I am a couple counsellor and I have observed many types of relationships over the years. Good ones, bad ones and inbetween ones. There are certain patterns that emerge in most relationships and there are definitely characteristics that are present in all types of relationships. I am going to give you the top secrets of a long lasting relationship. If you have most of these, your relationship is far more likely to enjoy longevity:
Relationships that work have regular communication. Not just about the news on TV and who will cook dinner that night but also about the more serious topics. What makes each partner feel happy and what makes each partner feel sad. When one feels they are not getting their needs met or they have a worry, they express it. Issues aren’t left to fester – this is toxic to a relationship as it breeds resentment.
Kindness and respect
Even happy couples have their disagreements and there may be times when one person is selfish or says the wrong thing. That’s normal. What isn’t normal is a pattern of negative behaviour that never lets up. If a partner is constantly selfish or critical, this is a bad sign. Despite disagreements from time to time, happy couples still respect each other and do not belittle or constantly criticise each other. The disagreement doesn’t extend to the person and is resolved without inappropriate or unnecessary meanness.
Staying on topic
A disagreement is dealth with in a problem solving manner not in a ‘blaming manner’. When we lower ourselves into the pit of blame, an argument can become competitive. By this I mean – it becomes a contest about who is the more hard-one-by person in the relationship and this does absolutely NOTHING to resolve the issues at hand. Stick to the original issue and don’t deflect. Deflecting goes like this:
Person A: “You forgot to take the bins out last night and you promised me you would”
Person B: “Well, you didn’t buy my favourite mustard last week”
The above type of arguing involves deflection. Instead of sticking with the first issue of the bins, the secnd person deflects the arguement away from the issue of their own behaviour on to something their partner did. Couples that engage in this type of communication tend to never resolve anything and the resentment grows, killing the love in the process. Sort of the issue of the bins first and then, if needs be, discuss the mustard as a separate issue.
Everyone likes to feel valued and important and if you can make your partner feel this, you will be more likely to have a faithful loyal person at your side. Time apart is very healthy but too much time spent apart can be damaging. Make sure you have regular quality time together and make it fun. Sitting in the same room but not talking or connecting does not count as quality time.
Affection and physical touch
Intimacy is the glue in relationships, it is what sets you apart from friends. Most people love a cuddle and physical touch. If your partner is someone who likes affection, be sure to make the effort to touch them. Cuddles and kisses are a lovely way to connect. Of course, intimacy in the bedroom is crucial too if you both enjoy being close physically.
We all need an ally in this cut-throat world. I am always sad when I see people in relationships where one partner feels threatened by the other’s success. The most successful relationships occur when two people work as a team to bring out the best in each other. They do not feel threatened or try to limit or hold their partner back in any way. Be best friends, cheer each other on. Not only will that make you a wonderful couple but best friends too – a wonderful combination!
Realtionships can be super rewarding or misery-making machines. Follow the above guidelines and you will have far higher chances of a successful long lasting realtionship.
If you feel you need help with your relationship, I offer skype counselling to couples worldwide. Get in touch with me for further information at: email@example.com ( there might be a waiting list at times when Mandy is exceptionally busy).