The idea of happily ever after is an endearing sentiment. But the truth about relationships is that they are hard work, and you need a whole lot of heart to create a relationship that can last a lifetime. Here, I lay out some pieces of hard-earned love advice that can make a real difference in your relationship.
A hard truth about relationships is that love alone is not enough. In the throes of the fiery passion of infatuation, couples feel like they can overcome anything together. But as your relationship settles into the monotony of everyday life, days become weeks which become years, and the greatest challenge you may have is actually each other. The prickly parts of each other’s personality can rub up against each other in just the wrong way. But learning to look at your relationship with a positive bias and apply a select toolkit of values and perceptions means that you can have not only the love, but also the wisdom to build a solid relationship that can weather the storms, continue to grow and be the source of your greatest joy.
In a fight, there are no winners
There are two vital things to know about fighting in relationships. Firstly, it is normal to fight in a relationship. Secondly, when you fight in a relationship, you both lose. Let go of winning, of being right, of proving a point, and choose rather to focus on really understanding and listening. Keeping your connection is more valuable for your well-being than trying to inflate your ego by outsmarting your partner. Understanding each other’s experience is more important than who is right or wrong.
Give a little respect and appreciate everything good your partner does for you
In a long-term relationship, an easy trap to fall into is to take your partner for granted. Remind yourself what you admire about them. Don’t push their boundaries; understand that they are an entirely separate and different individual to yourself. Give your partner the space and appreciation for what they bring to your life, and show respect by taking their wishes, values and ideas into consideration. A little respect and appreciation will go a long way.
Two halves don't make a whole
In romantic rhetoric, there is this idea of finding your missing half in a partner. However, an honest piece of love advice is that the best way to create a healthy relationship is to create a healthy relationship with yourself. Your partner can’t complete the missing parts of your own insecurity. Only you can fill that space, and relying on another person to make you feel complete can lead to a co-dependent relationship, creates too much expectation and is a heavy burden for a relationship to carry.
Be kinder than necessary
Your partner is your favorite person in the entire world (if they’re not, they should be!). Out of 7.6 billion people living on this planet, you chose each other to do life with. Think about that. Go out of your way to be kind to your person. And in the difficult moments think about the miracle of your relationship – across all of space and time, you found each other. Shower kindness into your relationship – it blossoms into a beautiful kind
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