Being in a relationship is fairly easy. Being in a long-lasting, loving, and healthy relationship isn't as easy though. When two lives are coming together, there is bound to be some compromising, rough waters, and uncomfortable and intense emotions. But according to the Huffington Post, as psychologist Marcel Zentner, Ph.D., found in studies of compatibility, there is no particular combination of personality traits that lead to long-term relationships. That is to say, often relationships are more about work and less about luck or personalities. Some people just stay in a relationship that isn't going anywhere, where both partners have remained static and unwilling to put in any effort. To make a true partnership, you both have to put in the work. It's not always thinking about yourself and your needs; it's thinking about you two as a couple and as a team.
With that being said, you have probably seen a lot of articles on the things you should be doing in relationships and, alternatively, the things that could potentially damage your partnership. However, there are things that you might have not thought about before, but they most certainly will help to create a fulfilling and long-lasting relationship. Being a relationship expert and Matchmaker for It’s Just Lunch Seattle, I know the key ingredients in creating a happy couple. Here are seven unexpected things you should be doing in your relationship if you want to keep it strong.
1. Have Arguments
Yes, you are reading this correctly. I am telling you that you should not only be arguing every now and again, but that it is actually healthy for your relationship. If you and your partner aren't fighting at all, then it's possible you aren’t fully communicating. In a partnership, you are bringing two lives into one. There are bound to be disagreements, intense emotions, and times when you both don’t see eye to eye. That is where compromise comes into play.
Don’t take this the wrong way and think that you and your mate should be bickering every moment together. Expressing yourself and how you feel to your partner is going to benefit the relationship tremendously. Furthermore, working through your issues together will build a greater bond and foundation.
2. Ask “How Was Your Day Today?”
Asking your partner how his or her day went is more important than you may even know. Sometimes we forget to ask this simple question. We come home from school or work and we turn on the TV, eat our dinner, and zone out. This is fine. What is not fine is if we start zoning out on our boyfriend or girlfriend. We need to stay interested in our other half and what is going in his or her life. Let your partner know each and every day that you care about what is occurring. Your other half will appreciate how interested and curious you are — trust me.
3. Go To Sleep Together
This might sound a little obvious, but you would be surprised at how many couples I hear that never go to sleep together at the same time. What usually happens is that one partner isn't tired or is still binge-watching Game of Thrones, while the other is fast asleep. I get that you might not be on the same sleep schedule every night, but going to sleep together as often as possible is key in a relationship. It allows for more intimacy, a higher chance that you two will have sex (it's a little hard if you're both in different rooms), and it brings you both together.
4. Have Space Away From Each Other
It’s crucial to spend quality time with your partner. But, it’s also vital to spend quality time with yourself — and just yourself. Your significant other shouldn’t complete you; he or she should complement you. That means that you need to maintain your independence while still being in a relationship. Be careful because some people can lose themselves in a relationship and giving so much to their other half that they forget one half of the pair — themselves. Taking time for yourself and creating that space will allow for a healthier and happier relationship.
5. Travel Together
You don't really know a person until you travel with them. And I mean, sitting with them on a 9-hour flight with a 4-hour layover and a crying baby sitting right behind you. That's when your partner's true colors will come out. Traveling together is not only a great way to really see a new side of your love, but it's also a huge way to connect on another level. You both are experiencing new things together, seeing the world, and expanding your minds. Creating new adventures together will give you both something you can never take away. And I mean, hey, a trip to Paris never hurt anyone.
One thing you will need to be good at if you want to have a long-lasting partnership is apologizing. It’s incredibly normal and healthy to argue with one another. All's fair in love and war... until your other half can’t seem to ever apologize. Never being able to admit when you’re wrong will only create resentment in the relationship. And, no, “sorry, I’m not sorry” does not apply here. Own up to your imperfections and your other half will fall even more in love with you. There’s nothing sexier than a good apology.
7. Have Awkward/Funny Sex
You know you’ve hit another level of couples-ness when you two have had funny, hilarious awkward sex. Having awkward sex doesn’t mean anything is wrong with the relationship. In fact, it means that you two have done it enough times to get to this level of closeness. Sometimes awkward sex happens when you try to do it in a unique place, aka uncomfortable small bath sex. Or maybe you kept slipping while trying to get down in the shower. Being able to laugh in relationship is key, even in bedroom. The more adventurous you are under the covers, the higher the likelihood that you will one day come across hilarious sex that you can laugh about for ages.
Everyone wants a happy, healthy relationship, so it's worth trying one or all of these tips to make sure you and your partner are as close and content as possible.