How to Make Love Last Forever

How to Make Love Last Forever – Keeping your primary relationship healthy, positive, supportive and together isn’t easy. But it can be done.

“We expect a lot from our relationships, and the fact is, long-term marriages or relationships are difficult to sustain, given the pressures most of us live with,” says Sue Maisch, L.S.W., a family and child counselor in Glenwood Springs, Colo. “To make it work, couples need the maturity to realize a long-lasting relationship will entail sacrifice, commitment and hard work, but that the payoff of a deeper love and stable, loving home life is well worth the effort.”

Here are suggestions on how to strengthen the connection with your partner.

Practice forgiveness

Resentment, anger and blame are normal reactions when your loved one does something hurtful. Without forgiveness, however, little hurts as well as betrayals can tear a relationship apart.

“People who don’t forgive often have problems maintaining positive feelings toward their partners,” says Ms. Maisch. “But partners who move toward forgiveness are better able to maintain their connection because they make a conscious decision not to dwell on the mistakes their partner has made.”

Be realistic

Every long-term relationship will have its share of disappointments. But learning to look beyond a particular bad patch to see your partner objectively and lovingly can pull you through.

“Remembering and nourishing memories of happy times you’ve had together can help you get past irritation and those times when you’re wondering if you want to stay in the relationship,” says Ms. Maisch.

Develop rituals

The way you and your partner say good-bye or hello, or how you celebrate birthdays or anniversaries year after year can help build a strong connection that can keep you emotionally committed during times of conflict.

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How to Make Love Last Forever

For example, taking time to kiss your partner good-bye every morning when you leave for work — no matter how late or distracted you are — tells him or her that in the grand scheme of things your relationship is a high priority.

Listen actively

“Jumping in and interrupting when your partner is trying to tell you something can make him or her frustrated or discouraged,” says Ms. Maisch. “It’s crucial to listen more than you speak when you’re having a serious discussion.”

Be honest

Secrets and lies weaken the foundation of any relationship. Ignoring problems (another form of keeping secrets) doesn’t make them go away. What is important is respectful, open communication regarding your feelings and dreams.

Fight fair

Even the truest of friends and most compatible partners argue. To keep your disagreements from damaging your relationship, set up some respectful ground rules during a calm moment.

These might include no name-calling or criticizing, making sure each person gets to have a say, really listening to each other and taking a break from the discussion if it gets too heated, as long as you promise to revisit the issues within a day or two.

Get help if you’re stuck

If you and your partner keep having the same arguments with no progress in sight, seek help from a therapist or marriage counselor.

“Above all don’t wait until your connection has been seriously damaged before you get help,” says Ms. Maisch. “Get counseling before one or both of you become entrenched in negative emotions.”

What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?

What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like? – Healthy relationships involve honesty, trust, respect and open communication between partners and they take effort and compromise from both people. There is no imbalance of power. Partners respect each other’s independence, can make their own decisions without fear of retribution or retaliation, and share decisions. If or when a relationship ends, there is no stalking or refusal to let the other partner go.

Characteristics of Healthy Relationships

  • Respect for privacy and space. You don’t have to be with your partner 24/7.
  • Your partner encourages you to spend time with friends without them, and to participate in activities that you enjoy.
  • You feel comfortable expressing your opinions and concerns to your partner.
  • Your feel physically safe and your partner doesn’t force you to have sex or to do things that make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Your partner respects your wishes and feelings and you can compromise and negotiate when there are disagreements or conflicts.

The foundation of a healthy relationship includes:

  • Boundaries: You and your partner are able to find ways to meet each other’s’ needs in ways that you both feel comfortable with.
  • Communication: You and your partner can share your feelings, even when you don’t agree, in a way that makes the other person feel safe, heard, and not judged.
  • Trust: Building trust can take time and allows couples to be vulnerable with one another knowing that they can rely on the other person.
  • Consent: Most commonly used when you’re being sexually active, giving consent means that you are okay with what is happening, and that no one is forcing you or guilting you into doing anything that you don’t want to do. Consent can be given and taken back at any time, and giving consent once does not mean you automatically give consent in the future.

See how these things go hand in hand by exploring the other sections to your left.

Please keep in mind that in some abusive relationships, trying to enforce boundaries, honest communication, trust, and other healthy behaviors could put your safety at risk. Remember, abuse is about power and control and someone who is abusive might not want to give up their control over you.

Be careful. If you feel like someone is disrespecting you or is being abusive, check out the “Get Help” section. You’re not alone.