While we want our relationships to be movie-like where we end up living “happily ever after.”
Anyone who has ever been in a long-term relationship knows this outcome is hard to achieve in real life.
Unfortunately, our lives are not a perfect Disney movie like fairy tale.
Maintaining a healthy long-term relationship requires lots of time and effort.
But if you’re willing to commit, it certainly can be done.
Below are several steps you must take in order to create your own fairy tale-like relationship.
#1. Love yourself
Before you can build a long-lasting relationship with anyone you must learn how to love yourself.
How can you expect someone to love you if you don’t love yourself?
Doesn’t matter if you’re rich, poor, straight, gay, bisexual, transgender, etc. Don’t expect to have a healthy long-term relationship with anyone if you don’t love yourself.
You must learn to love and accept yourself for who you are before you can open yourself up for true love.
Do you know why so many companies have an “open door” policy?
It’s because they know that communication is key to succeed in any environment.
How can you expect your partner to know your likes and dislikes if you don’t tell them?
Sure, they can read you to some extent but if you want to make a deeper connection you must communicate with them.
Talk to them about your likes, dislikes, and everything in between. Also, encourage them to not just listen, but to join in on the conversation as well.
Communication is a two-way street. It cannot be just about you.
Pay attention to them. Most people love to talk about themselves, but very few find a willing listener.
Becoming your partner’s favorite set of ears will ensure the health of your relationship.
You must find a way for both of you to be able to openly and honestly communicate your needs and feelings to one another.
Your relationship doesn’t stand much of a chance long-term if you don’t.
building trust can be difficult at first but if you’re already in a relationship with someone, then there must be some trust there already.
In order for your relationship to last, you must build on that initial trust.
Everybody likes to feel wanted, but if you’re second-guessing everything your partner does thinking that they might leave or cheat on you it’s a recipe for disaster.
You must learn to trust that your partner will make the right decisions when tricky situations arrive.
Just because she received a text from a co-worker doesn’t mean she is cheating on you.
Honestly, if you have those types of thoughts running through your mind all the time, then you’re probably with the wrong person.
Learn how to trust and be trustworthy.
Doing so will go a long way towards the health of your relationship.
#4. Set goals (together)
Have you ever set a goal for yourself and achieved it?
Do you remember how good it made you feel? Now multiply that feeling times two.
Setting goals and working towards achieving them as a couple will create a bond between you and your partner that not much else can.
The key here is to set goals that involve both of you. It must be something that requires effort from both parties.
This can be anything as complicated as learning a new language, to something as simple as a weekend getaway.
Be sure to take into account how long in the relationship you are… You don’t want to set a goal to buy a new house with someone you just started dating last month.
Lastly, make sure you communicate on your progress or lack thereof with each other.
This ensures that you are always on the same page and that your relationship grows because of it.
#5. Set aside time
This is one of the most obvious points, but one that most people forget.
When you start dating, everything is like a fairy tale.
You’re getting to know each other, sex is great, and you can’t get enough of this new person.
However, as time passes you stop purposely setting aside time for your partner.
Perhaps you are living together, both have jobs, and are only spending quality time together on your off days.
Heck even on your off days life can get in the way of spending quality time with your partner.
This is something you must avoid at all costs if you want a long term relationship with anyone.
The best way to do this is by figuring out what each other’s schedules look like.
When I say this, I mean knowing the things you “MUST” do such as work, grocery shopping, laundry, personal activities and so on.
Once you have that figured out, set aside time for each other.
Note: This must be beyond the time that you are already spending together.
In other words, you want to show your partner that you value the time you spend with them.
What you do with that time, is up to you guys. Go watch a movie or try bowling for a change.
The point here is to spend quality time together beyond your daily routine.
#6. Embrace your partners “imperfections”
I will keep this one simple.
You aren’t perfect so don’t expect your partner to be.
Even if you end up dating a perfect 10, I guarantee that you’ll be able to find something wrong with her.
Certain things can be fixed through communication, but others cannot.
Just because she screams and yells every time she sees a harmless spider doesn’t mean you have to argue with her over it.
Assess the situation and make it better if possible.
Love her for who she is, not for who you want her to be.
#7. Break routine
I touched on this a bit earlier in the article, but I cannot stress enough the importance of this towards the health of your relationship.
Most of us live robotic lives… we do the same thing every day. That’s just how our system is setup.
There’s nothing wrong with having routines. On the contrary, they are a must to a certain extent.
However, if you want a healthy and lengthy realationship you must break them.
If you eat out all the time, look up a simple recipe online and cook her up a storm for a change.
Take a dance class together, pick her up from work, go for walks around the neighborhood, go camping for once.
Just do something different to get that sense of freshness into your relationship again.
