Soaking up all the wisdom you can from relationship therapists, researchers, matchmakers, and more.
Updated on April 27th, 2017
Beginning a relationship is generally the easy part, it’s keeping a relationship alive that gets a little tricky. Relationships don’t look like they used to. We’re going to make this work. This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. But what does it honestly take to make a relationship work?
We’ve summarized the secrets to solving relationship problems revealed by experts:
1. Becoming a more effective partner is the most efficient way to assure a loving, intimate relationship.
2. Don’t expect to be one and the same.
3. Accept that your partner is fallible.
4. Appreciate what life still has to offer while you can.
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5. Forget trouble for a little while and laugh together.
6. Shut up and listen. No matter how bad things are, give your partner a chance to speak.
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7. Arrange time without the children.
8. Invest in the relationship with your partner’s family.
9. Be able to reveal vulnerability, even if it feels daunting.
10. Change the metaphor that you associate with developing your relationship.
11. Learn to spend time alone.
12. Be prepared for surprise and open to change.
13. Understand that you can only develop yourself.
14. Realise that it is in moments of restlessness and upheaval that you find out who you are and what it truly means to love.
15. It’s not about being right or making the other person wrong.
16. If you have been unfaithful, you must be “giving” to your partner in order to reconnect.
17. Explore the root of an affair in order to move past it.
18. If you want to reconnect to your partner, you need to turn toward that person and treat them in ways that foster caring and closeness.
What is the best relationship advice you’ve ever received (this could be with respect to being single, dating, in a relationship, engaged, married, etc)?
Let’s find out what other people have to say about a relationship:
- Leave Your Disney Fantasy At Home – You aren’t meant for each other. You aren’t meant for anyone else. Your love life is what you make it. So rather than look for the perfect person, take conflict resolution, improve, and take financial management classes; that way you can optimize the relationships you have.
- Set Low Expectations – Don’t look at your partner as your soulmate, look at them as a person you enjoy spending time with and are attracted too. Don’t think about growing old together, think about how you will learn to enjoy each others company more by the end of the year.
- Date someone who gets your sense of humor – Look my sense of humor is messed up. I can’t date someone who can’t laugh at the same twisted stuff I laugh at. Humor implies that you are part of the same group, the same tribe, it’s a binding force, so look for someone who laughs at the same jokes you do.
- Don’t punish who you date for being honest – If your girlfriend tells you she had a threesome with two guys/girls in college, don’t pull back and start judging them. Accept their honesty – if they mention a deal breaker then breakup, but whatever you do don’t punish them for telling you the truth. That breaks the pathways of communication and you end up in a stifled dishonest relationship. Read more… – William Beteet
A single guy who quit his job and spent the last year crossing the country, interviewing over 100 of America’s most amazing couples about what it’s like to be in love. He interviewed gay couples, straight couples, rich couples, poor couples, religious couples, atheist couples, arranged marriages, polygamous couples; couples who have been together for a short time, and couples who have been together for over 70 years. Read more… – Rahul R, Co-founder of Livstore.in
So here you are again with another person that you feel like will be different this time. They absolutely might be but the question we have to ask ourselves is are we different? The answer should be Yes.If you answered No then we have some things to work on. So your new lover invited you to an intimate gathering with their friends or wanted to see you after a long day. He’s giving you clues and spending all his free time with you but you’re still unsure if you’re in a relationship with him. He didn’t ask so you don’t mention it. Inside you are waiting impatiently for that validation. Read more… – Shirley Tran, Love, Dating And Relationships
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Towards the end of my relationship with my ex-girlfriend, things had begun to get torrid. She was in one city and I was in another. There was another guy involved and I knew about his interests in my girlfriend and I even knew about his advances. Even though her whole college knew she was with me, unfortunately, somewhere down the line, my girlfriend started having second thoughts about us. Being in a long distance relationship didn’t help either. Read more… – Neil Menon
This is something I wrote to my girlfriend when our relationship was struggling with lot of silly misunderstandings and things started falling apart. “You know what the relationship we have is our first baby. It’s growing.It will slip manytimes before it could start walking properly. When it slips we should be the one to help it stand up and make it walk again like a parent. It doesn’t matter who picks it up,but our baby should be just fine, like our parents did to us when we were kids.I just thought this way about our relationship and felt like sharing it with you.” Read more… – Hem Anand, lives in Mannheim, Germany
Don’t hold on to trivial issues when there are more important things to discuss or crucial moments to share, pick your battles. Don’t hold on to a person who you shouldn’t be with(no matter what reason) for the fear of being alone. Don’t hold on to someone who is not equally invested as you. Don’t hold on to your idea of what that person should be, try to accept them for who they are at this moment, if you can’t, let go. Don’t hold on to feelings of anger, revenge and jealousy. Read more… – Sahithya Baskaran
Relationships can be a tricky thing; love, as I say all the time, is not a perfect science. It does not thrive on specific logic or reason. With that said, there are certain concepts you should develop a thorough understanding of to not only open yourself up to love, but to attract the kind of person you are hoping will walk into your life. Read more… – Lauren Ramesbottom
When someone tells you that they don’t deserve you, they actually do not.Not because they said it but because they’re making an excuse to not be with you which actually proves their point.
