10 Ways To Love Someone For The Long-Term — Without Losing Yourself

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couple on train looking at each other lovingly

In the beginning, love is grand. It's just you and your partner. You can't seem to get enough of each other.

Then, you buy a house, have children, and get a promotion at work.

Slowly over time, your relationship becomes less important and you begin to drift away. It used to be so easy to go out on a date, but now you can't seem to find the time to fit each other in. 

If this sounds like your relationship, you are not alone. Many couples go through this, even in relationships that work.

Love is a splendid thing and it does make the world go round, but if you want to stay together, then be prepared to work at it. That doesn't mean sacrificing who you are, but it does mean softening and finding space for your partner.

It's all about loving someone despite what life throws at you.

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Ten tips to keep an authentic love alive in your relationship for the long-run 

1. Kiss for six seconds.

You read that right. In our busy world most of the time we give our partner a peck. You need to stop and kiss on the lips for six seconds. It's not really that long and the physiological effects are great.

2. Know one important thing about your partner's day. 

This is also known as "departing". Before your partner leaves for the day make it a point to know one important thing about their day. Don't be scared to ask if they don't say.

This shows genuine interest, which helps build a friendship.

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3. Greet your partner at the end of the day. 

This is a time when you put down all electronics and have a twenty-minute conversation with your partner. This is where you can talk about their day, and you are not judging or giving feedback. This will help reduce external stresses in the relationship.

4. Update your love language together.

This is about knowing your partner inside and out. As human beings we are complex and we are always changing. Set aside some time to discuss what you prefer and how you need to be loved. This will let your partner know that you have their back no matter what. 

5. Touch, touch, touch. 

That's right! Kissing, hugging, and playing with one another. The more the better. We all like to touch and be touched. The next time your partner is cooking in the kitchen, rub up behind them. Be playful, often.

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6. Have sex in a different place. 

If you feeling so-so about your bedroom romps, then maybe it's time to try something different. Your sex life needs to be satisfying to both.

If you haven't been talking about it then you need to start. If you always have sex in the bedroom, then try the living room or the kitchen.

7. Remember: what's old is always new again. 

We can't realistically expect our long-term partner to be the exact same person we married. Although this could be a positive thing, you now have a whole new person in front of you with the benefits of being married.

It's not about going back, it's about moving forward and building a relationship that is better suited for the two of you.

8. Complain without blame. 

After you've been in a relationship for a while, it's easy to blame your partner for what is going wrong in the relationship. Start using "I" statements. This is where you state how you are feeling about what your partner did, and what you need from your partner in the future.

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9. Laugh together.

Bring up a funny moment from the past that makes you both laugh. Couples that have fun together are more likely to stay together.

Maybe the last time you were out to dinner, the server said or did something funny. Bring it up with your partner. You can also watch a funny comedy together.

10. Stay in touch throughout the day. 

After being in a relationship for a while, it's easy to get caught up in your day. Send a playful or loving text to your partner during the day. Let your partner know how your day is going. This is a great time to let your partner know how that one important part of your day is going.

For example, if you were worried about an important presentation, let your partner know you aced it.

It's important that your partner feels first in your life. Even if you start with a few of these tips, your partner will begin to feel that way. The more you do this the more natural it will feel. This will also help build a lasting friendship, which is the key to intimacy.

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Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She is dedicated to helping couples and has completed Levels 1, 2, and 3 at The Gottman Institute. 

This article was originally published at Lessons For Love. Reprinted with permission from the author.