Love isn’t easy. Just ask the countless songwriters, artists, and filmmakers who lament their love lives in their work: love is complicated, upsetting, scary, and — all too often — filled with conflict.
However, while love may be rough in some ways, it shouldn’t make us miserable. A bad relationship is often taxing for the people in it, and we are at our best when we are in a relationship that is supportive and full of great communication. The problem is that often, no one teaches us how to build relationships like that. Here, we’ll attempt to cover the basics in building a lasting and healthy relationship with your significant other.
The Keys to a Great Relationship
Every relationship has its ups and downs, and every couple has their disagreements. The world is full of advice for couples weathering these difficulties, but the experts tend to agree on a few key things that every couple needs. Communication looms large, as do related skills like conflict resolution. The ability to manage (and co-manage) stress and one’s own self is vital, too. Sex and romance matter throughout the length of a long-term relationship.
Communication is Key
Studies suggest that no other factors are as important to the health of a long-term relationship as communication and knowledge of one’s partner. Communication relates to every other aspect of a relationship, from romance and sex (you need to speak up if you’re not getting what you want!) to conflict resolution (“let’s talk it out”).
Make a point of attempting to communicate with your partner, even when it’s difficult. Make sure communication is a habit: pair it with rituals like meals together, bedtimes, and whatever other moments feel right. If you’re having trouble communicating, don’t be afraid to seek the help of a professional. A therapist can make it easier for you to share your feelings and thoughts. Consider couples therapy!
Managing the Tough Stuff
Stress is a part of life for everyone. Stress is hard on us, and it can affect our moods and our health. That’s why experts agree that life skills, self-management, and stress management are key in relationships. We need to be able to manage our own responsibilities and issues well enough to avoid being a burden on our partners, and we need to communicate well enough to make the inevitable stresses manageable within our relationships.
General stress-coping strategies can help here, as can communication. Couples worry and fight about money more than anything else, so work on a financial strategy and speak about money issues. Be open about money in your relationship, especially as it relates to the relationship itself: what are the expectations for nights out? What about an engagement ring? It’s not uncommon for couples to pick out engagement rings together, point out the experts behind custom engagement rings in Brisbane. Solutions like this show clear communication and shared understanding of financial and personal priorities.
Keeping the Spark Alive
Long-term love is about much, much more than fiery lust. However, romance and sex are basic human needs, and a relationship that neglects these things is one in serious danger.
It’s normal for couples to encounter changes in sexual chemistry, but the couples that are best-equipped to stay together will address such issues head-on. Don’t be afraid to spice things up. Role-playing, sex toys, and other new experiences can help bring back a sense of adventure and romance. Don’t think that sex toys are just for the ladies. There are mens sex toys, too.
Communication matters here once again. Be clear about what you want (and don’t want) in the bedroom and in your romantic life. Don’t be afraid to bring a therapist in on the discussion, too! When you and your partner are open and communicating, you can conquer anything that fate sends your way.