- Be with a person who inspite of having different opinions about things, let you follow yours and don’t impose theirs.
- Always be with a person who contributes to your growth. Get out of a relationship as soon as you think that the other person is bringing you down in anyway or suffocating you.
- Never cheat. Be a strong person and tell your girlfriend/boyfriend about how you really feel. They’ll hate you instantly but they’ll realise that what you did was right. Read more… – Akshat Mathur
Know who you are and what you want. When dating or thinking about starting a serious relationship, find someone who loves you for exactly who you are today and not on the promise or expectation of who you will be tomorrow. When people show you who they really are…. believe them! – Shawna Leady, Mediator,
Falling in love is supposed to be a happy experience, not a confusing one. But every now and then, there comes a time when you unintentionally fall in love with a girl who seems right, but that might be completely wrong for you. Most likely you have fallen for a girl who blows hot and cold, who behaves like your girlfriend at times and refers to you as ‘friend’ at other times. She’s simply being indecisive. The really question is why is she being so indecisive? Read more… – Ron Gibori
- You make TIME for each other. Especially those couple of minutes during the busiest days.
- You make SPACE for each other. Especially when it’s most crowded.
- You make PEACE with each other’s habits. Especially those little infuriating ones.
- You make LOVE to each other. Especially after that big argument.
Relationships need effort. Real big effort. Almost all the time. If you come across a super-happy couple and wonder how the two of them are clicking so good, there’s just two possibilities: either they’re very new to the relationship (like last week new) or they are working hard every moment to keep each other happy. Little gestures of love, cute surprises, singing a song or a candle light dinner (even at home), sure add more love to the relationship, and this all needs effort, on a regular basis. –
That as you reach 20s and over, you don’t find relationship, like you did during high school. You find relationship, imagining that: is this guy/girl the one that I am going to comfortable to marry in the future?
He gave me an awesome analogy: Imagine that you are a fisherman, the most interesting part in the fishing is when you tried to get a catch, choose what is the bait, when to pull and when to let the fish moves free. You will be extremely happy when you get the catch. But, when you have already gotten the catch, what are you going to do with it is going to determine the fate of you and your catch. Are you going to cook it? fry it? BBQ it? If you don’t have this goal in mind, at the end, you will let the fish roam back to the ocean. Do this long enough and you have wasted your time. –
People might be answering with advice like trust, honesty etc etc…Well then also, even the most trustworthy and caring person do have breakups. These things are a must, no doubt on that, but not enough.
- Most of the time relationships fail because you yourself get bored of it and don’t have the same passion that once was there. Not your fault.
- Believe me in any breakups no one is right or wrong. Almost everyone I saw having breakups have the same answer that, ‘things are not the same as it was once’.
- When we enter in a relationship there are several factors that make us like the person but most of the hormones that are responsible for the sudden liking stops it roles because things become monotonous.
- Many a times you will be shocked to actually have a feeling of Disgust for the person whom you Loved terribly once. Ever gave a thought on how ? Read more… –
Precisely, Romantic Relationships should be a part of your life, not your life itself. Never chase love, if it isn’t given freely by another person, it isn’t worth having. –
The number one quality to look for in a spouse is teachability. Neither of you can know what life will bring or how you will both change or what obstacles you may face. If you are both humble, open, and willing to recieve feedback, learn, and grow, then you can handle just about anything together. –
On his deathbed, I whispered to my grandfather that I’d asked my then-girlfriend to marry me. He smiled, and gripped my hand, knowing that the rest of the family was still in the dark about this news. When they left his hospice room for a break, I tarried, and grandpa motioned to me to sit. He knew I had concerns about my girlfriend’s… ah, shall we say, “emotional intensity,” a world of feelings and thoughts that for her, and many women, was normal, but nevertheless foreign to younger me, and which had caused me some grief. But I loved her deeply, and after watching the movie Jerry McGuire, I realized that she, as a single mom, was in a whole ‘nother place when she considered whom to date. –That her decision to date me, giving all the signs that she wanted us to marry, was even more weighty than I had assumed. Read more… –
I guess that’s the most important thing in a relationship. Talking with each other (about hopes, desires, what bothers us, why we are mad,..) maintains the connection to each other.
I mean how to maintain the emotional commitment when we do not know what our counterpart thinks?
All of us know some couples who do not seem happy with each other. I guess one of the reason is that they do not talk with each other openly. Read more… –
When you get too comfortable in a relationship, you think that everything it took to get together, build up the foundation, is no longer needed. And that’s where it all ends. –
Here’s What 10 Relationship Experts Want To Teach You About Love
Relationships don’t look like they used to (and that’s a good thing). But what does it honestly take to make a modern romance work? As part of Committed, we’re exploring partnerships ranging from a textbook marriage between high-school sweethearts to a gay couple creating a life together in the conservative deep South.
