Ten tips for a long term relationship

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Barely saying good morning to your partner? Forgot what it feels like to be in love? Feel like you’ve been together f o r e v e r?

Have no fear, I have researched and used personal experience to bring you some tips on how to keep the love alive in your long-term relationship.

LAUGH – at yourself, at each other, at everybody else. This is very important, do not take things personally. Tell him jokes that you know he’ll laugh at, laughter is very infectious and let him fall in love with your sense of humour again.

BE FRIENDS – remember how you treat your friends, if they forget to call you don’t get mad at them. If they are late to pick you up, you don’t jump down their throat so do the same for your partner. Hang out with him like you do with friends, so he doesn’t want to go shopping with you, but you can do things like go to funparks, minigolf, out for dinner, brunch etc.

LISTEN – without trying to solve problems or give advice. Ask your partner how their day was and listen objectively. Don’t tell them how to handle situations unless they ask for your advice.

TALK – tell your partner how you are feeling, don’t expect that he knows you’ve had a bad day at work, he can’t guess that! Despite your belief that “he should just know”, he doesn’t. Let him know if something is bothering you, don’t play games.

UNDERSTAND, FORGIVE THE LITTLE THINGS – believe that you are both doing your best. If your partner’s best for the day is simply getting out of bed, then let them do their best and don’t hassle them. Understand that everyone has their down days, and if he forgets to take out the rubbish it’s not the end of the world.

APPRECIATE THE SMALL STUFF – especially when it comes to helping around the house. So he does the dishes and leaves the suds all over the sink and over the floor, at least he did the dishes! So he washes the towels with the clothes, thank him for doing the washing and leave it at that.

SPEND TIME APART – give him boy time and let him stay out as long as he wants. Have trust in him. If you don’t have children, use this time to pamper yourself with a long bath, chick flick and early night. Invite friends over for a wine pyjama party and enjoy yourself. DO NOT plague him with a barrage of text messages, trust him. He’ll appreciate it and when it’s your turn he’ll give you the same respect.

SURPRISE – him with a poem. Not about how much you love him or the stars and the moon, write real things like your first date, first kiss, funny moments, holidays you’ve had together. The fun, warm memories. Surprise him with a gift basket of his favourite things, favourite music, favourite food, and favourite breakfast cereal. Doesn’t have to be expensive, but let him know you think of him and consider his needs

BE SPONTANEOUS – go for a midnight swim, have a picnic on your front lawn, cook him breakfast in bed for no reason, make love in the morning or at lunchtime. Don’t go crazy out of your comfort zone but just do things differently. All these things help to keep passion alive.

DO AWAY WITH ULTIMATUMS – either you change or I will leave you. Aggh – big relationship killer! If he smoked before you met him, don’t expect to change that! If he has always paid his bills a month late he probably always will. Accept him, this is harder than it sounds. If you try and change him and succeed, he’s not the same person you fell in love with. If you try and change him and do not succeed, you are giving him a message that you don’t love him unconditionally.

One other thing, especially if you are busy with work, kids, gym, sports, friends, life in general. Make sure you go to bed together as much as you can. Stay affectionate, hold hands walking down the street and flirt with each other. Be proud and thankful that you have your “one” for life.

Bex

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