Love, Advice, Wellness

How to maintain a healthy, long-lasting relationship

The ultimate guide to long-term relationships.

I’ll admit, I have had more short term relationships than long ones throughout my dating career. But although I’m not a relationship guru, I have learned to detect patterns in my longer relationships that have worked to maintain a healthy, long term relationship with your significant other.

Absence does make the heart grow fonder

Man and woman both wearing white shirts hugging tightly.
[Image description: Man and woman both wearing white shirts hugging tightly.] Via Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash

I’m personally not a huge fan of long distance relationships, but I find a fair amount of distance from your partner necessary. If you’re spending time with your significant other 24/7, I guarantee you’ll get sick of them really soon. Trust me on this one. Instead of meeting up every single day, try once or twice a week. You will be able to appreciate your partner more after you have missed them for a short amount of time. Unless your situation is inevitable, I would not be too keen on starting a long distance relationship — too much distance may result in a dulling of absent feeling.

Talk things out

Two Caucasian women sitting on a bed smiling and looking down at a phone.
[Image description: Two Caucasian women sitting on a bed smiling and looking down at a phone.] Via Rawpixel on Unsplash

If there is something that’s bothering you, spill it. Tell your SO exactly how you felt and what upset you. Don’t keep it in — that’s neither good for your mental health nor your relationship. If you calmly let your partner know what you are thinking (it’s hard, but don’t get sassy or emotional), I promise you that you’ll be fighting less.

If you’re not talking after a fight, do not pass the 24-hour mark

Man and woman laughing together in the sunlight. Woman is playfully pushing man's face away.
[Image description: Man and woman laughing together in the sunlight. The woman is playfully pushing man’s face away.] Via Pablo Merchan Montes on Unsplash

Not making an attempt to resolve an argument within 24 hours can turn a small spark into a firestorm bigger than it ever has to be. Sometimes you need to be the one to lower some pride and break the silence. You may end up with regrets if you don’t.

Maintain self-respect and confidence

Asian girl smiling down on lighted strings she is holding that are shaped into a heart. The background is dark with several balls of light floating around the girl.
[Image description: Asian girl smiling down on lighted strings she is holding that are shaped into a heart. The background is dark with several balls of light floating around the girl.] Via Bart Larue on Unsplash

Being in a relationship can mean making sacrifices for each other now and then, but never ever forget to love yourself first. How can you claim to love someone else if you don’t even love yourself? Be sure to retain self-confidence, self-respect, and self-values. You are the most important one in a relationship. To a certain extent, don’t push yourself back too far behind, just for your partner’s benefit. Think of more ways to compromise rather than sacrifice entirely. Your life should not revolve entirely around your relationship.

Trust your partner

Two women sharing an intimate moment with eyes closed. Both have fairy lights strung over her head and hair.
[Image description: Two women sharing an intimate moment with eyes closed. Both have fairy lights strung over her head and hair.] Via Sharon Mccutcheon on Unsplash

Be reminded that as much as you want to know everything about your SO, that’s just impossible. Give your partner space and privacy, and they will naturally share just about anything with you. The more you try digging into their lives, the more closed and reserved they may get. Understand that they too are individuals who lead a separate life from yours. Likewise, a mutually trusting, healthy relationship will allow both sides to focus on their own lives, and not invest an overwhelming amount of time on just the relationship.

Appreciate your partner like it’s your first date together

Asian woman in a white wool sweater and Caucasian man in a grey shirt laughing together in the fields.
[Image description: Asian woman in a white wool sweater and Caucasian man in a grey shirt laughing together in the fields.] Via Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash

Don’t ever take your relationship or your partner for granted. They are there because you made an initial effort to get them to be with you. Once you begin to see them as just another part of your daily life, they will be gone and it will be too late.

Of course, these are only a few of a myriad of patterns that can be seen in long-lasting and healthy relationships. But I’m pretty confident to say that no matter how different relationships can be, these points mentioned will be relatively consistent if you’re looking for more than a one-time date or a Tinder hookup.