Do you know what’s tough? To keep a relationship healthy and strong for the long haul. It’s easy to fall in love, enjoy those early days, and get all gushy, but it’s a whole different ballgame to stay in love when things get real. And let’s be real, there are way too many couples out there breaking up left and right. It’s enough to make you want to throw in the towel before even trying to figure out how to make a relationship last.
But listen up. There’s hope for all you lovebirds out there. There are some couples who know how to make their love last, no matter what life throws their way. And no, it’s not just for the gram or to show off to their friends. These couples have a strong bond built on respect, honesty, and a crazy attraction to each other.
Now, I know you’re thinking, “Okay, great. But how do they do it? How to make a relationship last longer?” Well, my friend, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. We bring you insights, in consultation with Sushma Perla, NLP practitioner, and relationship coach. We also include other expert opinions here that will help you understand how to make a relationship last forever. But there are some things that set those long-lasting relationships apart from the rest. Think mutual respect, honest communication, and facing life’s ups and downs together.
What Makes A Relationship Last?
Are you ready to learn about the secret sauce for making your relationship last? Well, let me tell you, it’s not just about matching couple outfits and mushy Instagram posts. According to research, there are some key ingredients that can help you build a long-lasting and strong relationship.
- Communication is king: According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, good communication is essential for a happy and long-lasting relationship. So, if you’re not talking to your partner, you’ll probably not last. And by talking, I don’t mean just small talk about the weather. It would be best if you had open and honest communication about your feelings, hopes, and dreams. And if you’re not good at expressing yourself, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources out there to help you learn how to communicate better with your partner
- Don’t forget to have fun: According to a study by the Utah State University, couples who engage in fun activities together are more likely to stay together. So, go ahead and plan that weekend getaway or try a new hobby together. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re enjoying each other’s company and creating new memories together. And if all else fails, you can always resort to playing Mario Kart and unleashing your competitive side. There is nothing better than spending time together and having fun
- Be kind to each other: According to research by the Gottman Institute, kindness is a crucial component of a lasting committed relationship. So, be thoughtful, caring, and considerate toward your partner. Even small acts of kindness, like bringing them coffee in bed or leaving a love note in their lunchbox, can go a long way in strengthening your bond. And if you need inspiration, just watch The Bachelor and take notes on what not to do
These key ingredients combined in the appropriate proportions, make for a delicious romantic love potion. A potion that can induce and sustain love not only in long-term relationships but is equally potent for new relationships. Let the magic begin!
9 Expert Tips To Make A Relationship Last Forever
Making a relationship last a lifetime requires investment and nurturing. It won’t stay all rosy and beautiful all the time. You don’t just get a great marriage on a platter. Like everything else, it requires effort. And once you learn how to make love last forever, you can enjoy a fairytale romance throughout your life. “The problem with a lot of couples these days is that they want everything from their partner – companionship, love, care, financial security, and physical attraction. The expectations are high and when they are not met, they get disappointed,” says Sushma.
Let’s be real, we all want our love story to be a fairy tale that lasts forever. But the reality is this: Relationships that last are hard work and take a lot of effort. Nobody enters into a relationship with the thought of breaking up after a few months, but unfortunately, it happens all too often. That’s why it’s crucial to know how to make a relationship last longer, especially during the hard times when all you see are breakup triggers. When things get challenging, you need to be equipped with the right tools and mindset to navigate the rough patches and come out stronger on the other side.
In today’s fast-paced world, there are so many pressures and distractions that can take a toll on even the strongest relationships. From the stresses of work to the temptation of social media, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. But the good news is, building a lasting relationship with the person you love doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following some key tips and being committed to working through any obstacles that come your way, you can create a strong, healthy, and fulfilling relationship that stands the test of time. It all gets easier if you are with the right person.
Related Reading: Emotional Intelligence In Relationships: Make Love Last Forever
1. Be willing to make it last
Sushma says, “The first step to build a good relationship with your partner is to WANT it to last. Most people rush into a relationship based on their initial feelings of attraction. But before entering into a long-term arrangement, know what you want and enter it with a mindset to learn how to make love last an eternity.”
“Are you fully ready to build a life with this person? Are you willing to accept them with their faults and weaknesses? Every relationship has its share of problems but if you want it to last, you will look for solutions and not just worry about the issues,” adds Sushma. So to make the relationship last until marriage, you need to make the most of the dating period. Because the hardest months in a relationship are the ones right after the honeymoon phase.
Most relationships don’t end because partners stop loving one another. People forget how to make a relationship last because one partner stops giving the other attention, communication, security, and the affirmations that they need. So once you make a decision about the ‘forever’ part, other aspects fall into place. It’s necessary to understand that to keep a relationship forever, you must work for it.
2. Accept your partner
So, you’ve found the love of your life and you’re ready to take the plunge. Congrats! But wait, are you ready to deal with their annoying habits and quirks? It’s easy to accept your loved ones when they’re on their best behavior, but what about when they’re chewing with their mouth open or snoring like a freight train or not keeping things in their right place?
