Dos And Don’ts For A Long-Term Relationship

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We don’t pay nearly half as much attention to what makes a relationship last as we do to figuring out how to get into one. When we catch feelings for someone, so much of our energy, time, and effort goes into winning over a romantic interest. But what about turning that exciting new romantic connection into a long-term relationship? Not many people consciously think about what it takes to navigate the long-term relationship stages and sustain it.

Compromise, understanding, and trust-building are some of the things that sustain a long-term relationship. But what about the things not to do in a relationship in order to keep it healthy and wholesome? Those factors can easily make or break a relationship just as much as practices that make a relationship work in the first place, and must be factored in to avoid a long-term relationship breakup.

Sometimes what you should not do is far more important than what you should do in a relationship. Maybe you’re doing all the right things for your partner. Sending them flowers, listening to them, being supportive and encouraging, and also showing as much affection as you can. While all of that is helpful in its own way, what if you are doing some things on the other side of the spectrum that could actually be making things a whole lot worse, and you don’t even realize it?

That is why it is essential that you get the full perspective on what to do in a long-term relationship and what not to. We are here to offer you just that. In this article, Dr. Gaurav Deka (MBBS, PG diplomas in Psychotherapy and Hypnosis), an internationally acclaimed Transpersonal Regression Therapist, who specializes in trauma resolution, and a mental health and wellness expert, offers well-rounded long-term relationship advice touching upon the dos and don’ts that are pivotal to its success.

What Is A Long-Term Relationship?

How long is a long-term relationship? This question is quite frequently asked, especially by couples who have been together for a considerable amount of time but may not have discussed what it means for the future or may not fully understand the long-term relationship meaning vis-a-vis their dynamic.

Well, to answer that for you, any relationship that lasts two years or longer is considered a long-term relationship. The duration of a relationship certainly brings in an element of comfort and security, however, it does not mean that things will magically become easier once you have been with someone for a certain time.

While the love grows, sustains, and becomes more comforting than ever, you cannot stop putting effort into the relationship if you want the bliss of togetherness to last. This is why the long-term relationship meaning encompasses more than just a time frame. After two years or so, your relationship is no longer as exciting as it used to be during that tantalizing honeymoon phase. In fact, it can even begin to feel like a routine or a healthy habit. And while healthy habits are great for you at the end of the day, sustaining them can be quite an exercise.

Dos: 6 Tips For Successful Long-Lasting Relationships

If you’ve been in a relationship that has lasted two years or longer, then this long-term relationship advice is especially for you. If you are convinced that this person is the love of your life and someone you can see yourself sharing your life with, then you must do all that you can to make this relationship work. To help you out with that, we bring you some tips and a lowdown on dos to keep your relationship afloat for a lifetime:

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Related Reading: How To Manifest Love In Your Life – 5 Proven Ways

1. It’s not always exciting, but try to keep the fun alive

There will be times in your relationship when you’d feel as if the romance or the spark is gone. Perhaps the way you used to look at each other in the first six months of the relationship or the way you used to drop everything to meet each other are now rituals of the past. As you transcend the different long-term relationship stages, things can start feeling mundane, dull, and routine. However, don’t mistake it as an ominous sign of lack of love. The love is still very much there. Only the excitement is lost.

In such a case, trying to revive the excitement you experience in the honeymoon stage of the relationship is futile. But you can re-energizing your relationship from time to time. Consider things like going on monthly weekend trips or throwing a house party every now and then. Maybe even try planning a double date with another couple to keep things fresh in your relationship.

2. Don’t let your personal identity get lost in the mix

As you go through the long-term relationship stages, there comes a point where it can start to feel as if you and your partner are the same people. Since you spend so much time together, eat similar things, listen to similar music, and might even start quoting each other a little too much, it is possible that you might start feeling enmeshed with one another. Some people may think that’s a good thing and natural in relationships, but it can turn unhealthy very soon.

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Don’t lose your individuality

You might realize that you’ve hardly left the house for a girls’ night out with your best friends lately. Or you might learn that the boys have been going to the bar every Friday night but have stopped inviting you because all you talk about is your girlfriend. While it is important to be invested in your relationship, it is equally important to not lose yourself and your individuality in the process. Make sure that your personal life includes things other than your partner and that you don’t sacrifice your uniqueness for your partner.

