What’s the Secret to Making Love Last? Here’s How to Have Deeper and More Meaningful Relationships
Nothing is sweeter than seeing a couple strolling hand-in-hand, gazing into each other’s eyes with that look – you know the one. It’s the look of complete adoration that happens when two people fall in love.
However, falling in love isn’t the hard part. It’s staying in love that’s the real challenge. What’s the secret to making love last? How do we develop deeper and more meaningful relationships?
While there are numerous factors that contribute to a healthy, happy relationship, there are a few proven habits that will increase your chances of success.
- Find simple ways to stay connected daily
Let’s face it: we all get distracted by the stress and responsibilities of everyday life. That’s why it’s important to make time to connect with our significant others. Even if it’s something as simple as bringing them coffee in bed before you start work (breakfast in bed if you really want to earn some brownie points!)
Another way to show you care is a note on the nightstand or a sweet text in the morning. Waking up to a thoughtful message from your partner is a great way to start the day.
- Be a good listener
A deep and meaningful connection cannot exist without effective communication. The first (and most important) step to improving your communication skills is to be a good listener.
It sounds counterintuitive, but the best conversationalists talk less and listen more. Think about family and friends you’re closest with - the people who “get” you on a deep level. They make you feel truly heard and understood because they are good listeners.
By listening carefully when someone speaks, we’re telling them that we care about what they’re saying,” says Diana Raab, Ph.D. “It’s also important to remember that listening is contagious. When we listen to others, then chances are they will be more inclined to listen to us.”
- Show appreciation
There’s no denying the happiest couples are the ones who say “thank you” the most often. Gratitude goes a long way when it comes to a lasting connection.
For example, if you know your partner had a long day at work, surprise them with their favorite dinner. Or give them a massage when they’re feeling stressed. These types of kind and thoughtful gestures can make a major difference. Remember, love is in the details!
- Practice self-care
If you want to be emotionally available for your significant other, you need to make self-care a priority. It’s no secret that when we’re feeling mentally or physically drained, it’s hard to give to anyone.
Keep in mind that self-care is different for everyone. For some, it’s morning meditation. For others, it’s going for a run or journaling. Find what calms you and makes you feel rejuvenated.
You cannot be in a healthy relationship with anyone if you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself.
Friendship is the Foundation: Be a Better Partner by Being a Better Friend
While the early stages of passion are fun and exciting, lust fades over time. Being head-over-heels is wonderful, but it’s not enough to keep a relationship going. For a strong, lasting bond you need to develop a friendship.
According to a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, the “friendship component of the relationship” is the key to a fulfilling, long-term-relationship.
The bottom line is this: your connection needs to go beyond the bedroom. The most rewarding friendships are built on trust and respect – which are also the core components of a strong romantic relationship.
Follow through on what you say
If you make plans, show up. If you say you’re going to meet your significant other at a certain time, don’t be late. In fact, chronic lateness is scientifically-proven to harm your connection!
Look back on your friendships from the past. Chances are you let go of friends who were flaky and unreliable. Being consistent and following through on what you say is the number one way to build trust.
Accept them for who they are
Our close friends have qualities that annoy us, and the same is true for our partners. Nobody is perfect!
In order to fall (and stay) in love, you need to feel comfortable being your authentic self. This means making yourself vulnerable and letting yourself be seen. Give your partner permission to be who they truly are and make sure they know you that love them wholeheartedly.
It’s important to note that there is a fine line between character flaws and annoying habits. For example, if your partner has a temper, and has frequent angry outbursts that’s a problem. You shouldn’t accept mistreatment. That’s very different from someone who leaves clothes lying around the room or a dirty dish in the sink once in a while (that’s definitely annoying, but it’s not a deal-breaker).
A healthy relationship is about compromise. When something bothers you, don’t be afraid to speak up. If your partner respects you, they won’t mind being a little neater. On the flipside, if you do something that gets on your partner’s nerves, be willing to meet them halfway.
Ready to create a fulfilling, long-term connection? Be honest, consistent, show appreciation and above all, be good friends!