Anyone who has been in a long-term relationship knows that it takes hard work! After the initial honeymoon phase wears off, you’re often hit with the harsh reality that relationships aren’t all flowers and rainbows. You tend to realize that maybe you don’t have as much in common as you initially thought, you start bickering easily over the little things, you don’t make as much time for each other anymore, and things may not be as steamy as they were in the beginning.
There may be a ton of reasons why you think you should break up, but on the other hand there may be a ton of reasons why you guys could be the ultimate power couple. So how do you make it work? To be in a successful long-term relationship, it requires you to wake up each morning and make an intentional choice to continue loving your partner and being in a relationship with them. Once you make that choice, it’s up to you to put in the work to make your relationship successful.
Today I’m breaking down my 5 Keys to a Successful Relationship. Keep reading below to find out more!
1. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how often couples fail to truly communicate with each other. This doesn’t mean that you have to spend half an hour each day talking about what you had for lunch, but it can be as simple as asking your partner how their day was, what their favourite part of your latest date night was, or can be as deep as asking how they feel about the current state of your relationship. Intentional communication is critical here and is often overlooked – ask questions with a purpose and actually listen to what your partner has to say. Intentional communication creates an environment that allows you and your partner to feel comfortable opening up to one another when something is really on your minds. This is so important, because you want your partner to be able to express their needs and wants at all times so that they are never left feeling unfulfilled in any way, and vice versa.
2. Know when to back down in an argument.
It’s so easy when we get into a disagreement with our loved ones to automatically jump into defense mode. But are we always the right one? Probably not. A great way to diffuse an argument or disagreement is to let your partner know that their feelings are important to you. Even if you are the “right one”, if they are really upset about something, even if it is due to a misunderstanding, your first priority should be to help them work through their feelings rather than defending yourself. This simple gesture goes a long way in creating a safe and secure environment in which your partner can feel free to feel whatever emotions they may have. Of course, you want to feel just as secure in being able to express yourself as well. If you are genuinely upset or hurt, you should be able to share your feelings and know that your partner genuinely cares. Being able to put each other’s feelings first rather than focussing on winning the argument is a huge component to a successful relationship.
3. Be intimate with each other.
I have to admit that I am not a fan of public displays of affection, in fact, I have a hard time showing physical affection in general. But I have definitely learned that physical intimacy is a key part of a healthy relationship. This doesn’t necessarily mean jumping into bed together; sometimes all it takes is a single touch to say a thousand words. This can be as easy as holding hands, caressing your partner’s face, sneaking a kiss when no one is looking, or even sneaking in a touch under the table while you’re out to dinner. Although they may seem insignificant, sometimes an intimate touch is all you need to spark the fire that may have fizzled out. Remember, physical intimacy in a relationship is just as important as emotional intimacy, so you definitely want to keep that fire burning!
4. Embrace your differences.
Being in a relationship with someone who is completely the opposite of me, I always worried that we didn’t have enough in common and that the lack of similar interests would eventually drive us apart. I couldn’t have been more wrong! The best part of being with someone who has different interests than us is getting to see the world through their eyes and experiencing things that excite them but that we never would have tried before. I’m not suggesting that you force yourself to love everything that they love, or even that you have to participate in all of the things they want to partake in. Instead I’m suggesting that you show your love and support for them by occasionally joining them in whatever it may be and being fully open to the new experience. You may end up loving it and finding a new common interest, but at the very least you’ve shown them how much you love them by being supportive of their interests. The ability to embrace your differences and share that part of your lives with your partner will strengthen your relationship in so many ways.
5. Be true to yourselves.
If you take anything away from this blog post, I hope it’s this. Always stay true to yourself in any relationship you are in. While a relationship does take a lot of hard work, and requires each partner to compromise on certain things such as your daily habits, you should never have to compromise your personal values and beliefs. If someone is asking you to compromise your personal values in order to make a relationship work, then maybe that relationship just isn’t for you. Similarly, sometimes we can tell that a relationship is extremely toxic to our well-being and is taking a huge toll on our emotional and mental health but we are so convinced that that specific person is our soul mate so we do whatever it takes to make it work. This is compromising yourself because you are essentially saying that your emotional and mental health aren’t important as long as you are in that specific relationship. No relationship is worth that. You are important. Your well-being is important. As much as it may hurt, it is better to leave a relationship than to compromise your values, beliefs, and emotional health. Being able to stay true to yourself is a critical component in creating a healthy and successful relationship.
So there you have it – my 5 keys to a successful relationship! I hope these 5 keys will help to improve and strengthen your relationship, because they definitely did for me. When I started implicating these 5 keys, my fiancé and I grew even closer to one another and we saw huge changes in our relationship.
What other things do you find help to make your relationship a success? Share them down below!