The dating period should ideally be a testing ground. After the initial honeymoon phase is over and the passion somewhat dies out, it’s time to deepen the bond. “This is when you gauge each other’s values, habits, likes, dislikes, etc. Date with your eyes open and a heart full of love,” says Sushma.
If you want to know how to make love last a lifetime, you’ve got to be prepared for the ups and downs. You’re not always going to like everything about your partner, just like they’re not going to like everything about you. It’s all about weighing the good against the bad and deciding if the good outweighs the bad. And let’s be real, nobody’s perfect. Here are a few tips on accepting them for who they are:
- Cherish and honor your partner’s unique qualities, recognizing that their individuality adds depth and richness to your relationship
- Cultivate a compassionate mindset that seeks to understand your partner’s experiences, feelings, and perspectives, fostering an environment of empathy and mutual support
- Establish a safe and non-judgmental space where both of you can express your thoughts, needs, and concerns, allowing for open and honest communication that strengthens the bond of acceptance between you two
Related Reading: 11 Things You Need To Know For A Successful Aromantic Relationship
3. Express your positive feelings for your partner freely
Brinda Jacob, a hotelier based in Dubai, has been married for nearly 15 years and admits she still feels the same way about her love for her husband. Among the few things, she and her husband are very particular about are — compliments and genuine praise. “I love hearing good things about myself,” she laughs. “So I make sure that my husband actually vocalizes the good things about me and I do the same for him.”
Brinda admits that initially, it was a task to get her reserved husband to open up but over the years, through clear communication about her needs and her husband being equally willing to do the work, they could find ways to show love and gratitude. “Of course, I do the same for him as well. In fact, because it was the classic case of an extrovert dating an introvert, I used to wonder if I would be able to make my relationship last until marriage. But, fortunately, we stood by each other, and today we are very happy.”
Even in most relationships that last, the couples do hit the boredom roadblock or begin to take each other for granted. But small gestures like a heartfelt thank you for a home-cooked meal, buying gifts when there is no special occasion, and sending a flirty text while at work can keep the spice levels up and aid in building a good relationship with your partner. It’s important to make your relationship interesting, especially in those tough moments when nothing seems to be working between you two. Find ways to spend quality time together.
4. Forget the past
Everyone has a past. But what’s happened in the past is meant to stay there. Never bring that up during a fight or an argument even though it may be tempting to play the blame game in the heat of the moment. These moments can then act as a one-way ticket to relationship purgatory. Sushma says, “The ‘live in the present principle’ works well for relationships too. One of the reasons why relationships fail is because fights are rarely about one issue.
“Unresolved resentment of the past keeps cropping up, nasty words are exchanged and at times, small matters get escalated. To avoid it, stick to the current issue of disagreement and focus on aspects relating to that every time a conflict occurs.” Here are a few things you can keep in mind to keep the unresolved stuff from piling up and hitting your relationship like a wrecking ball:
- Communicate openly and honestly with your partner about the issue
- Practice active listening to understand each other’s perspectives
- Identify the root cause of the problem and work on finding a solution together
- Be willing to compromise and make changes to improve the situation
- Seek professional help if needed to work through the issue
5. Stay connected with the help of technology
Modern relationship management is all about balancing the relationship as well as a fast and furious life, with the help of technology. If you are geographically away from each other, managing a relationship over a smartphone is like playing Jenga on a trampoline – extremely challenging. LDRs can make you question everything, including your sanity. But if you are with the right person and keep coming up with conversation topics for your long-distance relationship, distance can’t keep you apart.
Nancy, a beauty salon owner, and her husband Ram, have been in a strong marriage for almost two decades, with Ram staying abroad for the most part. “It’s like being in a never-ending game of hide-and-seek,” she says, adding, “But we made it work by ensuring that our connection was stronger than our Wi-Fi signal.” Isn’t she a funny one? It is simply about the willingness and being creative. Monotony gets to everyone. Then why not just accept it and work around it? The more you try to make your relationship interesting, the closer you’ll feel to your partner.
Here are some of the best ways that may help you stay close to your LDR partner:
- Schedule regular video calls to stay connected
- Share photos and videos of your daily life to make them feel like they’re a part of it
- Use messaging apps to keep in touch throughout the day
- Watch movies or shows together using screen-sharing tools
- Play games online to have some fun and create memories
6. Learn to forgive and not have unrealistic expectations
Unrealistic expectations can lead to trouble in paradise and these bad boys can kick you into a downward spiral of breakup triggers. You can’t expect your partner to be perfect, that’s what cats are for. Learn to forgive, communicate, and know when to apologize. Holding onto grudges silently is like hoarding toilet paper during a pandemic, it’s just not healthy.
