Wondering how to make a relationship last? Remember your dream, don’t get caught up in challenges, and pursue your long-term goals.
In the beginning of our relationships it’s easy to imagine a wonderful life together. You remember this moment, when you see everything you think you will need to make you happy; house, yard, picket fence, two children, or what ever your dream was. You remember your vision. It’s the one that belongs just to you and it’s perfect.
When we meet our “right” person, all of our dreams of a wonderful life together start swirling around in our head. We think to ourselves, “Wow this is the one. I will just fit this one into my dream. Wow they fit! How amazing is that!”
How to Make a Relationship Last Beyond the Honeymoon Period
And that’s how it feels for the first few months, maybe a year, maybe a year and a half. That’s the “honeymoon” stage of a new relationship. Often people will end relationships after this amount of time because it just doesn’t feel as good as it used to.
But if you are in a relationship for the long haul, or you want to see if the one you are in can work out, you are not alone if sometimes you doubt you will ever live inside your dream. Most people in a long term relationship, beyond the first two years, experience some sort of disappointment that things just might not turn out as rosy as they had hoped.
I believe the reason people lose hope or modify their expectations is because they often feel misunderstood and they sometimes don’t see eye to eye with their mate. These experiences lead people to believe their relationship is not as great as it could be.
Communication Skills That Help Make a Relationship Last
As a couple’s counselor I work with people in all stages of relationships. I like to help people learn some basic skills to alleviate some of the miscommunication. Often we just are different from our mate or we just haven’t discovered a way of asking or suggesting that the other person can hear us. And learning new techniques is really just adding a new skill to the stuff we already know.
We know how to be polite to strangers. How many times though do we lapse into harsh language with the person we plan to spend the rest of our lives with. Sometimes it just takes slowing down and thinking of the other person before we express ourselves. Learning new skills can also include becoming aware of how a person’s behavior impacts the one we love. This one step alone can relieve so much stress in a relationship.
Make Your Relationship Last by Maintaining Perspective
And here’s one more thing that really can make a difference. All people want to be happy. Unfortunately when we entwine ourselves with another and occupy the same space we are bound to see things differently and that can create problems. So understand that EVERYONE gets pushed out of joint sometime in a relationship. That’s not unique. What people who last know though, is that it’s going to get better. They keep their eye on the prize, they see the goal post. They know that relationships are full of the unexpected, and they are in it with their partner for the long haul.
So the next time you feel misunderstood, or get your feelings hurt, try and have another thought about how the two of you are a team, you are traveling this wonderful human journey together, you love your person and they love you. Now those thoughts can be good for a lifetime.
Want Even More Ways to Make a Relationship Last?
Read a Book with Communication Tips to Help Make Your Relationship Last
Can’t make it on Monday? You can learn more about how to make a relationship last by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It’s full of relationship advice, including tips on how to improve communication in your relationship. It may help you keep perspective, communicate better, and enjoy your happiest relationship yet. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.