Relationship Success:
7 Basics

Relationship Success: 7 Basics

H ave you ever seen an elderly couple holding hands, taking a romantic walk on the beach or in a park? If so, like I you might have thought to yourself: ‘That’s how I want to be when I grow old.’

It’s a wonderful thing: a happy and lasting relationship. At the same time, over 36 percent of Dutch marriages and over 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Between what we want, and the reality of our society, lies a huge gap.

The love of my life Marcel and I are in a relationship for over 21 years now. Married for almost 14 of them. Raising three wonderful kids. We live together, work together and spend most of our free time together. And I can’t remember the last time we had a fight, if any…

 
In romantic relationships, as with so much else, it’s the little things that count. Just as a mis-spoken word or odd look could throw you into a feud for hours or days, small and seemingly insignificant gestures can help keep a relationship on track. A little gift, an off-hand compliment, a moment of physical contact can vastly strengthen a relationship.

What are some of the most important ideas when it comes to making your love last? We give you seven tips on relationship success.

 
#1
Listen

It doesn’t matter what the other person is talking about, if s/he means something to you take the time to hear them out. If you’re talking, you’re not listening. Don’t talk when your partner is talking. Don’t interrupt. Allow space between your partner’s sentences and yours. Give yourself a five or 10 second rule before speaking next.

 
#2
Appreciate

Make a point of always saying ‘thank you’ to each other, each and every time that your partner does something thoughtful for you. Compliment each other as everyone likes to have positive reinforcement! Complimenting your partner on specific kindnesses will definitely let your partner know that you appreciate him/her. And last but not least: tomorrow is never guaranteed. Don’t waste life not taking the time to be thankful you have your significant other in your life.

 
#3
Friendship

Be with someone who is first and foremost your best friend. ‘Great friends make great lovers.’ For many it isn’t nearly as romantic as ‘Love at first sight.’ But in the vast majority of cases, it’s much more realistic. I believe this is one of the secrets of Marcel and I. We were friends for seven years, since our teens, before we got into a relationship. Friends appreciate unqualified acceptance by the other. No hidden agendas. Friends develop compassion and trust, simply by leaning on each other in good times and bad. Friends see differences and quirks in the other’s personality as opportunities rather than annoyances. Friends offer a soft place to land when things are tough.

 
#4
Respect

Your partner’s wishes and feelings have value, just as your wishes and feelings have value. Let your significant other know you are making an effort to keep their ideas in mind. Mutual respect is essential in maintaining healthy relationships. Understand that sometimes you may have opposing beliefs or ideas which may lead to arguments but always respect one another.

 
#5
Loyalty

Loyalty is a deliberate effort, and to be truly loyal to someone, you have to be willing to invest yourself, your time and energy in them. Being loyal can sometimes require some sacrifice, putting someone else ahead of yourself. And first and foremost: if you are in a relationship then acknowledge the commitment you have made to each other and NEVER cheat.

 
#6
Share

Nip the boredom bug before it bites by sharing. Share your experiences, your feelings, thoughts and desires so that you can work together to make them a reality. Sharing increases closeness. Gives you a shared history, and if you’re lucky a few inside jokes.

 
#7
Friends

Mutual friends are the best things for a successful couple. Dinners for two are cozy, but dinners for four are just as important in a relationship. Bonding with other couples actually strengthens your own relationship. Having open, intimate conversations with other twosomes reinforces your own sense of togetherness. Being close to them makes you feel closer to each other. When you share the same friends you will have a greater chance for a loving relationship.

 
Sure, fireworks are great, but that’s not what keeps love strong and marriages happy for years. These seven basics do.

 
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How do you keep your relationship alive? What is your secret?
Or do you find it difficult to keep it exiting?
Please share your questions, insights, tips or experiences in the comment box below!
Thank you!

Mirjam Stoffels

Founder of seven2success, guest blogger at TEDx, Project Eve and 365 dagen succesvol. In my mission to make seven2success the biggest platform of knowledge and inspiration for women, by women, I want to inspire you with our content! Check us out on Facebook and Twitter! I’d love to connect!
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