If you clicked on this article, you’re probably in a relationship, and you’re wondering if you’re on the right track. Or perhaps you’ve had a couple of bad relationships in the past, and you’re not sure why it ended up in flames? In any case, by the end of it, you’ll know how to make your relationship flourish.
But before we got the answer of what makes a relationship last…
Relationship Red Flags
You’ve got nothing to talk about
There’s a phenomenon that I call “the intermediate honky ponky”. This appears when there’s a physical attraction between two people, but the emotional connection just isn’t there. So if you’re in such a relationship, consider this a red flag.
I know that the passion you experience is genuine. But is it going to take you far? No.
If you’re still not convinced, ask yourself this question – Can you imagine spending your life with someone that you’ve got nothing in common?
You can’t tell him how you feel
This has happened to me before. I had a relationship in college with this really smart and handsome guy. But he was also stubborn, and it was hard for him to admit that he was wrong. So sometimes, when I felt like he was putting me down, I couldn’t express my true feelings. And being with somebody that you can’t be honest with is torture.
So if you feel like you can’t be vulnerable with him, you should probably evaluate if it’s worth it to invest time in that relationship. If you don’t break up before it’s too late, you’ll likely close in yourself.
He doesn’t try to get along with your family
Red flag number 3 is for all the girls out there that shiver every time their boyfriend and their family have to meet. Keep in mind that it’s okay if he doesn’t like your family. After all, family relationships are complicated. Sometimes we don’t even get along with our families. But it’s another thing if he doesn’t even try to get along with them.
If you’ve made it this far in the article without checking any of those red flags – congratulations! Your relationship might last. But doing the bare minimum doesn’t always lead to a long-lasting relationship.
So even if you have a lot in common, you can tell him how you feel, and he makes effort into getting along with your family often, that’s not enough. So what actually makes a relationship last? Let’s find out.
What Makes a Relationship Last?
Here are other things to consider that you must cultivate if you want your relationship to last.
Communication is paramount to growth. I repeat – communication is paramount to growth.
If there’s one thing you and your partner should constantly work on is how to communicate with each other effectively. It’s essential for building a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship.
Keep in mind that for some men, it’s challenging to communicate their feelings. Emotionally available men with excellent verbal skills and the ability for self-expression are rare. So give him some time. If you see that he’s struggling with finding the words, help him out.
Also, if you notice that he tends to close up when he doesn’t know how to communicate, give him space. Don’t push him. You’ll figure it out together with time. What’s important is to find common ground no matter how much time it takes.
Compassion and love are two different things. So how do you make a distinction between them? Here’s what The Dalai Lama has to say on the subject:
“Compassion is the wish for another being to be free from suffering; love is wanting them to have happiness.”
So while you might feel a strong connection, that doesn’t mean you’re compassionate.
The first step to creating a relationship full of compassion is to seek out the positive. It’s normal to have pet peeves, but sometimes they can cause you to lose your temper. If you ever find yourself annoyed by your partner, shift your focus to the things you love about them.
I’m not implying that you should ignore all of their flaws. I’m simply suggesting that you should create a safe space where they’re able to grow. Give advice when asked for and be truthful even when it comes to sensitive topics. Try to understand their point of view and listen with intent.
Respect means that you accept somebody for who they are even if you disagree with them. If you treat each other with respect, you’ll have a long-lasting relationship. But keep in mind that respect doesn’t always come naturally to people. It’s something you learn.
In respectful relationships, partners are equal. This means that neither partner has “authority” over the other. You should both be able to live your lives freely and make your own decisions.
While it’s normal to have arguments every once in a while, you should still treat your partner with respect. Name-calling, accusations, and getting defensive are out of the question. Fight fair and be respectful. This is what will cultivate your relationship.
Ability to listen and understand
Listening doesn’t always mean being interested in what your partner has to say. Be an active listener. Pay attention to their body language. Keep eye contact and ask questions. If they share something that has been bothering them pay attention to that and make them feel heard.
You should receive the same amount of attention in return. Your partner should be able to listen and understand you. And this is what makes a good relationship last.
In the beginning, every relationship seems like you’re in a rom-com. Also known as the “honeymoon phase,” the early part of the relationship is where everything seems carefree and happy. Marked with lots of laughs, intimacy, and fun dates, the honeymoon phase might be damaging for the relationship (ironically enough).
There comes a moment where things start to get serious. And you won’t always agree with each other. This is when you should start making compromises—compromising is giving up something to reach a place of understanding with your partner. Basically, you’re meeting in the middle.
But why is it important? Well, compromise is a sign that your relationship is more important than your ego. It helps to build trust and keep the balance between you. If you’re both able to make compromises, it means you’re in it for the long run.
Setting goals in a relationship is important. It’s even more important to have common goals. A healthy, forward-moving relationship involves striving for mutual objectives. Whether that means having children or focusing on your careers while giving each other enough space to grow, setting goals ensures that you’re on the same page.
You have to work as a team. Relationships that last have clear goals that help them to clarify where they’re going with it. That’s the only way you can actively improve the future that you plan to share.
