If you’re looking for a loving relationship that stands the test of time, these tips are for you…
Every couple has its ups and downs, but healthy relationships have a few things in common. The big question: How do you identify deal breakers and keep your relationship happy? Here are some important elements to build a foundation for long-lasting love: good communication and creating a safe atmosphere within your relationship.
What does a happy relationship look like?
Honest communication is everything. Some people have different communication styles, which can be challenging if you don’t know where they’re coming from. Identifying and removing barriers before conflicts arise will keep communication flowing.
Making sure your partner feels comfortable in the relationship is also essential. People who don’t feel safe around each other are less likely to open up and let themselves be vulnerable, which prevents them from connecting on a deeper, more intimate level.
However, even though we tend to enter relationships with rose-coloured glasses, they don’t always work out. According to a 2022 study from Simon Fraser University, the top 3 dealbreakers in relationships include infidelity, failure to meet relationship needs, and abuse or aggression.
Want to make sure your relationship is happy, healthy, and lasts forever? Focus on these core areas.
The recipe to a happy relationship
1. A pinch of quality time
Keeping things fresh is key to maintaining a long-term relationship. One of the best ways to do that? Spend time together. The more frequent your dates – which can range from simple to exciting – the stronger your relationship. Fitness workouts, couples therapy and one-on-one time have all been shown to increase happiness levels in couples. Be sure to make time for each other at least a few times a week to talk, cook, dine at a restaurant, or just hang out together.
2. A zest for love languages
Expressing gratitude, appreciation and love is something many people forget to do on a regular basis, especially as they settle into a relationship. This doesn’t mean you have to recognise or acknowledge everything verbally – you can show your appreciation in various ways. Just understand your partner’s love language so you can get on the same wavelength. Words of acknowledgement are great, but so are little favours, gifts, or even a kiss!
3. A dollop of space for growth
Change is inevitable over the years. Give yourself and your partner time and space to grow as your relationship matures. This might mean adapting to new habits and behaviours, especially after big life events. Being open with your partner about what you’re working on and the challenges you’re experiencing can be hard but it’ll help your relationship in the long term.
4. A mix of happy moments and healthy conflicts
We’d all love to let the good times roll, but disagreements are a natural part of relationships. At some point, you’ll have a conflict, and you’ll need a proper way to resolve it. Building healthy conflict resolution practices can be challenging, so discuss them with your partner. Tip: avoid blaming the other person – instead, try to understand where they’re coming from. Be open to admitting you’re wrong and apologising. Focus on the future, not the past.
5. A sprinkle of regular check-ins
This can help solve loads of problems in relationships before they arise. Making time to talk about the relationship is a great way to bring up any concerns or issues. It’ll also give you an opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation. You can do this during date night or as a regular session.
6. The right blend of boundaries and privacy
Sometimes it can be hard to fully trust your partner, especially if you’ve been burned before. However, solid relationships have clear boundaries. Even though modern technology can enable you to track your partner’s every move, that doesn’t mean you should. To build up mutual trust, respect boundaries and don’t push each other to do anything you’re not comfortable with.
Relationship deal breakers to watch out for
It’s more of a fizzle than a sizzle
A long-lasting relationship is built on mutual interest. If your partner is overly critical or makes you feel unattractive, it can be a deal breaker. This is also true if they only want to talk about themselves and never show any interest in you, your day, or your friends and family. Don’t let someone make you feel like you’re not worth the effort.
The differences drive you apart
Small clashes in opinion are expected (even encouraged!) in most relationships. But if you disagree on fundamental values, it’s probably not going to work out. Contrasting opinions on big topics you’re deeply passionate about – like politics, religion, moral issues or career choices – can be a big deal breaker.
It’s like talking to a wall
One of the most important aspects of a happy relationship is having a partner who listens to you when you address concerns. Don’t let them invalidate you. If you’ve brought up issues that aren’t being addressed and worked on by your partner, it might be time to examine the relationship.
Abuse: The ultimate red flag
Whether it’s physical, mental, emotional or sexual, abuse is never okay. It can be incredibly difficult to leave an abusive relationship, and many people don’t even realise they’re in one. If you think your partner shows abusive tendencies, reach out for help and talk to an expert right away.
Building a happy relationship can be hard; it takes a lot of consistent work and effort from both partners. Keeping these tips in mind can help you build the foundation for a fantastic relationship that lasts a lifetime.