- Relationships require work and maintenance, much like any other important facet of our lives.
- From the beginning, open, respectful, and supportive attitudes towards one another go a long way in helping you build a lasting relationship.
- It is essential to be intentional, trusting, communicative, supportive and compromising in the various scenarios you will face together.
Humans are social beings, and most require romantic relationships to be truly happy. If you have met that special someone and hope to start a long, happy, and fulfilling relationship, it is vital to understand the science of how to establish a long-lasting romantic relationship.
1. Be Intentional
Be intentional and figure out the truth about your budding relationship. Regardless of the type of relationship you are starting, some things are near-universal.
Any relationship without a strong foundation will eventually crumble. If you notice yourself flinching away from a particular aspect of the relationship, that is the time to get at the truth. These things are most likely to undermine your union in the future.
Unresolved issues have a way of coming back to haunt us. Do not let avoidable problems hurt what could be a lasting and fulfilling relationship.
2. Avoid Assuming Your Partner Mirrors Your Feelings
One of the biggest dangers in close relationships is assuming the other person mirrors you in their feelings and thoughts. It’s hard to accept that the person we’re so close to is actually different from us.
No matter how many things they have in common, even the greatest of lovers and most trusting of partners will have some things upon which they disagree.
The things you truly love about your partner are much more important than the few you don't. Respect their choices, continue your efforts, and keep the big picture of your relationship in mind.
3. Use Tell Culture
Tell Culture is a communication strategy where you are open and honest with close people about your feelings, lowering your barriers and being authentic.
It applies to all your important relationships, especially with your romantic partner. Tell them things about yourself that you think they would want to know so that your trust bond develops and grows stronger.
4. Remove Communication Barriers
You need to remove communication barriers for open and honest communication to work. Anything that prevents all concerned parties from being open is a communication barrier.
The best time to establish a strong understanding is at the start of your relationship. Being open with your dating partner ensures that you have a clear idea of each other’s expectations, be it small things like hobby preferences to bigger ones like cohabitation, career goals, or marriage. Knowing these things early will help you gauge the long-term viability of your relationship.
Two otherwise very compatible people may disagree on major points that may doom their relationship in the future. Figure out your individual communication preferences to reach a compromise that works well for both of you.
5. Practice Emotional Attunement
As you communicate with each other, try to understand the emotions underneath your partner’s words instead of simply the content of what they’re saying. Notice their underlying emotional state.
When you are in a new relationship and still learning about your partner, you may not always get it right–and they won’t, either. However, with time you will begin to understand each other genuinely, and your relationship will be better off.
Pay attention to the tone of the voice, body language, what is not being said, and the content of the words. Such emotional attunement will level your ability to understand the other person and lead to a happy, long-lasting relationship.
6. Trust Others
Research shows that trust is key to building lasting relationships. Since the dating stage is the beginning of your relationship, building trust with your partner early on will prove highly beneficial for the future.
Always maintain a mental evaluation of the level of trust in the relationship. How much do you trust your partner to act in ways that match your mental model of them? Do you trust them to have your back?
For a lasting relationship, gather information about the other person’s trustworthiness. Exhibit vulnerability, share secrets, and be generous in your offers to compromise. If the other person proves trustworthy, then increase commitment to the relationship. If they do not, re-evaluate your commitment level.
7. Respect Boundaries and Privacy
A key aspect of showing trust is allowing each other to set boundaries and permitting privacy. It is important to keep that in mind when entering a new relationship. You are still getting used to each other and leading largely separate lives. To ensure a happy, sustainable relationship, it is essential to give each other space.
This is an excellent time to establish boundaries. Talk to each other and share your ideas about what you are comfortable with. It will save you from painful and potentially permanent disagreements in the future and ensure that you both have an accurate idea of each other’s expectations.
8. Have Healthy Conflicts
Surprisingly, conflicts can be healthy in relationships! If you go into a relationship expecting never to fight, you’ll lose out because the first fight might very well lead to the end of the relationship. Instead, learn healthy conflict resolution techniques, and discuss them with your relationship partner.
As you are both people with your perceptions, preconceptions, and preferences, there will inevitably be things about each other that will make you uncomfortable. As you initiate your relationship, both parties should pledge to be upfront and avoid making assumptions about one another.
Start any conflicts by highlighting how much you care about the other person and the relationship. Avoid the blame game. Rather, be generous in interpreting the other person’s actions.
Change your mind if you discover you made a mistake and apologize quickly and profusely. At the end of any conflict, focus on reconnecting and rebuilding strained emotional bonds.
9. Meet Your Own Goals
Remember that you are entering the relationship to fulfill your need for companionship, so always keep your goals in mind. Do not let it consume your life to the effect that you forget yourself.
Your ideas, career, goals, and direction in life are just as important as your partner's. Make these things clear to your partner so that you both have an accurate idea of what you are getting into. Consider comparing your top 10 priorities on various dimensions to understand what you truly care about.
Be honest and open about your needs and desires. Encourage your partner to be the same. Otherwise, you risk building up resentment and frustration, thus damaging the prospects of a happy, long-lasting relationship.
When you begin what you hope to be a long-term relationship, remember that you are now starting to play a significant role in another person’s life and future, and vice versa. Balance getting your needs met while meeting the other person’s needs.
Seek a mutually beneficial compromise on any areas of disagreement. The trick is to remember which battles need to be fought and which ones do not.
Understanding and respecting each other is key to successful compromises and lasting relationships. Make compromises for each other all the time, big and small, and keep your relationship strong.
As you start a romantic relationship, keeping a few things in mind can ensure your relationship will be a lasting success. It is essential to be intentional, trusting, communicative, supportive and compromising in the various scenarios you will face together. Behaving respectfully with each other will go a long way towards ensuring that you and your partner have a very happy and fulfilling time together.
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