I think we can all agree that relationships are one of the best things we have in this life, but sometimes, they can also be the hardest.
How many times have you been in a relationship where it’s started great, but over time, things got messy, feelings were hurt, and sooner or later, the relationship ended in a painful breakup? I know I’ve been there. Even in the best relationships, there are periods when the couple isn’t happy.
So the question is, how do we make love last?
For this 5-Minute Friday, I want to talk about the five keys to lasting love — proven methods that have been tested in relationships for decades. And by lasting love, I don’t mean just surviving and staying together. I mean a relationship that thrives and grows over time.
Is there someone you admire who’s been in a relationship with the same person for 20, 30, 0r 50 years? And when the couple is together, it’s like they’re still in the honeymoon stage? That’s the kind of relationship I’m talking about. How do we get that?!
Thankfully just last week, I interviewed Lori Gottlieb on Episode 1,013, and we talked about overcoming shame, processing pain, and maximizing mental health. In addition to all that, we also had a segment on relationships! As a therapist, she works with couples, and she’s seen a lot of thriving and struggling relationships. So I asked her, “What are the five proven things that make a relationship last and thrive?”
When you are so set in your ways and expectations of what you want and who you want your partner to be, then there are going to be issues. If you expect someone to be perfect, you’ll be constantly let down because no one is perfect. No one has the energy to be perfect. And if you’re on the other side of that, you’re going to constantly feel not good enough. This is not a healthy relationship dynamic. Instead, strive to be flexible and go with the flow. If something doesn’t go your way, don’t get bent out of shape. Adjust, move on, and be considerate to the needs of your partner.
#2. Emotional Stability
If you haven’t worked out your past stuff, then you’re going to bring that baggage with you into the relationship. You’ll be so focused on your own issues that you won’t be able to give your partner any energy, and that will eventually tear apart the relationship. So make sure that you’re committed to personal, emotional growth.
#3. Choose Positive Over Negative
Here’s how Lori put it: “You need to have five positive deposits to every one negative deposit.” So if you get into a fight with your partner one day, be intentional about having a positive interaction the next. Because if you’re fighting 24/7, you’ll begin to resent one another because you’ll both be carrying negative energy. So every time something negative happens (which it will), be intentional about bringing in even more positive experiences to counteract that negative one.
#4. Take Responsibility for Your Response
We can’t always keep bad things from happening, but we can control how we respond to those things. Nobody is perfect, and in any relationship, there are going to be letdowns. But your response to that disappointment is more powerful than the letdown itself. If we can work on our responses to bad situations, we can continue to create positive, restorative energy in our relationships, which will keep them thriving.
#5. Take Care of Your Mood
Emotions are contagious, especially in intimate relationships. Intentionally create an environment of self-care, peace, and joy, and that positive energy will spread to your partner!
And there you have it, friends! The five keys to lasting love and relationship success! I’d encourage you to sit down with your partner today and walk through these five things together. How are you are doing? What are you excelling at? What can you improve on? Having conversations like these are so important in growing your relationship together!
Join me on Episode 1,017 to learn more about the five keys to lasting love!