Keeping the love alive in your relationship is possible. If you look around you, there are examples everywhere of couples who have been married for many years. Sometimes it is easier to only see the couples who don’t make it. But if you take a good look around you, you will see many couples who have stood the test of time. What is their secret to longevity? There are five keys to building a solid foundation for a loving relationship:
-Friendship. Friendship is at the foundation of a loving relationship. Friendship involves having fun together, sharing common interests, and good communication. Couples who find themselves struggling will often find that they have let their friendship fall to the wayside. They stop laughing together, talking, and doing the things that drew them together in the first place.
-Respect. Respect is also at the core of a loving relationship. If you love someone you are going to treat that person with dignity and respect. That means there will be no name calling or demeaning of your partner. That means having respect for your partner’s opinions, even if you do not agree with them. It means respecting the hard work that your partner does, whether that is working in an office or being a stay-at-home mom.
-Romance and passion. Romance and passion are often the first things to go in a relationship. There can be many reasons for this. Fatigue and stress are common reasons. Other reasons could have to do with a break in one of the other foundations mentioned necessary for a loving relationship. If there are problems outside of the bedroom, those problems will transfer into the bedroom as well. A good way to keep the romance and passion in your marriage is simply by being aware and making a mindful effort. Have a date night once a week. Flirt with one another. Always be mindful of what drew you to one another in the first place, and make the same kind of effort that you did at that time.
-Trust. Trust is essential to a loving relationship. It is difficult to be open and vulnerable with a partner that you do not trust. Trust can be destroyed in one large betrayal or in tiny increments. If you hide anything from your partner, it can lead to a huge trust issue. It could be something as small as purchasing new clothing from your joint account and not reflecting it in your checkbook for fear your spouse will be upset. Rest assured that the end result will not be nearly as detrimental to your relationship as it will be when your spouse finds out you purposely hid the purchase.
-Quality time. Time spent with your partner is important, but make sure that the time spent is quality time. Just being in the same room together does not make for quality time. Majorie from Charlotte, NC says that some of the loneliest times in her 15 year marriage were those times when her husband was sitting five feet away from her. He was always focused on watching TV or playing a video game. It wouldn’t have mattered to him if she was even in the room or not.
Taking the time to focus on these five keys to a loving relationship will ensure that you have the best possible relationship there is with your partner.