Maintaining A Long Lasting Relationship In 6 Steps

Now before we get started, I am NOT claiming to be any sort of advice guru that knows everything about every relationship ever, nor do I know the secrets of living happily ever after. However, I’ve been with my boyfriend for nearly 4 years now, which I know is a long time for some and a shorter time for others, but over these years we’ve been through ALOT together. I think I’ve learnt what it takes to make a relationship work and have helped out a lot of couples along the way to work out if they are in the right one. SO you lucky loved up (or not) lot, I’ve gathered a list to pin point once and for all what you need to do to make a relationship work or if its time to leave and find love elsewhere.

1. Communication

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Going straight into the deep end first off with the big C, communication. I feel a lot of partners struggle with this especially in these days of technology, social media and texting. Bottom line, TALK TO EACHOTHER. It could be something as simple of discussing what you’re having for dinner or big future plans. Keep your partner in the know.

If there’s something that is bugging you or you feel you’re upset about a certain thing that they said or did, don’t stay silent and be petty about it, or worse let it build up in your mind. Simply say to you’re partner “hey can I speak to you about something quick” or just be up front and ask them straight out. It may be confusing or upsetting for them at first, but they’ll 100% appreciate you having a discussion about it. Especially when it comes to arguments or disagreements, try sort it out as quickly as possible, and most of the times its all a big misunderstanding or not seeing their point of view. Discuss with each other your plans for the day and keep them in the know, or maybe even at the end of the day tell them how your day went. These simple conversations can really build strength in a relationship and its a great way to bond and learn how to listen to each other. It shows you care enough about that person to learn about the ups and downs of their day and how it effected them.

It isn’t always about what you communicate either, it can also be HOW you communicate. Yes instant messaging/texting is quick and easy for them simple conversations, but when it comes to important discussions or arguments oh my god DO NOT TEXT! Messages can be read in completely different tones and come across differently. So lets say your having a small argument with your s.o, you could read something as being rude in your head, but in theirs they didn’t mean this, which would anger you more and only escalate the situation un necessarily. The best way is just to either call each other or meet up face to face, get it all out in the open and be done with it. None of this silly ignoring messages or leaving them on read.

2. Manage Your Time With Each Other

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Ahh yes “time management”. Something you would expect to write about on your CV or boast about during a job interview. But time is also a very important factor in relationships too, and it’s mostly about getting the right balance of time, together with your partner and apart.

Whatever your situation may be, we all have lives and stuff going on, which could either be work, school or various other commitments. So I can fully understand sometimes when it can be hard to find time for each other. I experienced this in the second year of my relationship with my boyfriend when I changed jobs, with very long hours and only weekends free (and he wasn’t really available all day at weekends). This was very tough for us and I eventually left this job (for other reasons I wont go into) but we did find our way around this.

The best way to find time with each other with busy schedules is to really stick to a plan for when you can see each other. Even if its for a small hour or so, this hour will make all the difference when it comes to spending more time together. Plan dates in advance, organise time off work at the same time so its something to look forward to and also a great opportunity to plan a holiday together. For a really simple fix is, if your comfortable with this, stay round at each others for the night for various days in the week, doesn’t have to be everyday just enough to get that connection we all need sometimes for when you are sleeping. I am lucky enough to have a new job now that is very flexible and they allow me to take every Monday off , which is the same day my bf has off. This is really great for both of us, because I always know no matter how busy I am in a week, I always have that whole day to spend with him.

I know I’ve blabbered on enough about finding time to see each other, but it’s also really important to find time for yourself as well. Yes I know they may be the love of your life and you just really want to spend every second with them blah blah, but you need to give each other space. Go see other friends and family, have solo shopping days or go to gym on your own. Just always try to have that healthy balance of you time and together time. It’s also very attractive for your other half seeing you as this independent person with their own life and plans. (Also a p.s for the girls/guys with male partners, withholding information from them about plans for your day and what your doing can really drive them crazy, in a good way. If you want him to miss you, give him that time to miss you and he’ll be craving you like mad!)

3. Take Interest In Their Interests

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Whether you share the same interests or not, you should always respect what they enjoy and show that you appreciate this part of them (I mean, unless its something illegal or something idk lol). It can be very attractive to your partner if you sit, listen and learn about something they’re passionate about, it shows you really care about them.

If you share a common interest, GREAT! Thrive with this and use it to make you both stronger as a couple. If its a certain TV show, maybe watch it together, or if its a type of sport go out play together! Sometimes if its a hobby or skill you both share, you can find ways to help improve each other and give feedback that you know is coming from someone you trust. Literally any interest you share you can always find a way to incorporate it within your relationship.

