What it takes to have a Long-term Relationship?

Why do people breakup often? Why do only few relationships turn out to be long termed? Are we incapable of maintaining a stable relationship? These are some of the questions that we end up having on a lousy Friday night while watching TV alone. I’m sharing some of my experiences here about what it takes to have a meaningful, happy and long-term relationship.

At the start of a relationship (especially a romantic one) we feel excited; every text, call and meeting with our partner will be filled with fun and an indescribable high, it feels as if you both are made for each other, this is due to the fact that you get to know each other in the beginning and even start sharing intimate matters. This excitement doesn’t last for long, once we’ve known each other well there’s nothing ‘new’ to be excited of, so the relationship doesn’t feel special as it used to be. Couples start to sense this and try to keep the relationship alive by giving surprises occasionally, binging on gift giving, taking your partner out for a romantic dinner, getting intimate spontaneously, etc., All this will keep the relationship alive and going, its all but a quick kindle of a dying fire. This will not give a sense of meaning to the relationship.

The single dominant criteria that decides the success of a relationship is How much importance you give them not how much you spend for them on gifts (feelings count more than monetary value). But don’t we give importance to our partners? Isn’t that a primary thing in a relationship? We do, but the things that we do in the name of ‘showering love’ is predominantly incorrect. So what’s the right way to do it? The following things will give the sense of your love to your partner:

People always have something to talk about but the problem is there aren’t many listeners. Listening is as fundamental to humans as food, water and shelter are, that’s because Man/Woman is a social animal. Listening should be the first step to establish a relationship, listening not only makes your partner like you but also allows you to understand them and know their interests, likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc. (To know more on listening and how to listen to people, check out my previous blog on listening) Listening to them keenly makes them subconsciously realize that you value them in spite of your busy schedule, which brings us to our next factor:

We can always make more money, learn knowledge, but we are stuck with the 24 hours per day. That is why spending time with your partner amidst your busy schedule will make them feel happy, time is the best gift that one can give. Ensure to spend time with your partner every day, a regular schedule will also help (some say you cannot set limits on love, but trust me it works). Another best way to make time for your partner is to give DIY gifts, they’ll love it and it’s a sign that you’ve made something on your own.

As the relationship ages, we feel that nothing is new and eventually leading to a ‘stagnant relationship’. It’s true that doing something routinely can be boring, but it can be made interesting. When the relationship is new we notice the smallest things such as their mannerisms, quirks and lovingly teasing, complimenting their cooking, hairstyle, how they look, how much you love them, etc., But down the line we fail to notice them, as its been there always. That’s what makes the relationship boring. Next time try to compliment her/him on the things that made you fall in love with them. As you keep doing this, you’ll definitely notice a difference in your partner, at least it’ll make them smile every day. (Try this: Call them in the middle of the day and say you love them and miss them and that they mean a lot to you.)

We would love to have a partner who shares all our interests, but it doesn’t happen in reality – our partners always have a set of unique likes and interests to which we have no exposure of. First understand what your partner’s interests are and take some time to learn about them, at least a little. Try discussing about it, they’ll be surprised and delighted that you took time to know these things. For example, if your partner loves romantic movies, surprise them one day by taking time to watch his/her favourite movie together (even if you don’t watch romantic movies), if your partner is a bookworm try reading the review on their favourite book and try discussing it with them, trust me this is will put a smile on their face (It worked for me). This will make your partner realize the fact that you took time to know their interests, in spite of you having the least or no interest in them.

To sum it up, to sustain a relationship and to keep it alive it’s not sufficient that you buy your partner gifts, go on a romantic dinner or going to a movie together, but before that there is a fundamental requirement which needs to be in place – Your partner needs to feel that you treat them with love and importance.

I write about Self-Development, Skills, Learning, and Innovation.

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