Falling in love is the most amazing feeling in the world but perhaps staying in love is the most difficult thing to do. Time and again, we see couples who seem to be perfect for each other in every way head toward Splitsville over the most trivial of things. The rising number and speed with which breakups occur can make anyone cynical and wonder how to make a relationship last forever in these troubled and chaotic times.
But if you look closely, for every squabbling couple, there are also those who know how to make their love last forever. There is mutual respect, honesty and strong attraction that makes them want to stick to one another. And what’s more, their love is not just for Instagram displays or something to flaunt to the world, but they truly stand by each other and face the ups and downs together despite all odds. This goes to show that perhaps they have cracked the formula of how to make love last forever.
But then, some find themselves struggling to figure out ways to make a relationship last a lifetime. While there is no set formula for building enduring relationships, there are certain key tenets that set lasting romantic partnerships apart from those that fizzle out. What exactly are they? We bring you the answers, in consultation with Sushma Perla, NLP practitioner and relationship coach.
9 Expert Tips To Make A Relationship Last Forever
Let’s admit it, everyone who falls in love wants their story to be a perfect fairy tale and be in relationships that last. Nobody enters a relationship with the thought of breaking up after a few months and most people genuinely want to know how to make love last forever. In the first flush of love, they promise to do all that they can to make a relationship strong and beautiful. Alas! Then reality takes over and it’s not long before love and emotion fly out of the window, replaced by lies, disenchantment, dissatisfaction or indifference.
Making a relationship last a lifetime requires investment and nurturing. 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.
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Needless to say, the pressures of modern-day life, the abundance of temptations around you and the inability to create a work-life balance can take a toll on even the strongest of marriages. But building a lasting relationship with a man or woman you love isn’t as challenging as you think. With these tips on how to make a relationship last forever, you can create your own happily-ever-after.
1. Want your relationship to last and be prepared to make the effort
“The first step to build a good relationship with your partner is to WANT it to last,” says Sushma, adding, “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 forever.”
“Are you fully ready to build a life with this person? Are you willing to accept him/her with his/her 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.” So to make the relationship last until marriage, you need to make the most of the dating period.
Most relationships don’t end because partners stop loving one another. People forget how to make a relationship last because one of the two stops giving the other attention, communication, security and affirmation they need. So once you make a decision about the ‘forever’ part, other aspects fall into place.
2. Accept your partner to learn how to make your relationship last
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 and dislikes, etc. Date with your eyes open and a heart full of love,” says Sushma.
The courtship period is also a time to understand your partner and decide if you can love him or her with their flaws. To know exactly how to make love last forever is to be prepared for the crests and troughs that will hit you. There might be times when your feelings for your partner can change. There would be traits of your partner’s personality that you detest.
What matters is if the qualities you love about them are stronger than the qualities you hate about them. Also, learn to introspect and accept that you have several weaknesses too. Acceptance of imperfections can teach you how to make a relationship last.
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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 it still feels the same. Among the 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, she ‘trained’ him to compliment her often, express gratitude for the things she does and generally show affection. “Of course, I do the same to 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.”
Most long-term relationships hit the boredom roadblock because a couple begins to take each other for granted. Small gestures like a heartfelt thank you for a home-cooked meal, buying gifts when there is no special occasion, sending a flirty text while at work can keep the spice levels up and aid to build a good relationship with your partner.
4. Forget the past to learn how to make a relationship last
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 blame your partner in the heat of the moment. “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 only on aspects relating to that,” says Sushma. The bottom line is: do not allow your momentary anger or frustration to derail the relationship. Sometimes, it seems easy to make a relationship last until marriage but once you tie the knot, everything unravels.
The reason for that is unresolved issues that are put on the back burner but come up at inopportune moments in the future. If you want to know how to make a relationship last a lifetime, learn to develop a broader perspective. As mentioned above, the desire to build a lasting relationship with your man or woman should be the primary goal and these bumps along the way should be treated as just that – bumps.
5. Stay connected with the help of technology
Do you know what the most challenging relationship is? It’s the one where partners have to manage their relationship over a smartphone. Distance truly tests your caliber and strength. How to make a relationship last can become a pressing question staring you in the face when you’re in a long-distance relationship.
Asha Murthy, a beauty salon owner and her husband, Ram, have been in a strong marriage for nearly 20 years, with the latter staying abroad for the most part. “It’s not easy to make a relationship last long-distance,” she admits, adding, “But we managed because we ensured that our connection was never lost. With time, we have also learned to use technology to keep our long-distance relationship afloat and thriving.”
Be it sending regular texts or keeping each other updated on the developments of the day, building a good relationship with your partner who is away requires double the effort, patience and determination and goes a long way in the art of how to make love last forever. Otherwise, you will find that you may have succeeded in making a relationship last until marriage but fell out of love soon enough.
6. Learn to forgive and do not have unrealistic expectations
The problem with most marriage breakdowns is unrealistic expectations. When your partner fails to match up to these, you feel let down and angry. When this builds up over the years, it can lead to trouble in paradise. Apart from managing expectations realistically, forgiveness in a relationship is also key to its success.
“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. If you genuinely care about the person you love, you will also need to forgive their mistakes (provided they are sorry for it) and that goes a long way in making a relationship last until marriage and way beyond.
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7. Adapt to your partner’s tastes or work around them a bit
Everyone dreams of having a partner who understands them perfectly but it’s not possible to avoid differences. In such a scenario, be open to adapting yourself to suit your partner’s tastes or at least work around them. In your quest of learning how to make a relationship last forever, do not be too rigid about your ways of life. Sometimes, certain things – like say, eating habits or religious beliefs – might seem like a deal-breaker but think before you decide to pull the plug.
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,” she advises.
8. Have your own life, interests and friends
Being a happy couple does not mean being joined at the hip. Nor does it mean you and your partner have to share the same interests and hobbies and do everything together. Giving each other space is equally important when you think of how to make a relationship last forever.
Stay connected throughout but also follow your own life, have your own set of friends to socialize with and retain your individuality. This will help foster the elements of healthy respect in the relationship as neither of you will take each other for granted. What’s more, you will have more things to discuss which adds to the spice of the relationship.
How boring it would be if you did everything together without giving each other a breather! At times, it is even healthy to take a break from each other and travel around on your own. Distance, in some cases, does make the heart grow fonder and results in making a relationship strong.
9. Be honest with one another and build trust
No relationship can last if the foundation is built on lies and distrust. Honesty is the key. It does not mean being blunt and rude, it simply indicates that there should be no secrets from one another and there should be space to express yourself freely. You can’t build a good relationship with a partner if you can’t be vulnerable with him or her.
If you need to talk about something, do it openly. Never hesitate to talk about your needs and expectations. It’s much better than bottling up inside. If the love is strong, you can even confess to your mistakes and be confident that your partner will understand you. Create that atmosphere of trust and honesty that won’t allow any third person or entity to come between the two of you.
True love does not come easy and you need to constantly invest in it if you want to master the tricks of how to make a relationship last forever. But the interesting part is that when you put your heart into it and value the person you love, it does not seem like hard work at all. These steps come naturally if your feelings are strong and you are sure that your relationship is the one that will go the distance – despite the challenges, odds and obstacles that are bound to come your way.