3. How to make a relationship last? Commit, like never before

If you know they’re the one, well then there are no further questions about this. Frankly, this is relationship 101 for anyone. The moment you enter the ‘being boyfriend and girlfriend’ realm, know that commitment is a big part of it. Consider ‘commitment’ the very crux of the long-term relationship meaning.

One of the most vital pieces of long-term relationship advice is to not let the fear of commitment cast a shadow over your bond. If you love the person you’re with, don’t be afraid of jumping with both feet. Don’t let apprehensions about the future or the fear of how commitment will change your life get in the way of your relationship achieving its full potential.

4. Learn the art of working through your problems

Even though you’ve been together for years now, it does not mean that you are past all your problems and are now at a stage when things are only rosy. Remember that you never stop learning about your significant other and that usually happens through relationship arguments. Don’t be scared or intimidated by these conversations.

Try to learn how to work through them. Otherwise, these can become a potential trigger for a long-term relationship breakup. Conflict resolution is an art that can make or break a relationship. If two people love each other but are unaware of how to work through their differences, the love simply goes down the drain. One must learn how to understand, reflect, put their point across and forgive.

Related Reading: 8 Conflict Resolution Strategies In Relationships That Almost Always Work

5. Learn how to be each other’s support systems

How to keep a relationship alive? How to navigate the long-term relationship stages so that your bond only becomes stronger? Make your partner believe that they can place their unwavering faith in you and can trust you to always stand by them, and hopefully, expect the same from them as well. A long-term relationship is built on heaps of emotional support.

Hear each other out, try to be as vulnerable as you can, be as honest as you can possibly be, and encourage your partner along every step of the way. Try to be a supportive partner so that your partner can see themselves making the “till death do us part” promise to you and fulfilling it too.

6. What is considered a long-term relationship? One with healthy boundaries in it

One might think that the more a relationship progresses, the closer you get to one another. While that is true in some aspects, it cannot be true in all aspects. Take this long-term relationship advice and understand the importance of drawing boundaries and ensuring that there is space in a relationship.

Being with someone for so long can feel stifling after a point unless you decide to consciously give each other more space and autonomy. Over time, you will learn the need for it and how to practice it as well. Remember, personal space in a relationship can actually hold it together for a long time.

Don’ts: 6 Things You Should Never Do In A Long-Term Relationship

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Now that we’ve touched upon the cornerstones of a long-term relationship, it’s time to switch to the other side. Let’s take a different tangent altogether now and talk more about the things not to do in relationships. It is possible that you or your partner might be indulging in one of these, without any understanding of how these little things can really make it a toxic relationship.

Better safe than sorry, right? But don’t worry. Now that you’re here, it will only get better as we are going to give you some really important long-term relationship advice. If you have been dating the same person for a while now, there is a good chance that some of the common problems will sprout as you both start getting attuned to one another. Thus, we give you 6 things not to do in relationships, especially if they’re long term.

1. Being complacent

Every relationship is a work-in-progress. It requires constant labor, designing, and molding. Things usually go (possibly) wrong when laziness invades. And one may begin to think that this relationship is there, it’s available, and it’s not going to end or get over. FYI, it does get over. Relationships too expire and sometimes sooner than you realize, if not kept fit, strong, and free of lethargy. Complacency in relationships, therefore, is the commonest contaminant.

Forgetting that you have a life with your partner, poring over work in the office, or going out to have your customary glass of whiskey every day with your group of friends without spending some quality time with your spouse may seem regular parts of domesticity, but that’s how complacency begins, that’s how dissatisfaction sets in. Consider this one of the relationship mistakes to avoid and try to be more vigilant with your partner in matters of spending time or working on the bond together.

Related Reading: How To Not Be A Dry Texter – 15 Tips To Avoid Being Boring

2. Letting performance pressure get the better of you

This adulterant is not just restricted to sexual competence. In the times we live in, everything about our lives is about performance and targets. In matters of sexual performance, for instance, it’s achieving the big O. We constantly lose our original and authentic self by trying to shape ourselves in ways that are deemed ideal and perfect. We constantly strive to be liked by people on Facebook or Instagram, to be validated and authenticated by them. It’s as if we must become a “certain someone” if we are to be accepted and loved.

This tendency may very well spill over to a relationship and our presence in that relationship may merely become a way of performance, where we are clearly not ourselves but are only trying to achieve external goals. Considering what not to do in a relationship? Make this your first milestone. In a long-term relationship, a tendency to always be the best version of yourself invariably needs to go. Try to be as original, authentic, and absolute as possible in front of a partner with whom you might consider spending your life.

