by Millette Jones originally published on The Good Men Project
A strong, lasting relationship is not always easy, but it is possible.
Don’t use that time to think about what you are going to say next.
Men who have had failed relationships know that no matter how good it is at the beginning, over time, things change. The intensity can fade, partners can grow complacent, and little irritations can become major resentments. However, there are ways to keep a relationship on solid ground and it is not as hard as you think.
Make Communication a Priority
Talk. Talk without distractions. And listen. Really listen. Don’t use that time to think about what you are going to say next. When you practice this way of communicating, you will be light years ahead of the game.
Navigate Successfully through Conflict
Understand that conflict is natural and will happen. How you work through it will affect the longevity of your relationship. Don’t wait until you are ready to blow up or are full of resentment before you talk about issues. Approach all conflict with the mindset of finding a solution you can both be happy with, not winning.
Keep Your Identity
You both need time away from the relationship. Whether that time is spent with your individual friends or in pursuit of individual hobbies, make it a point to have time to yourself. By doing this, you will each appreciate the time you spend together even more.
Being accepted exactly as you are is unconditional love. You can act silly or goofy or slightly weird, and it is OK. She can make a poor decision. You can try and fail. She can succeed and get a big head. Loving unconditionally allows you both to experience all of life’s up and downs and know that you will stick together and give each other the space to make adjustments, learn, grow and change without judgment.
For most couples, being intimate and affectionate is easy in the beginning. Over time, that part of the relationship tends to be less of a priority. Keep in mind that affection and sex are an important aspect of a successful relationship. Feeling connected to her not only feels good, but it is good for your health too. Snuggling, touching, kissing, hugging, and sex need to stay a top priority if you want your relationship to last.
Show Your Gratitude
When you find yourself thinking about how lucky you are to have her in your life, tell her. Verbalizing those feelings will not only make her feel good, but it also lets her know you are not taking the relationship for granted.
Take time to invest in your well-being. Maintain your health, do work you love, nurture your friendships and family relationships, and indulge in personal pursuits. By cultivating a healthy life, you will be more present and available for her.
Grow and Evolve
Life is all about change. Nothing stays the same for long, including people. When you strive to learn and grow and encourage that in her as well, the relationship will continue to evolve.
Have Complimentary Life Goals
You will not have identical priorities, yet being in alignment with her on your most important values and goals is good for the relationship. When the two of you have your top priorities in common, it is far easier to respect the differences.
Make the Relationship a Priority
Spend time together. Create emotional intimacy. Enjoy each other. Have sex. Have fun. Take trips. Make sure you do not allow day-to-day obligations to take over. In a strong relationship, no one questions whether the relationship is important to the other person.
A strong, lasting relationship does not happen by chance. If you are committed to keeping your relationship rock solid, use these techniques to improve your connection with your partner.
Photo Credit- Garry Wilmore