By Meghan Meier
Lasting relationships don’t just happen. As the old saying goes, it takes two to tango. Modern minds might think this phrase refers to the horizontal dance, but it’s also relevant when it comes to explaining how to build and maintain a long-term relationship. No two couples are identical, and trying to create an all-inclusive definition of what it means to be in a relationship is impossible—but figuring out how to sustain this intimate bond is something all couples face but is often overlooked. To keep your relationship from taking a nosedive take some advice from matchmaking expert Taylor Bodine, founder and CEO of Buona Vita.
According to Bodine, a main reason relationships dissolve is because neither party continues to practice what they portrayed when dating. Both sexes must accurately portray themselves while dating to let each person know what they are going to get in the relationship.
In a relationship, arguments are a guarantee, but what counts is how both sides deal with confrontation. One thing a couple should never do is go to bed angry. Also, neither individual should ever bring up the word “divorce” as a defense mechanism. “I think it is very important to resolve conflict as soon as possible, even if it means being quiet and to agree to disagree,” Bodine says. “It is very helpful to exercise [this] because when you are upset, you don’t know really what you are saying and by the time things keep spinning and [you] realize what came out of your mouth, you can’t take it back. You can be apologetic, but the fact of the matter is the person still remembers that. They can forgive you, but they will remember that you went there.”
One would think that a couple in a committed relationship would know every single detail about each other, like whether they want to have children or what type of spender they are. Nevertheless, many couples are unaware of these characteristics even deep into the relationship. For that reason, it is crucial to ask these types of questions early in the relationship. One strategy that can help flesh out these questions is to take part in premarital counseling. It might sound ridiculous, but having an external guide can help a couple find out if they are compatible.
The relationship is not only influenced by what each person wants to get out of it, but also from the day-to-day experiences they face outside their intimate zone. Therefore it is crucial for couples to find a healthy balance between life outside of the relationship and the actual relationship itself. One method Bodine suggests is to “check your armor at the door.” Everyone is busy with work and other obligations throughout the day, but what happens outside of the relationship should remain there. Once a couple walks through the threshold of their own homes, they should leave outside energy at the door and dedicate the remainder of the day to the relationship.
Building a relationship takes time and patience, but what many couples fail to realize is that it requires dedication. It cannot be sustained unless both individuals put as much effort into the existing relationship as they did while dating. One can’t just rely on the holidays to celebrate love. A long-term relationship is a day-in, day-out commitment.
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