Monogamy is sometimes underrated although a strong long-lasting partnership gives one a deep sense of security, a feeling of confidence, and a stable sense of being able to be successful at work and love. The high divorce rate puts many in doubt, yet the remaining strong percentage of long relationships can ease that worry. But how does one achieve this loving goal?
10 Helpful Hints for Developing a Secure Long Lasting Relationship
1. After the first blush of attraction, it is important for two people to get to know each other by not only developing shared interests but by respecting interests that are different.
2. Learning how to give each other both closeness and privacy is essential. During one’s twenties, thirties, and forties and beyond, we all develop daily habits of living. Some of us need more or less time alone or togetherness that need to be recognized and sometimes compromised to show that we care about the others’ needs.
3. When difficulties occur outside the relationship such as at work or with other friendships, it’s important for one’s partner to be fully attentive to their partner’s angst. Nonjudgmental listening to the difficulty shows you care rather than giving curt, quick solutions. It’s common to want to give advice, but sometimes a sounding board is needed first before options for solving problems are discussed.
4. Mutuality is key. This means that empathy for ones feelings and shifting moods are highly regarded. When one person’s behavior seems out of sorts it’s important to take that behavior as a communication that something’s off kilter. Think of the behavior as a message that needs to be decoded by nonjudgmental conversation and patience.
5. Ah, patience! Impulsive reactions and overreactions need to be guarded against. Sometimes we say things in jest or don’t filter our thoughts and speak too quickly leading to misinterpretations of intentions that create friction. Listen to each other’s understanding of what was done or said and then clear up the misinterpretations quickly before they grow.
6. Spend time together. With complicated and busy lives it’s important to make sure the relationship is a priority. Everyone needs to feel important to their loved one and time spent generously reminds each of us how essential we are to each other.
7. Praise each other. In long term relationships assumptions are made that we love and respect each other, but saying that you admire your partner in specific detailed ways goes far in letting your partner know how you value what they do and say.
8. Respect each other. Don’t allow time to go by without showing respect by minding your tone of voice, the words you use to ask things of each other, the complaints you may need to voice in kind ways, and the gestures you use while explaining what’s on your mind. Telling each other that you feel this respect needs to be said clearly and openly sometimes, not just assumed.
9. Encourage each other to take on new ventures. If your partner believes in your abilities, it strengthens your belief in yourself. Self-doubts are assuaged and new learning occurs that improves your well-being and in turn adds to that respect you have for one another.
10. Sometimes people warn against trying to change one another, yet change is part of life. If there is something bothersome about your partner, share it in a kind way without sounding critical. Maybe you can come up with options that make changes possible inch by inch so your compatibility is strengthened in the long run and compromises are reached.
The key to a long lasting relationship is the ability to grow and grow up together. Express gratefulness to each other. Accept both one’s strengths and weaknesses bolstering each other when needed.
Carry the expectation that you will work through the hard times rather than expect things to always go smoothly. We all have flaws and foibles and idiosyncrasies that need to be accepted to live a full life together. Remembering as well what attracts each other, what raises each other’s self-esteem, and how to show and speak of love generously without just making assumptions helps a great deal.
If you are earnest about growing together the relationship lasts and with love like that there is a great deal of security and hopefulness about life.
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst and author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Familius and wherever books are sold. Visit her website at http://lauriehollmanphd.com.
Originally published at medium.com