By Sophia Fromell
Researchers estimate that in the US 40% – 50% of first marriages and 60% of second marriages will end in divorce. This statistic in itself is proof that long term and loving relationships require hard work and commitment. It’s a fact. There are no quick fixes or recipes for overnight success. Even the best relationships require constant work and undivided attention and commitment.
Quick wins are like emotional Band-Aids; they can temporarily help but are not a long-term solution.
Below are five elements to a successful long term relationship:
“Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.” ~Alan Watts
Getting to know yourself requires time and effort; it requires observing your daily self and asking some tough questions. To get to know yourself, first make sure you get to know your values.
Our values are a central part of who we are, they are the principles by which we live our live; the sum of what is important in life. To find out what your values are, ask yourself what are the values you could never compromise on, in different aspects of your life.
In addition to your values, get to know your personality. This is who you truly are. Get to know your likes and dislikes and understand what makes you react in certain ways.
Know your partner
Get to know your partner as you would get to know yourself. Understand what his/her values, personality, likes and dislikes are. As individuals, we tend to project our feelings to others and we tend to think we know what they like, want or need. However, this is interpreting our partner’s behavior using our own experiences and background. Accept and work on the basis that each person is different.
We all have a number of expectations from our partner. We do not only have predefined views on how they should behave and react, but we often expect them to fulfill every void in our lives. We often create a lot of negative feelings and misunderstandings by assuming that the other person understands our expectations. So take the time to discuss with your partner your role within your relationship and what your expectations from each other are.
Honesty is important
Honesty is not only about being fair and truthful. Honesty is also about keeping your word and keeping promises made, as it shows integrity of character and commitment and helps build trust between the partners.
Open and sincere communication, builds a connection with your partner. Let each other know your love, expectations, likes, dislikes, dreams, fears, achievements and mistakes. Do not be afraid to apologize openly and sincerely when you have done a mistake. Accepting one’s mistakes shows strength of character and self-awareness.
Lastly, do not forget to laugh! Laughing helps your body and mind, makes you feel better when stressed and puts the breaks on negative thoughts. Laughing will help you regulate negative emotions and put a positive spin to the daily routine.