Every long-term, serious relationship has its bumps in the road. Whether it is a major or a minor fight, you don't want these arguments to send your relationship spiralling into the ditch. You both need to learn how to manage these bumps. Regardless how how long the two of you have been together, there are some fundamental rules of the road the two of you must be aware of to navigate the journey smoothly.
READ ALSO: 36 Cool Things To Do With Your S/O At Home
However, putting these ideals into practice isn't always easy. In this day and age, there are a lot of factors inside and outside of a relationship that can influence its outcome. But if you make your relationship stronger, all the good stuff - fun, affection, trust - will be better than before. Here are 12 secret tips you need to know to make your relationship last.
1. Learn to forgive and forget.
Everyone makes mistakes; it is a fact of life. And if you truly love the person you are in a relationship with, you will learn to forgive them and move on. It is important to not hold grudges against the people you love. Holding a grudge is toxic in a relationship and will only create more problems for the two of you. In order to make your relationship last, you each must learn to forgive and also forget. Don't let one small mistake ruin something great by holding it over your partner; you do not want to start resenting them for a silly mistake. If your partner is big enough to apologize, then you should be big enough to forgive them.
2. Compliment each other.
This may seem self-explanatory and straightforward, but sometimes partners forget to compliment each other. We get so relaxed in our daily routines that we forget to express our love for our partners as often as we did when the relationship first started. Once the honeymoon phase ends, it seems that all that is left are endless days of Netflix and Chill. Each partner needs to work to keep that spark alive - and it is just as simple as complimenting one another. It is a simple way to show how much you actually care. A lack of compliments in a relationship can feel like a lack of recognition and make your partner start to question what they really mean to you.
3. Always be open with each other.
Honesty is the key to any and every relationship. If you don't have honesty, you don't have anything. Always be open with your partner about everything, regardless of whether it is bad or good. Relationships require work; people always ask how the two of you met but nobody ever asks how the two of you keep making it work. Honesty is that reason. Always talk and listen to one another and share your lives. Communication is necessary to making love and a relationship last. Relationships aren't always about fancy dinners and expensive gifts, sometimes being open and honest with each other is just as gratifying.
4. Don't keep score.
A relationship is not a game; there is no need to keep score. If you do something nice for your partner or do something to help out, you don’t have to announce it to them just to get brownie points. You should do those things out of love and respect for your partner; not because you want to make yourself look better. You do not deserve a medal for doing household chores. You should not do things in a relationship so you can hold them against your partner either. This is probably one of the top reasons why relationships don’t last - nobody likes to feel like the loser in a relationship.
5. Respect each other's space.
Spending quality time with one another is important in any relationship, but giving each other some space every now and again is an equally as important factor in making the relationship last. Time alone is just as significant as time spent together. You can't spend 24/7 with your significant other nor should you want to. There is such a thing as too much space, however, time apart gives you the opportunity to grow as individuals and time to actually miss each other. Self-awareness is important in relationships and you can't do the things that make you happy if you are always spending your time with your significant other.
6. Support your partner and grow with them.
It is not your job to change or fix your partner; you should accept them for who they are and who they evolve into as the relationship progresses. Nobody should go into a relationship with the intention of changing who their partner is; it is a recipe for disaster. People change and grow as time goes on and it is important to grow as a couple - that is how you discover if that person is the one for you. If you can’t grow or learn to grow in your relationship, it will not last. You can grow as a couple by simply spending time bonding and talking with one other; learning everything about your partner helps to manage such changes.
7. Offer solutions, not criticism.
Nobody wants to be criticized by the person they love most. If your partner is struggling with something in their daily life and comes to you for help, you should offer advice that tries to help them solve the problem at hand. Do not criticize your partner for what they have done or what the situation is - criticism solves nothing. Being negative does not help anyone and actually puts your partner further down. Support is crucial in a relationship and if you aren't there for one another the relationship will not last.
8. Maintain your own interests outside of the relationship.
You don't have to express interest in all the same things as your partner - that would make the relationship pretty boring and mundane. Just because you are in a relationship does not mean you should lose sight of what you are passionate about. It is important to maintain your own interests outside of the relationship. Yes, the two of you are a couple but you are also individuals and are most likely passionate about different things. Each partner should be aware of this and not want to try and conform the other to their interests. Plus, by having different interests, you guys will have more things to talk about and even more new things to try in the relationship.
9. Don't be afraid to admit when you are wrong.
Nobody likes to be wrong, but sometimes we just have to swallow our pride and admit that we are. We all have been in a situation once before where as much as we don't want to admit it, we are wrong in some sort of disagreement. But that is okay - like I said before, everyone makes mistakes and in a relationship it is important to realize your mistakes and accept when you are wrong. Don't try and overpower your partner by always trying to be right. Relationships require give and take and if you aren't willing to give and keep taking and taking, the relationship will not last for long.
10. Learn to adapt and encourage your partner.
This is a necessity to ensure the success of any relationship. If you care about your significant other, this step should come pretty easily. You cannot expect to have all the same beliefs as the person you are in a relationship with so being able to adapt in a relationship is key. You do not have to conform to who your partner is; you just have to be adaptive and accepting. Your partner’s little quirks or even religious beliefs may seem like a deal breaker, but if you have the ability to adapt, then your relationship has the potential to go the distance. Learn to be there for each other, no matter what, through all your differences.
11. It is okay to argue every now and again.
Fighting can be good for a relationship - but not if you are arguing all the time. If you need to talk about something with your partner, don’t hesitate to say what you need to say. Get everything out on the table; there is no point in keeping your emotions pent-up inside. Yes, expressing your thoughts can lead to a fight, but once the fight is over, there is the clarity to accept, forgive and move on. Fighting too much can easily end a relationship, but arguing about important things that need to be argued about in order to reach a solution is what can strengthen a relationship. If you are someone who beats around the bush, you can get lost in translation, which will usually lead to resentment which is never good for a relationship.
12. Don't forget to be romantic.
Romance is what keeps a relationship alive and growing. Romantic gestures remind each other of that initial connection and spark the two of you shared when the relationship was first forming. Surprise her with flowers, take him out for dinner, treat her to the movies, offer to drive him to work - it is nice to do little things from time to time that show how much you really care about each other. As redundant as it may seem, it is really important to maintain a romantic spark in any relationship. Once that spark is gone, the relationship is nothing but two friends hanging out.