How do you know your relationship is meant to last? It’s not magic or destiny — it’s a combination of many factors. In the early stages of a relationship everything seems to work by itself. But once the shine of a new romance fades, it’s up to the individuals to work as a team to grow a relationship, like a tree that just gets stronger over time. Here are 10 tips for having, keeping, and nurturing a healthy long-term relationship.
Be on the same page about finances
Money is one of the big reasons people break up. There’s no “right” way to combine your lives financially; some couples keep separate accounts, and some merge them.
The important thing is that you should both be aware of how and what you’re doing. You should be working toward mutual goals as well as individual ones. And you should both know how good or bad your finances are. The last thing you want to be in the dark about in an emergency is money.
Learn to compromise
A true partnership is a two-way street. Learning to compromise is a major strategy. A wise strategy is to “pick your battles.” This means be willing to fight for what’s important and to let go of the little things.
Remember that your goal is to build for both of you, so keep that in mind. You should be willing to compromise, but in a healthy relationship, you won’t let yourself get steamrolled either. You don’t have to, and shouldn’t have to, sacrifice everything for your partner’s choices. Whatever you do, don’t keep score — you’re playing on the same team, after all.
Communication should go without saying, no pun intended. Keep your partner advised of what you’re doing and what you’re thinking. And listen to them tell you the same thing.
Sometimes it feels like we’re bothering them with unimportant stuff, but that’s not true. A proportional relationship is built with bricks of honesty: you can build a wall with them, or you can build a bridge. Guess which one makes for the stronger relationship.
Build a foundation of trust
Trusting your partner doesn’t just mean to trust them not to cheat on you. This means to trust that they care about you and that they’re working with you toward your shared goal of a long-lasting relationship. You should both be fully invested in building and keeping it.
If you can’t trust them with little things, do you really want to trust them with bigger responsibility? It’s better to learn how to maintain a relationship rather than trying to learn how to fix a relationship that’s broken.
Date each other
When building a long-lasting relationship, it’s important not to fall too much into routine. Remember in the early relationship stages when every date was a thrilling new adventure? Try to keep that attitude.
Go away together for a weekend, or just an afternoon. Surprise each other with little presents now and then. Treat every encounter like you’re still in that “impressing” stage, because you can never be too wonderful.