by Harriet Bond
(San Francisco, CA, USA)
You and your partner have been going strong for a long time now and sure, there have been some trials and tribulations but for the most part you are happy right? Many relationships start off well and even weather the inevitable obstacles that life throws at them but any good relationship takes time, care and love in the long-term.
How do you get your happily ever after? With a lot of hard work, respect and communication. But people always say that so let’s look at some specific and practical tips for maintaining a great relationship.
Take a Break
Are you doing everything together? Co dependency may be masked as love at first but as time goes by, it’s important that each of you has space to breathe. You don’t have to do everything together. It is healthy for you to at least have some separate interests and pastimes that don’t necessarily involve one another.
This is also a great opportunity for you to nurture your support system and spend some time with your friends and family. They want to see you too! Do you have something you like to do alone? Why not go for a run with the dogs and kill two birds with one stone. Whatever it is that interests you, it’s important for you to build on that as well.
Pinpoint Something Loveable
There will be times when you fight or he irritates you so much for a few days in a row for example. These are times when it helps to have something positive to focus on. Yes, it may be annoying that he never closes the kitchen cupboard or that he can’t seem to stop using your razor/hairbrush/facewash but that is easily solved through a conversation and a change of habit.
It shouldn’t overshadow his adorable smile, small but loving gestures and of course his rock hard abs (again for example). At the end of the day, you still love him. You’d be annoyed with anyone if you were around them in close quarters so much of the time.
Recognize His Strengths
Men love to be appreciated. Scrap that, we all do but so often we overlook the amazing things that our partners do. At first, it probably won’t bother them too much but after awhile it can become a sore point from both sides. As you grow together, so your partner grows on his own. Recognize his existing and developing strengths. Now this doesn’t mean simply throwing out compliments every chance you get as this will seem forced and insincere.
It is simply about acknowledging the good things about your partner and occasionally mentioning it so that he knows that you know.
The temptation will also exist to acknowledge his weaknesses and there is nothing wrong with this but weaknesses are something to be worked on. Encourage him when you see that he is trying to change certain negative behaviors instead of rehashing the past. If you continue to love and respect one another, you should be fine in the long run. One way or another.