“Ask yourself what do I want to give to someone… (not) a list of what the other person needs to have, think in the reverse what do you want to bring to somebody…, what love do you want to put out into the world, it is better than the checklist (of what your partner must be) for you to be interested in them.” – Esther Perel
Last week we looked at the mistakes people make when embarking on long-term relationships, this here article is focused on the key things we must develop to keep our long-term relationship going stronger.
Some of the key things we must develop for a long-term relationship are:
- Gratitude and Admiration
- Relationship status check
- Shared Intimacy
Gratitude and Admiration
Gratitude is a simple please and thank you. Both should not fade as the relationship grow. You should admire your partner for their strengths and triumphs, not nagging them on their failures or inadequacy.
Acknowledge your partner’s presence in your life, go out your way to do things for them because it matters to them, even though you could not careless.
Acknowledge that they have a life outside you and they will need a lot of individual space to discover themselves and fulfil their individual goals. Do not monopolise their time, they too will want to hang with their friends and it will not endanger your relationship. No one person can fulfil all the need of another and a partner will want to spread their needs between you, friends and family.
Let them do their thing, you do not always have to be part of everything that concerns them, if they do not invite you, do not push.
Relationship Status Check
Relationships should be ever ready to morph with the present. What worked when you first started, will not work when you have kids, when you live together or a year or two down the line. Your relationship should be ready to reinvent itself, redefine itself and change along with the present trend and innovation.
Sit together once in a while to assess the relationship (maybe every six months, year or every three years), ask the question, how are we doing? Is there a need for a change? How have I fared in loving you? What has happened presently?
Go for a couple’s retreat with other couples to hear what is going on in the life of your neighbour.
Please note, it is an assessment session not an argument or defence session. You should go into it, willing to learn more about your partner and willing to change to suit the present.
After each session, do not nag your partner on how they are faring based on the last session, instead approach with love and understanding that change takes time.
Do not make your partner the one source of everything, share your intimacy across friends to liberate your partner on being your first choice of support on everything bothering you. Reason being, if you set such a high standard for your partner, they will fail. Before you met them you shared your intimacy across several people. Now that you are with someone, you cannot expect that same person to fill a gap that took for example three close friends and a parent to fill.
Before you go into any relationship for a long-term you and your partner must have similar values. This is important because other than the idea that opposite attract (which comes with excitement and fun), if your values differ after some time what was a source of excitement will become a source of conflict. You should accept your partner’s views and personality before embarking on a long-term relationship. Weigh their views on a long-term basis, for example because it does not bother you now on his religious stand does not mean it will not bother you tomorrow when you feel the need to pray together with someone and he chooses not to be the someone.
You need to be in a relationship with someone whom you share the same values, for example values on:
• Money (Savings and joint expense account)
• Independence and connection
• Emotional expressiveness
• Authority and power
Note: this article was written after listening to Ester Perel on Sexual Desire and Successful Relationships with Lewis Howes: http://lewishowes.com/podcast/esther-perel/.
picture by stokpic.com from www.pexels.com