Not everything is going to work out the way you plan it, but you’ll probably enjoy it no matter what just because it’s something different.
#8. Be willing to compromise
This is a tough one for most people, but if you want to have a healthy long term relationship you better learn to compromise.
Just because you like watching horror movies, doesn’t mean she has to. Be willing to change your tune and watch a rom-com with her.
Want to play ball with your friends every weekend? I’d suggest you skip it when you see she needs your help with something.
Long term relationships don’t work when they center around just one person. There must be a give and take between both in order for it to work.
Only newborns are able to get away with “me, me, me” mentality for long periods of time.
In other words, don’t let your ego get in the way of having a healthy long time relationship.
#9. Make love
Slow down tiger… I didn’t say have sex, I said: “make love.”
There’s no denying that having sex is the most important activity for any species. It’s the only way that it can extend its survival.
That being said. Having sex and making love are two different things.
Christina Antonyan described it perfectly:
Sex is bio-mechanical and instinctive, we all know how to do it. Love making is slow, sensual, not goal oriented which allows us to experience the metaphysical being of oneness, this type of love making is truly an art in itself.
I recommend you read that article for a more in-depth look at this subject. It’s truly fascinating.
To me, making love is the act of fulfilling each other’s needs.
This doesn’t require you to have a master’s in lovemaking. All you have to do is be in tune with your partner.
Pay attention to her reactions and openly speak with her about your expectations. Ask her about her likes and dislikes and be her perfect lover.
This might be a bit awkward at first while getting to know each other, but as you get more comfortable, having these types of conversations will be exciting.
Stop having sex and start making love.
Doing so will ensure that you build a deeper connection with your partner on all levels.
#10. Say “I love you” with your actions
It’s nice to hear the words “I love you,” but it’s even better to see and feel it.
How can you make her see and feel the love you have for her?
By performing small acts of kindness for her. Some ideas include the following:
- Warm her car on a cold morning.
- Bring her flowers randomly.
- Make her breakfast.
- When you’re out shopping get her a little surprise gift.
- Rub her feet when watching a movie.
If you’re the type that does these kinds of things great. If not, start doing so and you’ll notice that she will also start going the extra mile for you.
What’s great about this is that nothing has to be said. It’s all felt.
#11. Accept defeat
Every relationship has its ups and downs.
However, unlike the stock market, not every down has a solution.
Sometimes relationships don’t work and you have to understand this.
Most of the time you’ll have a good idea of how solid a relationship is going to be from the get-go.
However, there will be times that you might feel like it’s too late to back out.
In these instances, you will need to go back to step one and realize that you are the most important person in your relationship.
If you are unable to find happiness with your partner, you must find the strength to take a hike regardless of how difficult it might be.
Being in an unhealthy relationship doesn’t do anyone involved any good.
If you cannot resolve your issues, it’s best to learn from them and move on to build a long-lasting relationship with someone that’s worthy of you.
Being in a healthy long-term relationship is the best thing that can happen to you.
Sharing your life with someone that’s worthy of you is what it’s all about.
Nothing will make you happier and it all starts with you.
You must learn how to love yourself in order to be genuinely loved by your partner.
Beyond that, you’ll have to work hand in hand with your partner in order to build a long-lasting relationship.
Many people say that love isn’t for everyone.
Blah… Love IS for everyone!
But you must work for it in order for it to be long-lasting.
Use the above steps from the moment you start your next relationship and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy long-lasting relationship.
Below are some useful resources:
- Lifestyle Change: 11 Steps On How To Start Loving Yourself
- The 5 Love Languages (Book)
- Knock Knock What I Love About You (fill in the blank journal)
- What Follows Your “I Am” Could Be Destroying Your Life
Are you looking for love? Are you in a loving relationship? Tell me all about it in the comments section.
How do you start a relationship?
The best way to start a relationship is by being honest about your needs and your expectations, while also listening and understanding your partner's expectations. Put everything on the table right away... anyone who accepts you for who you are is worthy of your time.
Is the beginning of a relationship awkward?
The beginning of a relationship can be awkward because you are getting to know each other, but there's nothing wrong with that. Use the awkward moments to better understand your partner and work on the things that need improvement in your relationship. If the initial awkwardness doesn't go away, then you are probably with the wrong person.
How do you build a good relationship?
The key to building a good relationship is loving yourself. Once you have that down, then you must communicate with your partner to understand what each other needs from the relationship. Lastly, you do your absolute best to satisfy each other's needs.
How do you flirt?
The best and easiest way to flirt is to make eye contact and smile. Next, you must start a conversation... keep it light and break the touch barrier if you are getting good feedback.
How do I move beyond flirting?
Once you are ready to move beyond that initial encounter you must ask for her number or set up another meeting right on the spot. If she likes you, rest assured that she will reward your efforts.