5 Simple Keys to Lasting Relationships

Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you.

-Walter Winchell

So, you want to know the secrets of a lasting and loving relationship? The answers are much simpler than you think.

But, let me ask you a question before we get into this…

If you could ask your partner to change one thing, one habit that they have that drives you nuts what would it be?

Chances are if you’re like most people, then you thought of more than one. Right?

It’s ok. However, herein lies the first issue preventing you from a lasting and loving relationship. We are meant to add to our partner’s life and they are supposed to add to ours.

So, how can we avoid our basic nature to want to mold another into what we wish them to be and enjoy them for all that they are already?

5 ingredients of loving the one you’re with,

not who you want them to be

1. Open Communication: 

It’s perfectly normal to have a different opinion or preference to, well just about anything than your partner does. But, the first key to working through those differences is working together. The only way to do so is with open and honest communication.

Differences are what make us unique. They are also what draws us to another human being if you believe that. We are not entirely whole or completed alone. Like puzzle pieces, we’re meant to come together to form a bigger picture. So, when we find that missing piece we have to place ourselves just right to fit into harmony with one another.

Like puzzle pieces, we’re meant to come together to form a bigger picture. So, when we find that missing piece we have to place ourselves just right to fit into harmony with one another.

By communicating honestly and without judgment of the other, we compassionately accept the flaws in our mates, and hopefully they reciprocate that understanding. Calm, rational conversation, or a free flowing exchange of our likes and dislikes, our hopes and our fears without risk of ridicule is the essence of two souls coming together as one.

2. Gratitude & Praise:

We all like to know when something we have done is appreciated. For that matter, we are all worthy of that praise. Sometimes, we even vie for the adoring acknowledgment when it’s not due.

But, what about the other shoe? Do we give praise and express our gratitude for the things our partner does equally as much as we demand it from them? How often do the little things we do for one another go unnoticed?

When they do go without mention, do we say something to our lover or quietly ride it out? If we spent half as much time realizing the sacrifices we make for each other, instead of constantly trying to one-up the other we surely would find we get more praise by expressing our deepest gratitude for our significant other.

3. Forgiveness & Apology:

Times will come when we act foolishly or brash. We may make mistakes and whether the misstep was intentional or not, we need to admit them. Owning our follies and fuck-ups takes a serious depth of character, and it shows our counterpart that we can see how our actions upset the other.

The obvious follow-up to owning our mistakes is to apologize. Even when we don’t think we necessarily did anything that wrong or did not intend to hurt our mates, we need to accept that we did and make amends.

There are 3 parts to a proper apology

  • The first is owning our actions without excuse.
  • Next, is saying that we are sorry, without attempting to rationalize our fault.
  • The last is to make an effort at redeeming ourselves or making a declaration of amends.

If our partner has hurt us, it is normal to want to be angry. If they did something that hurt us it doesn’t seem to matter whether they intended to or not, it hurts just the same. But, holding grudges only makes for tit-for-tat battles in which nobody actually wins, and rarely do they get solved.

Instead, we must fight our urge to strike back or even to stay mad. We must accept their apology and offer forgiveness in order to work through troubled times. Now is the perfect time for that open and honest communication.

4. Let go of the past:

In order to give our mate a fair chance, we must let go of the past hurt caused by others. It seems many times we get into a new relationship without letting go of the last one completely.

Some of those scars can run deeper than we care to admit. We may not realize that they are even still with us. Yet, we might react harshly to criticism from our lover. We may get anxious when they exhibit familiar patterns of our ex’s. These knee-jerk reactions can be the source of much discomfort and many arguments.

If we are to make this partnership a loving and lasting relationship, then we must work to avoid falling into old patterns or reacting as though the other is doing something malicious, when in fact, they may not even be aware that their actions are causing us unease.

If we can calmly try to explain to our love the reasons why those actions make us uneasy without placing blame or aggression, then we can work past these old wounds and heal together. Similarly, if we have unearthed a skeleton from the closet of relationships past we need to practice compassion and empathy for our partner.

If both sides work openly without animosity, there is nothing that cannot be overcome.

5. Resolve problems as they arise:

All too often as a couple, we tend to get upset and things can get messy. After the smoke clears and both sides have calmed and realized that they maybe overreacted or said things to hurt the other, we must resist the urge to avoid having the talk about it.

The desire to return to happiness and loving adoration of each other sometimes moves us to sweep aside issues and ignore that they happened. This, however, is a grave mistake.

The unresolved issues of yesterday that are not resolved, only resurface further down the road. The next dispute becomes a back and forth of well you did this, and then you did that. Old wounds that are ripped open again severing our connection with each other.

My grandmother once said that the secret to my grandparents never ending love, was that they never went to bed angry. I believe this to be vital to a lasting and loving relationship.

Be the mate you wish the other to be

Tried and true, the secret to a loving and lasting relationship is to be the partner that we wish our partner to be. Communicate often and freely. Show affection every chance you get. And love each other beyond all differences.

Love the one you are with, not the one you wish them to be.


3 thoughts on “5 Simple Keys to Lasting Relationships”

  1. What a wonderful post. When my husband and I went to our pre-marriage counseling last year, a lot of this was discussed. We agreed to fight as fairly as possible, and talk to each other immediately if something is wrong or bothering us. We are going into our first year anniversary very happy!