We all have various goals in life, from successful careers to a rich portfolio of travel memories, but if we dare to dive deep into our soul, it all boils down to one common truth – finding that special someone to grow old with, someone to share yourself at your worst and your best, and to build a bond which challenges can only empower, but never break. It’s the safe harbor that still carries the spirit of adventure and thrill, with no expiration date, and the one constant that persists in the face of turmoil.
However, while there is no single templated solution for each and every relationship to last forever, there are five habits that are certain to help you find the right path. These choices are not restricted to romantic love, but are building blocks of any healthy, lasting relationship you wish to cherish in life.
Striving to be a better person and having realistic expectations from your partner is not the same as aiming for the impossible. Desperately wanting and needing perfection both from yourself and your partner can be a slow but certain relationship poison. It leads to misunderstandings, disappointment, unrealistic demands, and hurt that you don’t own up to since it’s hard to accept responsibility for mistakes.
Embrace your own fallibility, as well as that of your partner. It may take you time to start perceiving mistakes and errs of judgment as a normal part of the learning process, and an intrinsic part of the human experience. But once you start, you’ll understand that mistakes are gifts. Use them to improve your relationship, not place blame. Put them to work by learning from them, without the pressure to be that abstract form of non-existent perfection. Be perfect for your partner with all of your imperfections – and let them be the same for you.
Further Reading: 3 Reasons why Love is Not Enough for a Relationship
Nurture both differences and similarities
Being compatible in any way, shape, or form doesn’t mean that you should be completely the same. In fact, having different opinions, hobbies, preferences, and interests enriches a relationship as much as shared goals and common values give it an unbreakable foundation.
Of course, you can always do your best to stay open-minded and try some of the things your partner likes. Whether it’s joining a dance class, or trying your hand at origami they find so soothing, it may be your next go-to stress-relief. On the other hand, even if you don’t find all of those activities and opinions close to your heart, there’s no need to panic or see it as a negative aspect of your bond. On the contrary, these differences only add to your rich palette of colors and make your connection diverse.
No such thing as little acts of love
The grandiose and bold gestures sure get tons of attention from the Internet, and depending on your partner’s preferences, they might be appreciated in moderate amounts. However, it’s the little things, that are actually far from “little” or insignificant, that make up the fabric of a lasting bond. Everything from how you surprise them with a batch of Sunday pancakes, all the way to sitting down and creating the perfect wedding invitations for your special day, these moments define your relationship.
These everyday choices become increasingly important over time, as they allow you to have those moments of intimacy that don’t require significant effort, but still manage to turn around someone’s day and make your loved one smile. Finding small ways to make them happy, celebrate your love, and enjoy the present moment with you plays a great role in creating a love that lasts.
Further Reading: 8 Hacks To Keep Your Relationship Alive
Respect and truth
Whether you feel the need to protect your partner from a harsh truth, you might be tempted to hide it for as long as possible. However, the need for transparent communication is so much more than sparing yourself or them an uncomfortable situation. Being able to find a kind way to tell the truth every time, especially when it hurts, is a reflection of your respect for your partner.
The two go hand in hand, and since every lasting relationship goes through various ups and downs, meets and battles obstacles and issues, this attitude is the only one to help you not break under the pressure of life’s struggles.
Kindness comes first
Perhaps this can be seen as a sum of all the abovementioned ideas, or a separate and a final one that puts them in the right perspective – however you choose to look at it, remember that everything you do should come from kindness and love. Clearing your bond of spite, game-playing, or resentful behavior means that making even the toughest choices is done with the well-being of your partner in mind.
Kindness has many faces, so don’t forget that even the most difficult truths can be shared with kindness and that even in the most challenging situations when you confront your partner in a conflict – you can articulate your arguments and express yourself with your love as the guiding star. When you start a dialogue with a desire to resolve an issue, and not just “be right”, it means that kindness is at play.
Further Reading: 10 Long-Term Relationship Hacks That Work Like A Charm
Even though you cannot just transform overnight into someone who practices these essential five habits, you can make a promise to yourself and your partner that you’ll do your best to build this caring mindset and cherish your bond with every step you take together. And when you do make a mistake, forgive yourself, learn from it, and be kind to yourself and your partner – it’s the star stuff that true love is made of.