if you’re showing them an inauthentic self. If you’ve shown your true self to your partner and they can’t accept it, again, walk away. Nothing’s going to change.
- Communicate: Relationships live and die not by the sword, but by the amount of discussion. If two people can’t find a way to openly and honestly communicate their needs and feelings to one another, the relationship doesn’t stand much of a chance long-term. Couples must find a way to communicate regularly, openly, and directly.
This doesn’t mean waiting for an argument to tell your significant other how much he bothers you with his throwing his clothes on the floor instead of the hamper. It means telling him when you feel the need to, and to do so in a manner that is respectful but assertive.
- Be playful. Sure, adult life tends to emphasize productivity and seriousness, but sometimes it’s about playing. Playful people take time to prioritize enjoyment, pleasure, amusement, and having fun, and such an orientation in romantic relationships is predictive of satisfaction (Proyer, 2014). This suggests the possibility that play could be an important dimension of a successful relationship.
- Don’t Hide Your Needs: Sometimes when we enter into a long-term relationship, we put ourselves second, behind the other person’s needs and desires. We might give up working to have a child, or agree to move to another city to help support our significant other’s career. And that’s fine, but you need to be realistic first with yourself about whether such things really matter to you or not. If they do, you need to find a way to communicate such needs with your partner, and compromise where possible.
Two people will rarely have exactly the same wants and desires out of life that’s just a fantasy. Instead, expect that sometimes your two paths will diverge. Express your needs at those crucial moments, but always find a way to do so respectfully and with an open mind.
- When there is conflict, talk it out. When couples are navigating serious conflicts, are secure in their relationship, and have the ability to adapt their behaviors, being direct and oppositional can actually help more than other approaches; however, a more cooperative, affectionate approach may be the best strategy when someone tends to get defensive or when the conflict is minor. In other words, there’s no “one size fits all” strategy: Successful couples adapt their approach to a specific conflict as a function of its broader context.
- Mutual Respect: There is no place in a healthy interaction for contempt, shaming or being dismissive toward one-another. As soon as any of these attitudes become part of the relationship, it’s doomed. Both individuals must value their partner’s needs, feelings, thoughts and dreams.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of trust and honesty: Different people have different areas of concern, but almost everyone values trust and honesty from their partner above all. Why? Because your partner is the one person you want to be able to depend upon in the long-term, without question or doubt.
Little things where your significant other hasn’t been completely honest shouldn’t be blown out of proportion, because virtually everybody tells little white lies (especially when one is dating). Focus instead on the big things, like if they say they’re a lawyer and you discover they’ve never even passed the bar, or they say they like kids but later on insist on never having one.