Why Lasting Love Is A Two-Way Street (& 3 Ways To Keep It Going!)

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Love

Keep your love alive for years to come.

Dating can be lighthearted, fun, and easy-going. So just how does that change when you get into a long-term relationship, and why? How can you keep that same love going and spread it out over twenty, thirty, or even fifty years?

When you’re in a long-term relationship, it’s obvious that things can change, whether that’s a married relationship or a committed, monogamous dating one. There’s a clear difference between a couple that’s been together for a few months versus the one that’s been together for a few years.

Relationships go through their dips and phases, and early on when you’re feeling extra “lovey” thanks to the romance stage, a lot of the hardships of loving, caring, and considering another person’s needs in addition to your own don’t seem so difficult. And yet, as you both grow together, learn new things about each other — some of which might be challenging, or let's face it, just plain annoying — your love will be tested, and so will the bonds of your relationship.


RELATED: 4 Ways To Build A Love That Will Last (That You Can Start Today)


Sometimes, love will come easily. You'll be peaceful and happy, and you'll be reminded of the reason you fell in love in the first place. And then other days, you'll have trouble even remembering how much you love your partner because you're frustrated or angry with them or something they've done.

But that isn’t something abnormal, and though it might seem selfish, it really isn’t! You're two different people with different needs, wants, and dreams. You're living a life together and carving your own path. Some days will be harder than others. Especially when you add the stress of daily life, work, bills, and your own personal need. Life with another person can be great and it can also be trying. But that’s just all part of the process, and thankfully, there are ways to make it easier on yourselves.

So if you want to know what you can do to make the most of your love and your lives together with your spouse or partner, then get some advice from the experts!

Here are three ways that you can make your love last a lifetime:

1. Pay attention to your partner — yes, even their complaints!

“What’s the feedback you’re consistently getting from your partner — feedback you hear over and over but still don’t heed? If your first thought is, 'I only hear that at home,' it might be because your partner knows you better than anyone else. But guess what? The longstanding complaints you have about your partner are usually true of you," says Dr. Diana Shulman. "You also exhibit the quality you’re pointing at, albeit in disguise. Yes, it takes two to tango, but for now, forget about your partner’s issues. Your partner can be loaded with faults and still be telling you something real about yourself.”

It is so utterly important for people to feel like they've been "heard." When your partner tells you something, take the time to really listen if it's important to them! That doesn't mean they should complain at you all day long (or that you should!), but when something is bothering them, listen. Learning to communicate effectively with your partner will make all the difference in your relationship!

Diana Shulman, J.D., PhD is a Los Angeles psychoanalyst with more than 25 years of clinical experience. Certified in both Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples, Dr. Diana is the author of The ABCs of Love: Learn How Couples Rekindle Desire and Get Happy Again.

2. Don't leave yourself out of the equation.

“One of the most important things to remember when wanting a loving relationship to last is that the first and longest lasting relationship we have is with ourselves," explains life and wellness coach Genie Lee Perron. "Fostering a loving, nurturing relationship with ourselves and honoring our own healthy boundaries, sets the tone for how we expect others to treat us. When we truly love ourselves, better, longer lasting relationships with others naturally flow and we are more loving to others who are in our lives. This makes for more satisfying, loving and joyous interactions with all.”

You are first and foremost the person in your life that you need to watch out for, take care of, and pay attention to. It is so important to create a lasting, loving relationship with yourself while you're working to build one with your spouse or partner, as well. That doesn't mean you have to think that you're perfect, or even that you have to like everything about yourself. That's something that you can work toward. What's important is to not neglect yourself and your needs in a relationship, or the relationship will suffer.

Genie Lee Perron is an ICF certified life coach, certified health and wellness coach and a licensed Heal Your Life ™ teacher and coach. She is the owner of The Heal Your Life Center of Plymouth in Massachusetts. For more information or to inquire about private coaching go to www.genieleeperron.com.

3. Your words can create comfort or pain, so choose them wisely.

“Do and say nice things to each other enough to keep your love bank full," suggests marriage and family therapist Karen Gless. "Know and use the skills to work through a conflict without hurting each other. Mutually appreciate and benefit from your differences.”

How many times have you said something in anger to a person that you loved, only to regret it immediately? How many times have you simply not said something important, or didn't say a compliment? If you're constantly building each other up and working toward making each other feel loved and appreciated, then you're going to see a relationship that lasts. And what you don't say can sometimes be as important as what you do. Make sure your partner knows the positive things you think about them! Choose your words; choose the ones that will nourish your love!
Karen Gless is a Marriage and Family Therapist who has developed a powerful approach to guide couples to a successful and loving relationship. For those with sexual and intimacy problems she created the “Pure Pleasure System.” Learn more at SexTherapyDoctor.com. For ways to increase love, get closer and handle conflict visit DrKarenGless.com.

RELATED:4 Things You Can Do (Right Now!) To Create Lasting Love In Your Relationship


For more advice from incredible people in helping professions, look to our Experts. They are here to help!

Merethe Najjar is a professional writer, editor, and fiction author living in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their rescue cat. She graduated with a degree in creative writing and recently had her first sci-fi romance novel Mercury in Retrograde published. You can also find her on her website, MeretheWalther.com, or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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