Falling in love is only half the battle. How do you make that love last?
We all want a love that will last, but how? Apart from wondering how to make money, this is the other question that’s asked again and again without any perfect answer. You see, falling in love is one part but making that precious love last, now that’s where the real work begins and don’t let them tell you any differently – it is work. The best kind of work maybe, but it’s real work and there’s no getting around it.
Trust in a relationship is a process. We tend to burn ourselves and most people at the stake when doubt creeps in, but we must remember that doubt is only a form of fear, and fear is an instinct that’s supposed to warn us and protect us. We must heed and respect the warning and not let it drive the relationship. Trusting someone takes time and vulnerability, but in love, that’s the only way to go forward.
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Sex is a very important, almost sacred part of most romantic relationships. Unless you are asexual, in which case skip this point and move to the next one (No judgement, everyone’s welcome to love.) Belly to belly compatibility, as I like to call it, can sometimes take time and is something worth investing in. Having great sex is a way of communication in a relationship, no matter what age the people are. It keeps the relationship alive.
This is a cornerstone of long-lasting love. Without respect, there’s no integrity in the relationship. You may not agree with each other’s politics, morals, ideas, but if you don’t respect them, there’s no balance in that relationship and it becomes a vacant dead thing. Respecting someone you love means treating them in a way that makes them feel good about themselves, that means validating their choices. Constant criticism, even if you think it is for their own good, can have a negative impact. Your words, your actions, everything about your way of engaging with your love has to be layered with respect.
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Believe it or not, you don’t have to be honest all the time in a relationship. It’s about knowing when to lie. I’m talking about white lies, of course. When you know your partner is not looking great but you tell them they’re killing it, you win. You might not be honest or telling the truth, but that’s okay as long as it’s not harmful. White lies make the world of love go around and they’re important for every relationship.
● Shared goals
The idea of falling in love for procreation is so last season that we don’t even want to talk about it. Yes, people keep procreating, but that cannot be the main reason behind love any more. What’s the main reason then? Shared goals. People want to build empires together. Whether that’s a business, an ideology, or anything else. For couples today, the big fat Indian family isn’t a goal. Getting that apartment in the high-rise, getting to the corner office, having it all is a goal and they tend to support each other through these goals. These shared goals are what carries a lot of people through the ups and downs of love.
● Value system
In order to build empires, have that common goal, most people require a value system that is similar if not shared. You see, it’s not about loving someone who has great values; if you have values which are ‘lower or higher’ than them in your perception, the relationship is going to be out of balance. However, if you and your boo have a value system that matches, then you’re in that sweet spot where you don’t have to worry or guess whether they will approve of you at the level of value or not. This is what makes great partners, in love and otherwise. If you both wouldn’t mind moving around the cash to evade taxes, or if you both would fire the employee immediately for using misogynistic language in the office, it doesn’t matter whether your shared values are sketchy for others or not. They have to be a shared parameter for you two.
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Taking time for yourself, a healthy break every day or every month, away from each other is important to keep that love growing. Not only does distance make the heart grow fonder, it allows you to clean and rearrange your own mental closet so that you don’t have any repressed emotions that come up and surprise you out of the blue.
● Who are you apart from that
A romantic relationship is between two people, and while that is important, it isn’t all that a person is. If the relationship becomes the defining factor in someone’s life, it will consume the rest of the space and eventually start suffocating the person. Who you are apart from being in love is equally important, therefore. It is what allows you to love the other person as a separate autonomous entity. Losing your identity in love might sound romantic when Arijit Singh sings it, but in reality, it harms more than it helps.