4 Lessons You Should Never Forget (If You Want Love That Actually Lasts)

Love

Finally, advice that makes sense.

Many people say that marriage, as an institution, is "going out of style".

Talk to a group of 20-somethings and you'll likely hear them extol the virtues of casual dating, working on one's self, building a career, and getting out of student loan debt. Some people assume this means millennials aren't interested in love and long-term commitment. But, look deeper — that's not really the case. 

Millennials aren't snubbing love. They're just taking care of more immediate needs right in front of them. Finding a job and stabilizing their life so they can buy food to eat and afford rent. 

Marriage and intimate relationships are further up the food chain. As Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs clearly states, we need to feel safe and secure LONG before we need to bond with another person. But that doesn't mean the desire to find a life partner has gone away, it's merely taken a back seat to more important matters.

It's not a question of IF people will marry, just a matter of WHEN

Yes, young people have raised the average age of marriage, but research still shows that 78 percent of women and 70 percent of men see a good marriage and family life as "extremely important" to them.

So, whether you're marrying today or waiting until further down the road ... what can you do NOW to make sure you're ready for a successful relationship when the time comes?  

We brought this question to our panel of Experts to discuss. Senior VP of YourTango Melanie Gorman sat down with renowned biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fishertherapist and life/love/relationship coach Marcie Telander; psychotherapist, trainer and author Ross Rosenberg; and relationship help doctor, DrRhoberta Shaler to get to the bottom of what all couples (young and old) need to master in order to make a modern relationship work

Collectively, the panel all agrees on one thing — the health of the bond between the members of the couple IS the litmus test of whether that relationship can last over the long haul. 

Cultivating an intimate bond (where trust, honor, faithfulness and friendship reign) is what the panel suggests we all need to make a happy marriage last.

So, we ask you this: If you're like the millions of other people who want a healthy, intimate relationship, are you truly prepared to be the partner you most want to meet? Look in the mirror at some point and ask yourself if you're bringing the same relationship skills, love, and smarts to the table that you also want to find in a partner.

If you are, congratulations, you're well on your way. But, if you're not, then clearly you have some work cut out for you

1. You can have expectations for intimacy, but be realistic. 

Women desire to be face-to-face with a man when we’re having a conversation, and that is totally fine.

At the same time, we have to have realistic expectations of the guy in this situation. So while he may not say much, we should still listen to what he is trying to communicate.

2. You need to be willing to try out his idea of intimacy. 

There are both biological and anthropological reasons women desire intense face-to-face interactions, but men don’t tend to favor these much.

This may mean having a conversation with him involving no eye contact. Dr. Fisher advises that a good time to bring up a conversation is in the car when a man in driving. This way, he will not have to make eye contact and some of the pressure is off.

3. Remember that a man is not a project. 

Don’t go into any relationship with an idea of what it should look like, or the type of couple you should be. The process should be natural and the relationship should be able to build itself.

4. Guys go into relationships with expectations, too.

Sometimes guys may also enter a relationship with expectations and they may have a fantasy built up around you. Dr. Shaler suggests the best time to approach this is before you enter a relationship.

You should know yourself, know your values, and know what you’re expecting. Don't set out to be attractive, or to find an attractive relationship.

Set out to be you. 

Watch the video above, and as the Experts share their ideas and insights, jot them down.

Just remember, you're in control of the relationships you create (now and in the future). The universe has an amazing way of bringing just the right relationships to us at just the right time. So trust your journey. 
 

Want more information or support on how to make a relationship work? Reach out to our Experts, they're here to help! Contact Rhoberta, Marcie, or Ross, and learn more about the incredible work that Dr. Helen Fisher does around love and relationships on The Anatomy Of Love.

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