3. Feeling insecure about yourself

Do you constantly find yourself outside the body, judging yourself and beating yourself up for not looking the way you’re supposed to look? Well, it’s time for those anxieties to leave! There should be no room for judgment in a long-term relationship. When your partner loves and accepts you as you are, so should you. Don’t hold yourself back from being yourself in a long-term relationship. If you put up a façade, it will eventually come crumbling down and so will your relationship.

You need to come back to your body and start accepting that even though you may look like a broom when you wake up in the morning, it’s okay to show your face and let yourself be kissed. Body image issues often not only put you at odds with yourself but also with your significant other, and you must make a conscious effort to overcome them. This long-term relationship advice is not just for your relationship but also you.

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4. Being suspicious of your partner

It takes time to have the kind of trust that would allow a relationship to flourish. It’s easier for love to come by, but trust may take its own time. Even so, you shouldn’t be constantly wondering: Which friend did s/he go out with tonight? Is s/he really going to a house party or a nightclub? Being a jealous, possessive boyfriend or girlfriend is certainly one of the things not to do in a relationship to make it work.

If you notice signs of lack of trust early in a relationship, then maybe it’s time to talk it out as honestly as possible and tell your partner how best you’d like to resolve it. Left unresolved, this issue can become a trigger for a long-term relationship breakup. These are relationship mistakes to avoid and mistakes that you need to avoid NOW. Because the moment this starts overcoming you, you will not even realize it and it will drag your relationship all the way to the bottom.

Related Reading: Trust Issues – 10 Signs You Find It Difficult To Trust Anyone

5. Sticking to utopian ideas of romance

Sex may fade over time and become more routine or predictable. Love too may fade and it is natural for that to happen. What will not fade though is company and companionship. A lot of us fail to come to terms with this reality of a long-term relationship as we stay fixated on fictionalized notions of love and romance. These utopian ideas of romance and what your happily-ever-after is supposed to look like can often prove counterproductive.

Of course, love and sex are integral parts of a relationship. They bolster relationship compatibility. But that’s not what will let you and your partner survive in a long-term relationship. Companionship is the only thing that survives and helps two people remain under one roof or within the choice and commitment to be together. So learn this before it’s too late, and prioritize working on friendship and camaraderie as one of the things you do in a relationship.

6. Seeking instant gratification

This is again a byproduct of the times we live in. Replying to a text message instantly, or seeing the blue tick and writhing in anxiety when the reply doesn’t come, the desire to be constantly connected, expecting a ‘love you’ at the end of each phone call, or getting upset when no ‘kiss’ emoticon appears in a text message – all of these are indeed common long-term relationship problems, but know that they need to be done away with.

You’ll realize how frivolous such things are but how they occupy so much space and time in our heads and how futile all of that really is. Such expectations are absolutely inconsequential, and they only make you insecure and rob both of you of your personal space.

  • Any romantic connection that has lasted more than two years can be called a long-term relationship
  • A long-term relationship needs trust, honesty, commitment to survive
  • Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do for the success of such a relationship
  • Realistic notions about how a couple’s dynamics change at different long-term relationship stages and realistic expectation setting are the keys to success

With all these relationship mistakes to avoid, trust us when we tell you that if you consciously work on these, your relationship will take a turn for the better. What’s even more significant is that when you really adhere to these things not to do in a relationship – you are also creating a better version of yourself. Use this as a short and easy manual to love and life and you will be good to go.


1. What can ruin a relationship?

Common long-term relationship problems are frankly abundant. They can start at miscommunications and misunderstandings and go all the way to constantly doubting your partner’s intentions, having low self-esteem and using that to attack your partner, and so on.

2. How do long-term relationships fail?

Long-term relationships fail as soon as the couples think it’s time to fold their arms and sit back and relax. Once the comfort sets in, a couple might start to get lazy or too satisfied and not indulge in the same kind of chase or effort anymore. Moreover, any kind of breach of trust, insecurity issues, or anger issues can do the same.

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Readers Comments On “Dos And Don’ts For A Long-Term Relationship”

  1. I so agree with each and every point stressed on here.
    Though I do think also, that we need to keep working on ourselves according to the times and our partner, to become better people and to give our best to the relationship. There’s a fine line between changing ourselves for the better and forgetting ourselves in a relationship. One brings positive outcome, while the latter brings negativity.

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