“Everybody makes mistakes. Of course, it is up to you to decide which mistakes are forgivable and which ones can’t be forgotten or forgiven. But holding on to grudges silently can turn rather toxic,” says Sushma. Relationships are like roller coasters, they have their ups and downs. But when your partner messes up, forgive them. Remember, communication is key, and forgiveness is the glue that keeps a positive relationship together. So, forgive often, and love like there’s no tomorrow.
7. Adapt to your partner’s tastes or work around them a bit
When you’re in a relationship, it’s important to be open-minded about your partner’s quirks and preferences. Sure, they might not adore dogs or be a vegetarian, but that doesn’t mean you have to break up with them. Learning to adapt and compromise is key to making a relationship last longer. After all, it’s not about being right or wrong, it’s about being happy together.
In a successful and strong relationship, it’s all about mutual appreciation and engagement. You don’t have to love everything your partner loves, but taking an interest in their hobbies and passions shows that you care. Plus, it gives you more things to talk about than planning what to order for dinner. So, keep an open mind and embrace your partner’s quirks – who knows, you might discover something new and exciting!
Ask yourself some questions, suggests Sushma. “Are your differences with your partner reconcilable? Can you adjust for the sake of the greater common good of your relationship? Do your differences affect your core values? The answer to these queries will determine whether you can make your relationship last a lifetime.”
8. Have your own life, interests, and friends
This point is an extension of the last point instead of contradicting it. One of the most important things, if you want to keep a relationship forever, is to know how to have sufficient space in your equation. Who wants to be glued to their partner 24/7? Not me, and certainly not my partner. Being a happy couple doesn’t mean you have to do everything together, like Siamese twins all the time. Give each other space to breathe and live your own lives. It’s like having a relationship with a houseplant – you water it, give it sunshine, but also allow it to breathe in fresh air and let it grow on its own.
It’s healthy to have your own friends and interests and to take a break from your partner every now and then. Absence makes the heart grow fonder but also makes for interesting conversations when you come back together. Plus, who doesn’t love a partner who can share stories from their solo adventures? Just make sure to come back with souvenirs sometimes.
9. Be honest with one another and build trust
No lies, no drama! Honesty is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s like a comfortable bra – it supports everything and keeps it all in place. So, be honest with your partner and build that trust, and if you slip up, just own it like a boss and move on. Remember, if you can’t be real with your partner, who can you be real with?
Nandita Rambhia (BA Psychology), an expert in compatibility issues and extramarital affairs counseling, suggests, “In any long-term relationship, it’s very important that a person is honest with themselves first, and to have the ability to look deep within and have self-awareness. When one is honest with themselves, it’s much easier to be honest with your partner. The relationship will dramatically improve. And if your partner can follow the same thing, it is a wonderful building block of a long-term relationship. It’s this honesty that will lead you to trust one another.
“Work on consistently improving your communication in the relationship. Nurture the ability to be open and vulnerable if you want to trust another person, because vulnerability and trust go together. Have patience. Also, put in the effort to show your faith in your partner in a not-so-great situation. It is the difficult times that indicate how much you respect and love one another. If you can get through those roadblocks of a long-term relationship, you’re good to go.”
- Open and honest communication is essential in maintaining a lasting relationship. Both partners should be willing to listen to each other’s thoughts and feelings, and work together to resolve any conflicts that may arise
- Making time for your partner is crucial in building a strong and lasting relationship. This can be done through shared activities, date nights, or even just spending quality time together at home
- It’s important to trust your partner and believe in their commitment to the relationship, while also showing them respect and treating them with kindness
- As time goes on, people change and so do healthy relationships. It’s important to embrace these changes and grow together as a couple. This may involve adapting to new circumstances or exploring new interests together
- Keeping the romance alive is essential in maintaining a strong and lasting relationship. This can be achieved through small gestures like leaving love notes or surprise gifts, as well as through more significant gestures like planning romantic getaways or special date nights
So there you have it, folks! These are the tips that can help you make your relationship last forever. And remember, a long-lasting relationship is like a fine wine; it gets better with age, but it takes effort to keep it from turning into vinegar. So, keep these tips in mind to keep a relationship healthy and strong, and don’t forget to sprinkle some laughter and fun along the way. Remember, it is not a mammoth task to sustain a beautiful relationship, the secret lies in the little things that you do consistently. Here’s to a lifetime of love, happiness, and lots of silly moments together. Cheers!
This article has been updated in May 2023.
According to a study, 21-year-olds have an average relationship length of two to four years. The duration cannot be generalized across age groups or individuals. The longevity of a relationship depends on the couple’s compatibility, alignment of goals, job and financial prospects, social support, etc.
There are many factors other than just ‘love’ behind a successful and healthy relationship. Mutual trust and respect are the most important of all. Clear communication is another glue holding two people together. Plus, it’s crucial to maintain your individuality and have your personal space in the relationship.
The first couple of months after the honeymoon phase is over are seemingly very difficult. Because that’s when the rose-colored glasses come off and you see your partner with all their human flaws and potential red flags.