The most satisfying type of relationship is one where you support each other most genuinely. But what does it mean to have a supportive partner? Well, if he encourages you to be the best version of yourself without trying to change you, then consider yourself in a healthy, supportive relationship.
In some cases, your partner doesn’t fully understand what you’re doing. For example, I’ve been trying to sell my art pieces on Etsy for the past few months. My boyfriend, the theoretical and noncreative person, doesn’t fully understand why it means so much to me. But he’s incredibly supportive, and he admires me for escaping my comfort zone.
So pay attention to how he behaves when you’re talking about your dreams and goals. And remember that it’s important to support his goals as well.
Relationships require hard work and a long-term perspective. But at the end of the day, it’s the small things that matter. Small gestures are reminders of the values and care that your partner brings. It’s the little things that make a relationship successful.
Small gestures should come from the heart. You can’t force him to make small things count. Here’s what my sister said the other day:
“I want him to buy me flowers, but I don’t want to tell him to buy me flowers because then he’ll buy me flowers because I told him to, and I want him to want to buy me flowers.”
Ability to stay together in silence with no pressure
Life can get boring sometimes. And especially if you live together, there will come a point where there won’t really be anything to talk about. Maybe you’re just tired after work, or perhaps you need some peace and quiet to recharge? You know your relationship will last if you can be in the same room without communicating and still feel comfortable with each other.
The same goes for most friendships. If you can spend time together without feeling pressured to fill up the silence with words, then you feel entirely comfortable with the person. And before all else, your boyfriend must be your best friend. And that’s how you know you’ll last.
You need to share common values if you want your relationship to remain healthy and long-lasting. Those fundamental beliefs are guiding principles that dictate the future of your relationship. Trust, loyalty, and honesty are just examples of the values you need to be maintaining as a couple. And they also relate to one of our previous points about mutual goals.
There you have it. Now you know the secrets of lasting relationships.
Having those things will help you to create a healthy and understanding relationship. But remember that if you don’t maintain them, it might be all for nothing. So how do you do that? What can you do to ensure the future of your partnership by maintaining it?
What Can You Do To Make Your Relationship Last?
Let’s make one thing clear. A great relationship should be a safe place for both people to love and respect one another. It shouldn’t be a one-sided effort. Or as my favorite person, Robin Williams, put it:
“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.”
Simply said – you must both be able to work on the relationship. After all, a partnership is a vehicle with no passenger seats – you’re both the protagonists of your own story.
But what if you’re feeling that you’re not doing enough? What if you want to be a better partner and maintain the healthy relationship that you already have?
Don’t worry; I got you.
For me, it has always been hard to synchronize my behavior with my partner’s. Achieving harmony can be challenging especially if you have a large personality (like me).
I’ve been hurt (a lot) in the past, and I’ve gotten my heart broken one too many times. This made me sort of scared of relationships. I tend to close up, and I sometimes even become rather cold with my partners.
At the same time, I’ve also had some amazing boyfriends. And I’m not ashamed to admit that it was my fault that we broke up in those cases. I was unfairly mean to them, and to put it quite frankly, I was behaving like a bitch sometimes.
So based on my personal experience, here’s what you can do to make your relationship last for good.
We all want the perfect boyfriend, and for all of us, this definition is different. Some women want a caring and supportive guy by their side that’ll provide them with tons of attention. Others are looking for a partner that provides them with plenty of space. But regardless of your needs, you need to keep your expectations realistic.
You can’t expect your partner to be perfect. You need to be understanding of his flaws because we’re all humans, and we can’t be flawless. If it’s important for you that he showers you with attention, then make it clear from the very beginning and don’t continue the relationship if he can’t provide you with it. But don’t expect a cold man to go out of his way to fulfill your needs.
To sum up – set realistic expectations. Affection is reasonable; perfection is not.
Ask for help
The same goes for the other way around. If you feel like he’s not satisfied and don’t know how to make him happy, ask for help. Express your worries with him and be honest. Tell him that he needs to guide you, and you need to work together as a team.
Relationships are challenging. They require hard work and dedication. And it’s perfectly normal to experience difficulties. What’s important is to ask for help when you’re in doubt. And I know it can be hard sometimes. But get over your ego and seek support.
Forgiveness can help you feel more satisfied in your relationship. Practicing forgiveness is the key to avoiding problems, disagreements, conflicts, and annoyance. You might even come out as a stronger couple if you learn to practice forgiveness. To be more forgiving, you need to let go of grudges, suppress your desire for revenge, and abandon your bitterness. Instead, you need to shift your mindset into being more positive and empathetic towards your partner.
Don’t get me wrong. That doesn’t mean you have to excuse any disrespectful actions. It simply suggests that you should try to understand why your partner fails to realize his mistake.
And before all else, you need to practice forgiveness towards yourself. You need to be kind to yourself and project that emotion on your partner. And remember – forgiveness is an important gear in your relationship clock.
A media major graduate with a knack for writing who loves to dive into people’s psyches. My goal? To educate as many people as possible about eye-opening insights on love and relationships based on my own experience.