At some point in everyone’s relationship, the joy and the thrill of the initial spark will begin to wear off. For some, this period of time will seem as if they are transitioning into best friends instead of lovers, but if the chemistry is still there, there are plenty of ways to keep that spark alive. If you find that your relationship is not as exciting as it was in the beginning, the first thing you need to ask yourself is if this is a relationship worth saving. After all, there are billions of people in the world! How can you know you’ve found the right person already? If you know that you want to make an effort to save what you have, you’ll need to know how to make a relationship last even when life becomes more mundane.
If you’re ready to jump right in and learn the secrets of a healthy, long lasting relationship, this is the perfect blog for you.
Signs of a Healthy Relationship
If your relationship exhibits most of these signs, chances are it’s a relationship worth saving. While this is not an all-encompassing list, it does touch on many aspects of healthy relationships.
- When your partner succeeds, you feel proud rather than jealous.
- You can trust your partner with any of your thoughts.
- Even when you’re not physically together, you can hold long conversations.
- Your partner is happy when something goes well in your life.
- You support each other in your goals and desires.
- You can have fun in a group and by yourselves.
- You’re physically affectionate with each other.
- You do not feel as though you are competing with your partner.
- You feel comfortable giving each other personal space.
- You don’t feel the need to rush important milestones in life.
- You bring out each other’s best traits.
Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship
- You feel as though you need to change who you are to make your partner happy.
- You constantly have to defend your partner around your family and friends.
- You or your partner are constantly criticizing each other, even if it is said in a joking manner.
- When you’re not with your partner, you constantly wonder what he or she is doing.
- Your partner doesn’t allow you to do what you want or see who you want.
- You have doubts about your relationship.
- You feel as if you have to hide your thoughts and feelings from your partner.
Making it Last
If you feel as though your relationship exhibits many of the signs of a healthy relationship, maybe it’s not time to let the spark fizzle out just yet. Keeping a relationship healthy is not rocket science, it simply involves selflessness and unconditional love. If you can achieve both of those things, you already have the perfect building blocks to keep your relationship going strong.
- Say ‘I’m sorry’, and mean it. If you have done something that has hurt your partner’s feelings, tell them you’re sorry! After all, if you’re trying to save your relationship, chances are you aren’t trying to drag them down. Oftentimes people can be stubborn and refuse to admit that they were in the wrong, but this will only lead to trouble down the line. Say you’re sorry and let it go.
- Be happy when something goes right for them. Even if you’re having a hard time financially or in your workplace, you shouldn’t lament your partner for getting a raise or a promotion! You’re in a relationship to build each other up and bring out the best in each other, so wouldn’t you want them to succeed? Instead of being jealous and sulking for the rest of the night, congratulate your partner on their success and genuinely be happy for them.
- Be transparent. Healthy relationships have no secrets. If you want your relationship to last, you’re going to need to learn how to communicate effectively. This means that you need to find ways to communicate about anything, even things that are going to hurt your partner. If you can have a conversation about a difficult subject without getting into an argument, you’re on the right path.
- Spend quality time together.It can be all too easy to fall into routines, especially if you’ve been dating for a while and are living together. Everyone has busy schedules, but set aside at least one afternoon or night a week for reconnecting with your partner. This can include making a meal together, participating in a hobby you both enjoy or simply curling up next to a fire and talking about your weeks.
- Spend quality time alone. You should feel as though you want to be in a relationship, not that you need to be in a relationship. While spending quality time together is important, spending quality time alone is just as important. You should spend at least one night or afternoon a week going out with friends, participating in a hobby that only you enjoy or going on a solo hike. When you can be without your partner without getting anxious or worried about what they are doing without you, that shows that there is a healthy level of trust in your relationship.
- Appreciate small gestures. After being in a relationship for a while, you may find yourself beginning to take your partner for granted. It’s important to keep that initial spark strong by continuing to thank them for small acts of kindness they show you, tell them you love them on a daily basis and show them small acts of kindness yourself. Even something such as surprising them with breakfast in bed or getting them their favorite chocolate can help keep the passion strong.
- Don’t play games. Negative ones, that is. Don’t ever ‘test’ your partners loyalty or give them unfair ultimatums. Your relationship should be based on love and trust, not manipulative games.
- Don’t confuse sex with love. A relationship based on sex will never go anywhere in the long run. While physical affection is an important part of any healthy relationship, it’s important to solve issues by speaking, not touching.
- Don’t make assumptions! You can’t read your partner’s mind, and he or she cannot read yours. When assumptions are made, fights break out over something that could have been easily solved simply by expressing your thoughts.
- Understand that everyone is different. While you may prefer to show your affection through acts of physical kindness such as hugs and sweet kisses, your partner may prefer to show their affection through small gestures such as cleaning up after breakfast or making the bed. Don’t be offended or upset if your partner doesn’t choose to show or express their affection in the same way that you do.
- Don’t look for your ‘missing piece’. You shouldn’t find a partner that you feel completes you. While you certainly want a partner that feels like they’re your other half, they shouldn’t actually be your other half. If you feel as though you are lacking in qualities that your partner has, you can slowly spiral into codependency. It’s important to learn how to love yourself and feel complete without someone else before you can truly be in a healthy relationship.
Know Your Goals and Love Yourself
If you don’t first learn to love yourself and know what you want out of life, it can be extremely difficult to be selfless in a romantic relationship. Take some time to think about what you want in life. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What about 10? Where will you be professionally and geographically? Will you have children? Will you be traveling the world? Now think about where your partner sees her/himself. Do the two life paths match up with each other? If you want to be traveling the world as a nomad in 10 years and your partner aims to be the CEO of an important company, chances are things aren’t going to work between you two down the line. You should never sacrifice your own goals and desires for those of your partner, although there is definitely room for compromise. If you want to travel, maybe your partner can become successful in a foreign company!
If you have a low self esteem, it can be incredibly damaging to a relationship to constantly be looking to your partner to increase your self-worth. You should feel complete alone before you can feel complete with someone else, otherwise you may begin to drag them down with you. If you both have a healthy self esteem and are constantly working to learn and grow together, your relationship will be much better off.
Every relationship has problems. The trick is knowing how to solve those problems in a healthy way. If you are experiencing problems in your relationship and you can’t seem to figure out how to solve them, Udemy’s course on solving relationship problems has helped thousands of students gain a better connection with their significant other.