Who doesn’t admire the steady relationships of people we know who’ve been together for years? Sure, we hear them complain about each other occasionally, but they’re together after years. It can be tempting to assume couples that have been together for years are just especially matched to each other by sheer luck. Though, anyone in a long-term relationship will tell you the truth — it takes work.
We’ve rounded up the five habits of long-term couples that keep their relationships thriving:
Cliches are cliches because simple truths often get repeated — communication is vital. Not a single thriving long-term couple exists that doesn’t have healthy communication patterns. While communication looks different for each couple, finding a healthy communication pattern where each of you feels heard and free to share is vital.
It’s not an oxymoron; learning how to have healthy arguments means being able to handle the inevitable disagreements without causing unnecessary damage. You can bet you’ll eventually get into an argument, but how big that argument becomes is in your control. By making rules such as no personal insults or bringing up past issues, you can weather the inevitable disputes without irreparable harm.
A big mistake that happens in a lot of long-term relationships is born of comfort. Couples get comfortable with each other and don’t feel like they need to impress, flirt, or attempt to please each other. Feeling secure in a relationship is great, but remember to reward your partner for providing that security with the kind of fun you used to lure them in at the start.
No Rut Zone
Similar to getting too comfortable with your partner, a couple that lets themselves get into a rut of continually having the same pattern with nothing fresh to experience together is at risk of losing their spark. Keeping things fresh by trying new experiences and continuously learning about each other helps maintain the energy in long-term relationships.
Don’t Lose Yourself
A lot of what makes couples in long-term relationships successful is the effort they still put into themselves as individuals. Making sure you still have your own interests and spend time with your friends or doing whatever you might enjoy individually serves to strengthen your relationship. By enjoying your time apart, you’ll enjoy your time together even more.