We all want to keep our relationships sound and intact so that someone loves, caresses and cares for us, and we do the same for them.
However, many relations fail and fall apart, hurting both people.
You might think the one who does the breaking up stays untouched, but separation inflicts pain on anyone.
Infidelity, codependency, lack of communication, money issues, etc. can each terminate a relationship. But they all boil down to one thing, which is the deadly poison of every relationship.
That both partners expect the relationship to work without making efforts.
Relationships require continual efforts from both partners.
Movies, TV commercials, and even your friends’ Facebook feeds have given you unrealistic expectations of a relationship. The loving couple loses themselves in the hugs and kisses, eyes locked and looking deep into each other.
You are enchanted. And you’re also convinced that love and romance are the end goals of a relationship.
But the reality is a bit trickier than this.
As I mentioned in How to Heal Your Relationship, a romantic relationship is a mirror of you and gives you an opportunity to grow. Your partner reflects your strengths and weaknesses so that you learn about yourself through them.
As such, relationships are doomed to trigger your shady stuff (and your partner’s) so that they come to light for you to heal.
They are meant to be bumpy and challenging to catalyze both partners’ growth. As opposed to the common belief that if you meet the perfect, passionate match your life will be all bliss and light.
In fact, the bigger the attraction, the more shadows will turn up, and more conflicts and discordances will threaten the relationship.
Couples who can see through the surface of these difficulties take the chance to work together and grow. But many don’t.
When conflicts happen, those who dreamt of a perfect relationship find their expectations crushed and their desires unfulfilled. Both point fingers at each other, eventually leading the relationship to fail, leaving the two people in pain and confusion.
How has the love disappeared? When did the chemistry go away? Where is that deep connection that first nudged you into his arms?
Are there any precautions?
5 things to work on for relationships to last.
If you are drawn to this post, you might be or have been in similar situations. Knowing what caused your previous relationships to fail helps you to adjust your expectations for the next one so that you know how to sustain it.
No relationships can survive without efforts from both partners.
Below are five areas that, in my opinion, require your special attention.
You have to stay true to yourself for your relationship to last.
Society has taught us many rules to become the perfect partner. To meet those standards, we hide our shadows and pretend that we are all light and bright.
For example, we reckon our partners will like us more if we pretend to be secure, independent, and happy.
However, not following your truth spells disasters. When you suppress your feelings and your needs and wants, you’re doomed to feel unfulfilled and miserable.
Being authentic requires you to ask questions like these now and then：
- “How do I feel about this relationship? Am I happy most of the time, or constantly feeling drained?”
- “Has my partner help meet my needs and wants?”
- “Have I been giving too much without receiving?”, etc.
You might not be comfortable with all the answers, but be honest with yourself.
Journaling is another great way to discover your truth. The “Morning Pages”, introduced by Julia Cameron and asking you to write three pages of your thoughts and feelings first thing in the morning, are my personal favorite.
Can you tell your partner what’s in your head without reservation?
You might assume that your partner knows exactly what you think, but this is rarely the case. Despite your similarities, your different upbringings and life experiences often result in different perspectives and ways of thinking.
So stop assuming and start talking.
To be a skillful communicator takes practice, as you need to convey your messages openly. This can be hard if you grew up in a household where you were shamed for speaking your truth.
But know your partner is unlike your parents. He or she who genuinely loves you will listen to you without judgment.
On the other hand, be fully present with your partner when they turn to you. You might not agree with them, but realize that their opinions come from their unique experiences. Accept them as valid.
Boundaries include your likes and dislikes and needs and wants. They outline how you want to be treated by your partner.
It’s when your boundaries are honored that you will feel happy in a relationship.
You might think honoring your boundaries is selfish and will damage the relationship. Quite the opposite. Many relationships fail because one partner always gives while suppressing his or her own needs and the other one always received. The unfulfilled one will eventually break down and put an end to the relationship.
You’re entitled to your unique desires, and it’s your birthright to fulfill them. You can’t give to the other person unless your needs and wants are met.
Communicate clearly to your partner the Do’s and Don’ts when you are with each other. When he or she crosses the line and violates your boundaries, point it out in a non-defensive manner.
Now that you have talked openly about each other’s boundaries, it is time to take actions and respect them, and that often means compromising.
A Compromise isn’t a sacrifice, which is prioritizing others’ needs over yours. Compromise means for two people to reach a common ground so that both are satisfied with the result.
Compromises show your willingness to take responsibility for your partner’s well-being. The other person will feel loved and cared for, and will, in turn, make efforts for you.
Be honest with what compromises you wish your partner to make and be open about what compromises you have to make. A relationship needs nurturing from both parties to stay strong and healthy.
Without unconditional acceptance of your partner for who they are, the love will die soon, since your partner constantly feels judged by you.
We may all have the image of an ideal partner. The loving gentleman who caresses you at night, or the sexy girl who holds interesting conversations.
But in reality, your romantic partner—no matter how much you clicked when you first met—often turn out to be different from the “right person” in your head.
Never try to change the other person to fit your standards. If you love and cherish this person, accept them for who they are. Feeling accepted unconditionally pulls them closer to you.
Acceptance doesn’t mean that you approve of this situation. It means that you acknowledge the fact your partner might not meet some of your needs for now.
From here, you can follow the steps above, talk with your partner and makes changes together. The solutions are endless.
A relationship takes work. It is through mutual efforts that both partners grow and evolve and the love deepens.
Work with your partner in these five areas, and you will see drastic improvements in your love life and romantic relationships.
Do you have any advice on how to make relationships last? Please share your comment below!