There’s no shortage of advice out there online, magazines, books, radio on how to have a great relationship. To save you time finding them, PURE Living has selected the best suggestions provided by experts and members of the public.
Do your own thing. While it’s great to spend time together, it’s also important to have things that are just yours. As one Redditor says, “You don’t have to invite your [significant other] to every single activity you do, particularly when it comes to hobbies.”
Don’t stay with someone who antagonizes you or belittles you.
Have your own friends. It’s important to keep one-on-one friendships going to. As one person puts it, “Also, not having your own friends is a big mistake. You really have to have some sort of support system or thing that you do where your [significant other] isn’t involved so you can have time apart from each other.”
You can gauge a person’s love for you by how they treat you when they are upset with you.
Address problems as they arise. Instead of growing slowly resentful over time or letting a little thing get bigger and bigger in your head until you explode one day, address things as they come up. One Redditor says, “My husband and I had to take a marriage class before we got married and the teacher said a great way to ruin a marriage is to ‘gunny sack,’ basically don’t hold on to little things and let them turn into a real fight.
Love is a verb, not a noun.
Don’t get mad at them for not being everything to you. Your partner might have a lot of good qualities that you look for in another person but they probably don’t have all the good qualities that you look for in another person. Don’t hold that against them.
When a lightbulb goes out, you fix the lightbulb. You don’t get a new house.
Don’t fight with each other; solve the problem together. This is key! You’re a team and if you act like one, you can fix most issues. One person says, “[W]hen solving things, always tell each other it’s not you versus me, but us versus the problem.
Marry the one who gives you the same feeling you get when you see food coming at a restaurant.
Get two blankets. This is the best advice I’ve ever read in my life. As one Redditor writes, “It cuts down on 90 percent of the fights related to sleeping,” and I would add that it cuts down on other fights because you’re not tired all the time and can handle your shit better in general.
The grass is not greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it.
Learn to properly apologize. No halfhearted non-apologies, but real-deal ones that let your partner know you heard them. One person says it well, “If you’re really in love, you’ll apologize often. Because no one is perfect, and if you care about someone, you [should] be willing to admit when you’re wrong.”
Just because you liked the friend-version of someone, doesn’t mean you’ll like the relationship-version of them.
Do or say something daily to show your appreciation. “Saying and doing small, simple expressions of gratitude every day yields big rewards. When people feel recognized as special and appreciated, they’re happier in that relationship and more motivated to make the relationship better and stronger.— Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., professor at Oakland University and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great
Before you move in with your partner, go on a road trip with them.
Realize every relationship has value, regardless of how long it lasts. “There’s no such thing as a failed romance. Relationships simply evolve into what they were always meant to be. It’s best not to try to make something that is meant to be seasonal or temporary into a lifelong relationship. Let go and enjoy the journey”. April Beyer, matchmaker and dating and relationship expert
If the world didn’t give us second chances, we would all be single.
Stop trying to be each other’s “everything.” No one can be ‘everything’ to anyone. Create relationships outside The Relationship, or The Relationship isn’t going to work anymore.” Matt Lundquist, LCSW, couples therapist.
Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.
Look for someone with similar values. For long-lasting love, the more similarity (e.g., age, education, values, personality, hobbies), the better. Partners should be especially sure that their values match before getting into marriage. Although other differences can be accommodated and tolerated, a difference in values is particularly problematic if the goal is long-lasting love. Kelly Campbell, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at California State University, San Bernardino.
Everyone is searching for the perfect person, but no one is trying to be the perfect person.
Have respect. “What I can tell you is the #1 thing, most important above all else is respect. It’s not sexual attraction, looks, shared goals, religion, or lack of, nor is it love. There are times when you won’t feel love for your partner. That is the truth. But you never want to lose respect for your partner. Once you lose respect you will never get it back.”
Out of all the things needed for a successful relationship, love barely makes the top 5. Honesty, loyalty, trust, and communication all have to be there.
“Say you’re sorry fast. Mean it. Say it once. If you screw up, as you undoubtedly will, man up, own it, and apologize. But only do it once. Make it a good apology. Followed by a really good kiss can’t hurt.” Spike Spencer, Creator Of “Don’t Kill Your Date (And Other Cooking Tips)”.
If she (he) threatens to leave, help her (him) pack their bags.
“Do you want to be right or do you want to be alone? Being ‘right’ all the time isn’t always the best for your relationship. Remember compromise is key to success.” Aniesa M. Schneberger, Licensed Couples Counselor.
The best sign of a healthy relationship is no sign of it on Facebook.
This ‘gaga’ feeling won’t last forever. “You are not going to be gaga over each other every single day for the rest of your lives, and all this ‘happily ever after’ bullshit is just setting people up for failure. No! There will be days or weeks, or maybe even longer when you aren’t all mushy-gushy in-love. You’re even going to wake up some morning and think, “Ugh, you’re still here….” That’s normal! And more importantly, sticking it out is worth it, because that, too, will change. In a day, or a week, or maybe even longer, you’ll look at that person and a giant wave of love will inundate you, and you’ll love them so much you think your heart can’t possibly hold it all and is going to burst. Because a love that’s alive is also constantly evolving. It expands and contracts and mellows and deepens”.