3. Understand your own sexual desire. We live in a world of attractive people and no matter how appealing your partner is, you will still notice the other people out there. The romantic saying, "I only have eyes for you" is not realistic. Our culture makes sure you see and encourages you to be seen.
Committing to monogamy requires you to be honest with yourself about this and to be prepared to shift the desire stirred up in the world back to your partner. You must learn how to respond to your own desires in ways that feel in integrity to you and this can only be learned by acknowledging that desire and attraction for others will not go away even when you find the one person you want to commit to.
4. Have the confidence to be yourself and ask for what you want. Long-term commitment will be difficult if you go into it trying to shape yourself into the person you think your partner wants. A fun part of early dating can be trying out new things, being introduced to your partner's new world. But it is one thing to go to MMA fights a few times and another to pretend that you will be happy doing this every weekend for the next five years.
If you feel you are subtly dismissing the things you want and slowly letting your life or yourself be reshaped into your partner's idea of the ideal, be cautious. You want to be sure your partner is committing to you — the self you want to be, not the self you can be if you have to. And you want to be sure you are committing to a life you can happily embrace, not one with creeping resentment.
We may not have a lot of TV shows about it but long-term relationships are hardly boring. They ask a lot of the people involved. So, whether you are searching for a partner or have found someone but are wondering how to keep it going into the future, I invite you to think about these traits. You can develop them and they will help to have a strong foundation for the evolving adventure that is love between two people.
Melissa Fritchle is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist & Sex Therapist with a holistic private practice in Capitola, California. She is also an award-winning international sex educator offering workshops and trainings around the world. Follow her blog, Conscious Sexual Self.