5 Years and Counting: Make Your Relationship Last

I have been fortunate to find love at the age of 17 and now that I am almost 22, I’m still amazed at the fact that I’m still very much in love. Most people ask how I do it. After being in a long-term relationship, I can definitely tell you five things that are guaranteed to keep your relationship thriving.

1. Understanding

As we get older, our reasons for dating change. We start looking for an ideal partner with a certain type of quality, someone we can see ourselves with years from now. Once we find that person, an understanding emerges. A mutual understanding of what each other wants from the relationship and their significant other should be established early. This leaves no room for mis-communication or misunderstandings that can potentially harm the relationship. Once that understanding is agreed upon the relationship can move forward. If no common ground can be met, then end it.

2. Acceptance

As you move forward in your relationship, your significant other starts to reveal more and more about themselves. Naturally, some of those things may not be to your liking, but you have to remember that those things that you may not like about them is a part of who they are. The sooner you accept that the better things will be. If you can’t accept it, then staying with that person is going to always be a problem because what you see as a flaw is going to cause future frustration or arguments.

3. Space

Just because you are in a relationship doesn’t mean that you have to be attached at the hip. You need to keep your usual girl time with your besties and let him go out with his bros. When you’re constantly together you can start neglecting other aspects of your life and the things that make you two individuals start to disappear. You start to get bored with each other and run out of things to talk about. So remember to give each other space. It makes those date nights and quality time that you do spend together even better.

4. Dating Each Other

When the relationship starts, the dates shouldn’t stop. Dating keeps the relationship fresh. Create memories together, take trips together, go to concerts, go skydiving, and have fun. When life starts becoming too much of a routine, so does the relationship. Plan date nights and alternate date ideas or be spontaneous and have a random outing together. Bottom line: the dating does not stop. Unless, that is, you want a boring relationship without any excitement.

5. Unconditional Love

There comes a point in time when the “honeymoon phase” comes to an end and as  things start getting…well, real. You find yourself and your significant other bickering about everything from someone eating the last of the cereal to someone not picking up after themselves. At the end of the day, we can all agree the majority of our arguments are petty. That’s where unconditional love comes in. No matter how angry he or she makes you, no matter how big the argument got, unconditional love allows you to forgive and move forwards. Unconditional love allows you to fight for what you want. It’s essential to any healthy relationship and should be deeply valued.

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