No matter your status—single, dating, engaged, or married—relationships take work. And whether they end with tears or last until forever may depend upon countless factors, but your own actions, words, and thoughts undoubtedly play a role.
Here, we’ve distilled it down to the very best advice 10 experts have learned. Regardless of your personal situation, their words may help you uncover the key to long-lasting happiness.
1. Do or say something daily to show your appreciation. — Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., professor at Oakland University and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great
“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. And when I say simple, I really mean it. Make small gestures that show you’re paying attention: Hug, kiss, hold hands, buy a small gift, send a card, fix a favorite dessert, put gas in the car, or tell your partner, ‘You’re sexy,’ ‘You’re the best dad,’ or simply say ‘Thank you for being so wonderful.'”
2. Realize every relationship has value, regardless of how long it lasts. — April Beyer, matchmaker and dating and relationship expert
“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.”
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3. Remember to take breaks. — Amy Baglan, CEO of MeetMindful, a dating site for people into healthy living, well-being, and mindfulness
“A friend taught me that no matter how in love you are or how long you’ve been together, it’s important to take an exhale from your partnership. Hang out with girlfriends until late in the evening, take a weekend trip to visit family, or just spend time ‘doing you’ for a while. Then when you go home to Yours Truly, you’ll both be recharged and ready to come together even stronger.”
4. It’s not what you fight about—it’s how you fight. — Sean M. Horan, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication, Texas State University
“Researchers have found that four conflict messages are able to predict whether couples remain together or get divorced: contempt, criticism, stonewalling (or withdrawal), and defensiveness. Together, they’re known as the ‘Four Horsemen of Divorce.’ Instead of resorting to these negative tactics, fight fairly: Look for places where each partner’s goal overlaps into a shared common goal and build from that. Also, focus on using ‘I’ vs. ‘you’ language.”
5. Stop trying to be each other’s “everything.” — Matt Lundquist, LCSW, couples therapist
“You are my everything’ is a lousy pop-song lyric and an even worse relationship plan. No one can be ‘everything’ to anyone. Create relationships outside The Relationship, or The Relationship isn’t going to work anymore.”
6. Don’t just go for the big O. — Kat Van Kirk, Ph.D., licensed marriage and sex therapist, expert at Adam and Eve, and Greatist expert
“Sex isn’t just about orgasms. It’s about sensation, emotional intimacy, stress relief, improved health (improved immune and cardiovascular system), and increased emotional bonding with your partner, thanks to the wonderful release of hormones due to physical touch. There are many more reasons to have sex than just getting off.”
7. Make sure you’re meeting your partner’s needs. — Jeremy Nicholson, Ph.D., psychologist and dating expert
“The number one thing I have learned about love is that it is a trade and a social exchange, not just a feeling. Loving relationships are a process by which we get our needs met and meet the needs of our partners too. When that exchange is mutually satisfying, then good feelings continue to flow. When it is not, then things turn sour, and the relationship ends. That is why it is important to pay attention to what you and your partner actually do for each other as expressions of love… not just how you feel about each other in the moment.”
8. Don’t forget to keep things hot. — Sari Cooper, LCSW, licensed individual, couples, and sex therapist
“Many times people become increasingly shy with the person they love the more as time goes by. Partners begin to take their love for granted and forget to keep themselves turned on and to continue to seduce their partner. Keep your ‘sex esteem’ alive by keeping up certain practices on a regular basis. This allows you to remain vibrant, sexy, and engaged in your love life.”
9. Create a fulfilling life for yourself. — Charlie Bloom, MSW, relationship expert and author of Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth from Real Couples about Lasting Love
“Like many people, I grew up believing that marriage required self-sacrifice. Lots of it. My wife, Linda, helped me see that I didn’t have to become a martyr and sacrifice my own happiness in order to make our marriage work. She showed me that my responsibility in creating a fulfilling and joyful life for myself was as important as anything else that I could do for her or the kids. Over the years, it’s become increasingly clear to me that my responsibility to provide for my own well-being is as important as my responsibility to others. This is easier said than done, but it is perhaps the single most important thing we can do to ensure that our relationship will be mutually satisfying.”
10. Identify your “good conflicts,” and work on them together. — Ken Page, LCSW, a psychotherapist and author of Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy.
“Every couple has what I call a ‘good conflict.’ In long-term relationships, we often feel that the thing you most need from your partner is the very thing he or she is least capable of giving you. This isn’t the end of love—it’s the beginning of deeper love! Don’t run from that conflict. It’s supposed to be there. In fact, it’s your key to happiness as a couple—if you both can name it and commit to working on it together as a couple. If you approach your ‘good conflicts’ with bitterness, blame, and contempt, your relationship will turn toxic.”
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Source: greatist.com, telegraph.co.uk, quora.com, Images : pixabay.com, pexels.com