Everyone wants a relationship that they know will last forever, but it can be a bit of a puzzle trying to figure out exactly what you and your partner can and should do in order to make sure it actually will. Unfortunately, there's really no guarantee that anything you do will ensure that your relationship will last indefinitely, but there are some interesting tips from men on how to actually make a relationship last that will at least help both you and your partner try your best.
While some of the things that you can do to strengthen your relationship are things that you should be doing directly for your partner, others are really more things that you have to do on your own, but that will pay dividends within your relationship as well. From spending time apart to making an effort with the most important people in their life to looking at your relationship a little bit differently, in order to strengthen your relationship, you might need to — ironically — spend more time working to strengthen the relationship you have with yourself. Ultimately, if you really do want your relationship to last, you'll have to make a conscious effort to do the things that can help ensure that it will.
1. Make Sure You Spend Time With Other People
It's great that you want to spend a ton of time with your partner, but spending all your time with them puts a whole lot of pressure on your relationship. If you want it to last, make sure you take the time to cultivate relationships and interests outside of your romantic relationship, as couples therapist Matt Lundquist told Greatist. Contrary to many rom-com and pop culture references, they can't be "your everything." No one person can, but your relationship will be better off for it.
2. Show Him You Love The People He Loves Too
While, of course, you want to invest time in making sure that your partner knows how much you care about them, don't overlook the other people in their life. Get to know their family and friends and actually make an effort to do nice things for those people too. According to a post that Dr. Daniel G. Amen, author of Unleash the Power of the Female Brain, wrote for eHarmony, your partner will notice those things you do for the most important people in their life. Make sure, however, that you're sincere because superficial gestures can be pretty transparent.
3. Focus On Grace
It can be tempting, in the monotony of everyday life, to keep score. You cook, they clean, you pay the bills, they shop for groceries, you drop the kids off, they pick the kids up. You do something for them because they did something for you. As Everett Worthington, a professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, tells Men's Health, however, keeping score only hurts a relationship. Focus instead on grace. You'll both make mistakes, you'll both need each other's help. This relationship isn't supposed to be transactional.
4. Spend Time Alone
While it may seem counterintuitive, fostering a relationship with yourself by spending time alone and actually getting to know who you are as a person independently of your partner or other identifiers can help make your relationship stronger. As couples counselor David Waters told The Telegraph, you'll be able to articulate what your needs in the relationship are and be happier and more refreshed when the two of you are together.
5. Volunteer Together
As Chris from Sacramento told Redbook, when he and his partner volunteer together, it helps them connect to each other and to the community they're serving. The problems in their lives or relationship look a lot smaller when they see what others are dealing with. Pick a cause about which you're both passionate and commit to volunteering and supporting the cause regularly.
6. Reframe Your Relationship Story
Stories have beginnings, middles, and ends, right? Not anymore, or at least, not when it comes to your relationship. In the aforementioned article from The Telegraph, Waters said that thinking about your relationship in terms of "seasons" rather than in a linear fashion can help you face any challenges together, knowing that there's love, happiness, and renewal coming around again soon.
7. Don't Think Of Your Relationship As Work
Yes, yes, relationships require effort and, sometimes, a little bit of work, but it's not a great idea for you to think about it as another task on your to do list. In the previously-mentioned article from The Telegraph, Waters said that rather than looking at your time together as work, it's better if you look at it as play time. It'll add a lightness to the relationship that'll help the relationship survive, even when it seems like things couldn't be rockier.
8. Make It A Real Partnership
As Justin from San Jose told Redbook in the aforementioned article, for he and his partner, combining their financial assets into a joint account was one perhaps surprising way that they're making sure their relationship will last. Symbolically, it makes their relationship feel like a true partnership, rather than just two independent people who spend a lot of time together.
9. Go Out Of Your Way To Make Them Happy
Maybe you and your partner did little things for each other all the time when you first started dating, but it's since tapered off a bit as your relationship got more serious. As Toby from Lakeville, Minnesota told Redbook in the previously-mentioned article, he and his partner make a regular effort to do small things for the other person that they know will make them happy. Pick up a fancy coffee you know they love to wish them luck on a big presentation, swing by the drugstore on your way home from work because you know they haven't had time to go, it doesn't have to be a big, grand gesture. Sometimes, it really is the little things that make the biggest difference.
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