This is how you can actually stand a chance of enjoying successful long-term relationships. And avoid messy short-lived ones.
Think about how disheartening and even depressing the next sentence can be.
Being stuck in an awkward situation where finding someone that’ll stick with you long-term seems impossible.
This is a reality for a lot of men and women alike.
While this kind of situation might seem like someone is downright unlucky when it comes to romantic relationships.
Being familiar with the distinctive characteristics of successful long-term relationships and knowing what makes them so — can play a vital role in transforming such a situation.
See, the truth is, successful long-term relationships in two words, can be simply described as happy relationships.
Yes, they’re not perfect because there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship.
But every couple in one somehow knows how to put up with and enjoy each other’s differences and hence, they wholeheartedly work together every day to create something that’s not just special, but will last and grow stronger the longer they stay together.
That being said, here are a few characteristics that set these couples apart from the rest of the pack.
1. Respecting each other’s humanness.
More than anything else, to us humans, this is one of the most vital cruces of being in a relationship.
Because being seen, accepted, loved, and even treated like the human that we are is a primal need for us.
And when we find ourselves in a relationship where it doesn’t feel like we can be our imperfect selves like we can’t lose our confidence, patience, or second guess ourselves even though we are most times confident or patient, the relationship becomes anything but fulfilling and will eventually crash on a very painful note.
That’s why the most successful long-term relationships are the types of relationships where one can make mistakes, lose her temper, or get caught off guard.
They’re the types of relationships in which she can stumble, slip, or spin out of control sometimes without any judgment whatsoever from her partners because they love her for who she really is, with all her imperfections.
Consider it yourself. How would you feel if your partner is the type to love and stand by you not only when you’re remarkable, but even in your trying times of imperfections?
Lemme guess: you’ll feel unconditionally loved and respected, right?
And I strongly believe that to some extent, unconditional love can be the key to lasting relationships.
Hence, if you and your partner can both love and respect each other even in your respective trying times of imperfections, your relationship will stand a chance of lasting longer.
But you should also bear in mind that it doesn’t mean you or your partner should tolerate consistent hurtful behaviors or become a doormat.
It simply means that you should at least know that you’re both humans that should love and respect each other even at your worsts.
Because you both know how remarkable the both of you are most times.
And that bad days happen every once in a while.
2. Prioritizing negotiations over the overrated act of compromising.
It’s pretty typical of romantic couples to have differing opinions and preferences when it comes to things like spending time together or apart, family plans, money, sex-life balance, you name it.
How do you and your partner deal with your respective opinions, wants, and fluid needs that constitute the inner workings of your relationship?
I don’t know the situation in your relationship.
But I know very well that if you both don’t often work towards finding a neutral ground that’s mutually or even equally comfortable for the both of you, your relationship will be very much an unhappy one. And such kinds of relationships might eventually turn out to be everything but successful long-term relationships.
I’m confident about this because I’ve seen lots and lots of couples who don’t just compromise but are driven towards negotiating their ways into workable solutions they can embrace and implement.
These couples enjoy better and happier unions because they know too well to often seek a win-win negotiation instead of a compromise where each party will have to give up something.
Because the truth is, if a one-sided compromise or no compromise at all is a thing in a relationship, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that anger, bitterness, resentments, drama, and consistent arguments will eventually drag the relationship to the dumps.
In other words, if a couple can’t make choices or decisions that work well for both parties involved, their relationship will most likely be everything but a long-lasting one.
Recommended reading: 7 Really Small Things that Will Tell if You’re with the Right Person
3. Making frequent sacrifices for each other.
Yeah, this sounds pretty contrary to the previous point.
Because if you and your partner can negotiate your way into workable solutions in almost every situation, there might be no need to give up your respective needs so that the other person will have their way.
But if we are to be realistic, being consistently bent on negotiations can sometimes be too rigid, aside from the fact that it isn’t always easy.
Besides, sacrifice in a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean unequivocally giving up your needs so that your partner will always have their way. Instead, it means prioritizing the needs of your partner and the relationship as much as you prioritize yours.
The truth is, there are situations where negotiations are imperative as in the case of sex-life-related issues, money-related issues, property acquisitions, family planning, etc.
Just as there are situations where making even the least significant sacrifices will massively increase the likely hood of long-term happiness in your relationship. Make both of you feel loved, prioritized, and valued. And ultimately increase your chances of having a successful long-term relationship.
Can you cut down or give up your screen time when you’re together?
Can you give up the need to be right even during the smallest disagreements?
Can you give up your obsession with perfection? Hell, can you at least reduce thinking and behaving like you’re the center of the universe?
See, sacrifices in a relationship don’t have to be huge sweeping gestures because even the smallest things can oftentimes have the biggest impacts.
You might also like: Give Up These Toxic Beliefs If You Want A Better And Less Stressful Love Life
4. Good anger management plus emotional and conflict intelligence.
I’m pretty sure we are all on the same page that it’s practically inevitable to either piss off our significant others or be angered, provoked, or infuriated by our partners.
And I’m also certain we all know that the way a couple deals with anger in their relationship can make or break it.
The surest way to ensure that frequent and inevitable anger and provocations will allow a relationship to be sustained over a long period of time, is quite straightforward and obvious, despite not being easy.
It’s as obvious as taming your anger and choosing to often take a break, calm down, process your emotions, and discuss the issue calmly later on. Instead of letting loose of the vulgar remarks on the tip of your tongue when you’re heated.
It’s also about overlooking seemingly small things and refusing to blow things out of proportion. Not because your feelings about certain things are insignificant. But because you know too well to pick your battles rightly enough to SOMETIMES lose the battle to win the war.
Consider the following questions:
Is what is right more important than either of you being right in your relationship?
How often do you apologize when either of you has done something wrong or caused one another emotional distress?
How well do you both forgive and let go of all the hurts, betrayals, disappointments, anger, and annoyances you both cause each other?
The problem is that a lot of us often get it wrong when dealing with heated situations. We often let our needs to be right and justified cloud our thoughts, actions, and reactions which makes our relationships and love lives more difficult than normal.
But if we could most often than not, try to be more emotionally and conflict-intelligent, strong and lasting relationships will be much more feasible.
How can we hope for successful long-term relationships when we struggle to prioritize our relationships over our egotistical self-interests?
Also read: 7 Reasons You Suck At Relationships
When you have little to no clue of what whatever you’re looking for actually looks like, you might never find it.
You might never find a long-lasting relationship when you’re oblivious to the necessary ingredients of successful long-term relationships.
So, to escape that awkward situation where no one is willing to stick with you long-term, you’ll need to inject a sufficient dose of the ingredients that make relationships last long into your current or next relationship, as the case may be.
Start by looking out for a relationship where you and your partner will respect each other’s humanness. Negotiate and strike a neutral balance on your ever-changing needs. Make frequent sacrifices for each other. Control your respective anger and manage your conflicts intelligently.
Again, the goal isn’t to strive for perfection.
But to love and respect each other, despite your differences.
And work together in unity towards creating something special that can be best described as a happy relationship — that’ll most importantly, last long.
Suggested readings: The Truth About Being Ashamed of Someone You Love
John Emmanuel is a results-obsessed relationship blogger and founder of Top Love Hacks, dedicated to helping you level up your dating and relationship game by motivating you to be in control of your love life.