5 Ways to Achieve a Long-lasting, Happy Relationship

Although it is hard to talk about relationships with others as what works for one couple may not work for another, I’m here to express what I’ve learned over the past 3.5 years with my significant other. Times are going to get inevitably tough, but I hope you can use my key points as a guide to strengthen your relationship.

1. Laugh: Okay, I know a lot of people are going to question what I mean by this but I seriously mean it! You should laugh! They say that the key to happiness is laughter and that it is also the best medicine; I absolutely agree! Sometimes, the best thing to do is to just laugh at each other: find funny YouTube videos, watch a romantic comedy... anything that will lighten the mood and get you guys laughing together. I can also guarantee that most of you are attracted to your significant other because you both share a similar sense of humor. So why not bring that aspect out more?

2. Date nights: I don’t care what anyone says but the so-called honeymoon stage does not have to end. Okay, maybe the mushy-gushy “I have to spend every waking moment of my life with you” stuff will slowly fade into a comfortable togetherness. However, that doesn't mean the romance needs to die. Plan a date night together at least twice a month, and this doesn't mean you must spend money to have a good time. You can simply make a creative meal together, have a themed movie night (Harry Potter, FTW) or go for a nice walk and pack some food to go. All that matters is that you dedicate your time to one another and really stay present in the moment.

3. Compliments: Just because you’ve been with someone for a long time doesn't mean you should stop letting them know how attractive they are to you inside and out. If you really adore and love someone you’re going to naturally want to let them know how much they mean to you. If you are a more reserved person, challenge yourself to compliment your significant other on one thing a day. After a while, it will become a habit. At the end of the day, nothing feels better than making another person smile, especially someone you adore!

4. Respect: This sounds like an obvious one as well but, take the time to really think about this. Do you cherish your loved one and respect them? Like, really respect them? When times get tough, respect can easily fade because we lack a filter through our emotional outbursts. I challenge you to stay grounded during these moments of anger and to operate with logic and respect. When arguing, have an ADULT conversation, let each other speak one at a time, see each other’s point of view and just listen. If things get too heated, take a 10-minute break from each other and then recoup. I promise what you were initially mad about won’t seem as blown up after your 10-minute breather.

5. Trust: You are going to have to fully trust one another in order to make this relationship work. This doesn't just mean trusting that your partner is faithful but also trusting them as a person: their words, actions, decisions. Trusting a person whole-heartedly means having faith that this person will never betray you or use your vulnerabilities against you. It also means that admitting fault in an argument and trusting that your partner will learn from their mistakes. In addition, it means feeling safe with this person meaning you can share with them your feelings on a particular issue and not feeling judged or ashamed. Having trust with your loved one is crucial in order to develop a deep emotional connection as well.