So what happens if your partner doesn’t share the same interests as you, does this matter? Nope. Never shrug these un common interests away and ignore them, just to let them go and get on with it. Instead, build this into a way of finding out more about your partner and show them you really care about something they are passionate about. For example, when I first met my boyfriend he was really into football and supporting his team, something I literally hated at the time and swore I wouldn’t get myself into a relationship with a footie fanatic. Now 4 years down the line, we have matching Man City shirts, I watch the games with him and I also go watch him when he plays for his local team. Still do not have the foggiest idea what the offside rule is and I do tend to fall asleep during some games, but all that matters is that you are tying, and that little bit of effort really means a lot to most people. Even if you’re really not interested in what they’re into, at least give them that time to do what they love and don’t put them down for it.

4. Arguments Are Not The End Of The World

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At the end of the day, something you always have to remind yourself is that we are all human (unless you’re a racoon reading this, hello). We all are entitled to hold our own opinions and feelings and, no matter how dramatic they sound, they are always relevant and should never be ignored. Which does ,unfortunately, mean arguments will happen, and that’s totally okay.

The most important thing to note is that no matter how bad you think an argument may be, if you love this person enough, there is always a way to resolve it. In fact sometimes I think arguments can actually be healthy; it means you’re comfortable enough around someone to express how you feel, or that you care about this person enough to be upset by them. In my own experience, I know that our first year together we had are ups and downs with an argument or two happening every month or so. But we learnt so much about each other during this time. I now know what makes him upset, I learnt how he reacts to certain situations, and most importantly we both know how to resolve these little tiffs quickly. 4 years later, I honestly can’t remember the last time we had an argument and our relationship is stronger than ever.

My biggest advice would be is to never go to sleep on bad terms. We all know that life can throw us into awful situations and you never know what is round the corner. This makes it mega important to resolve your issues quickly and carry on loving each other unconditionally. It also just helps with less stress and anxiety that arguments can cause. I know that if I was to have an argument with my boyfriend, I find it so hard to sleep or even go about my daily routine without him constantly on my mind filled with worry and upset. We have now established this rule to always resolve these upsets before bed, even if its not completely resolved or still a bit meh, at least you know in your mind the next day you did something productive to move past this.

5. Trusting Each Other

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Ah yes, trust, another big one and I honestly believe that no relationship is capable of working without it. And sometimes trust can take a very long time to build, especially if this is a new relationship and their trust has been broken before in previous relationships.

Trust isn’t always about knowing if they’re cheating on you or not, in fact its a lot more then that. Its knowing if they’re going to make it to a date on time, knowing that they’re not bad mouthing you behind your back, feeling like you can confide in them without any judgement. So yeah its a pretty big deal and it’s the key to happiness and comfort in your relationship. Its not just something you can build over night and can take months of knowing each other to see if you have trust in one another, and that’s okay! It doesn’t mean you don’t love them, because of course you do. It just takes time for your brain to recognise these interactions involving trust and building and up a good trust rapport.

So what happens when this trust gets broken? What if they have lied to you about something? Yeah it really sucks doesn’t it and I can tell you we’ve all experienced it before. Especially if you suffer from anxiety, its really hard when you have these un-trusting thoughts swirling around your mind and it can really damper your relationship down. But before you start thinking about bringing this partnership to an end, try to have honest decisions with each other, asking why they did this and explain how much this has hurt you. Give it some time to build this trust up again, even if it means taking a break, and give them that opportunity. Then hopefully like when you first met, this trust comes back gradually with time. But remember, if this is a constant re occurrence of breaking trust and forgiving again and again, this is way too draining for the both of you and it may be worth thinking about bringing the relationship to a close, and finding someone who has all the trust in the word to give.

6. Keep That Spark Alive

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Last but not at all least, keeping that love spark alive. Remember the time when you first met your partner? Remember them first couple of dates and how you had all them butterflies in your stomach? Ah the good o’ days, but just because these moments were all in the past doesn’t mean you still can’t experience these feelings months or years down the line.

Sometimes once you’ve been with someone for so long, it can feel as if you’ve just fallen into a very spark-less relationship, just being with them feels normal and, dare I say, boring. You can easily avoid these dull feelings by reconnecting with your younger selves and do things you would do when you first met. Go on dates to the cinema, bowling or even to where you first met to bring back that fun and excitement you shared. Buy each other gifts “just because”, like flowers, cookies and jewellery to put an un expected smile on their face. Have adventures together, from small walks to travelling the world, a perfect opportunity for alone time together and make them all important memories. And for the bedroom department, don’t have dull, boring sex all the time just to say you’ve done it. Try new things, go to a hotel for the night, dress up and laugh together to bring back that sexual energy you both had in your younger days. All in all, just remember to make each other smile the most you can every day and strive to be the light of their life. Remember why you both fell in love and never forget it.

⌜ •   °    +   °   •   ⌝

And there you have it! I’m no expert but I really do believe these are the key building blocks to create a perfect relationship with your partner. Love is an amazing thing and if you share it with someone, do all you can to keep it.

“No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together.”

– unknown

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