How do you make love last? How do you stay happy with the same person for 10 years? 20 years? 50 years?! The answer is simple. You have to work really hard.
Often people take their loved ones for granted. So much so that we get lazy, we assume the other person can read our minds and that they have the same needs as us. Mix all of this up for 5 years, under a single roof, on a queen size bed, and you have a pot boiling over with resentment, anger, disappointment and above all — pain.
So how do you make love last? How do you stay strong enough to make the relationship work? Here are a few tips every couple could use to wade through the years:
Remember the days when you couldn’t let go of each other. When taking a drive your hand would be on the gear or on his thigh. As time goes and the years add up, we forget about the smallest things that make the most difference. Touch has been shown to increase the levels of oxytoxin in the brain, can help enhance development in children and can also heal. Make it a point to hug or show some form of affection at least once a day.
When I say quality, I mean alone time together. No kids, no tv, no interference. Spend an afternoon taking a walk on the beach, learning a new skill together or just to catch up whilst having coffee or dinner. We make time to catch up with our friends, why not do it you’re your loved one. Often couples can live separate lives with no connection from the other person because life can get so busy. Even if you have to schedule a date with your loved one, put it in a diary, send out email reminders -- do it. The effort is worth it.
Talk about how you feel, talk about your thoughts and your needs. Also LISTEN to your loved one and hear what they say, rather than what you think they are saying. It is also imperative that we take responsibility for our feelings and allow the other person the same opportunity. We often have feelings and then blame others for feeling that way, which can create an explosive argument. Remember, if we do not communicate our feelings, how is the other person to know what we feel.
A committed relationship, a marriage, lasting love is no Disney fairytale. It’s filled with ups and downs, hugs and tears, highs and lows. Be prepared for bad days because they will happen, but have the courage and the faith in your relationship that they will end and the good days will come. Equip yourself with good memories to last you through the rough patches, believe in the power of communication and make the effort to persevere towards happiness.