9 Little Things Couples Who Last Do Differently Than Those Who Break Up
There's no perfect recipe for a successful relationship, but there are a few habits experts say can lead to more lasting relationships. For inspiration, you can just look at the little things couples who last longer do differently than those who end up splitting, and by learning from these habits, you might find that you have better relationship success. You don't need to change who you are to stick with your partner — you just need to find better ways to make things work in a relationship.
"Long-term relationships require effort because love evolves from a passionate and intense initial feeling to a more stable and secure one," therapist Ana M. Aluisy, MA, LMHC, LMFT tells Bustle. "This latter [relationship] is vulnerable to routine and monotony, which leads to the initial passion and intensity to fade away. In addition, in order for relationships to last we have to make a conscious choice to place our commitment and the relationship above others and even ourselves at times. It's not about being right and proving the other wrong. It's about choosing the relationship."
If you want to make it in the long run with your partner, you'll want to engage in these nine little things experts say long-lasting couples do differently.
1. They Set Aside Time For Each Other
There's nothing like good old quality time, and couples that stay together go the extra mile to spend time together. "Spending one-on-one time, without friends or other family members, allows for intimate moments to continue to be built in our positive memory bank," says Aluisy. "It also makes individuals feel special to have undivided attention."
2. They Take Responsibility For Their Themselves
Couples that stick together take responsibility not only for their actions, but for their own personal, professional, and spiritual happiness. "Each person understands that although relationships are an important part of life, healthy people don’t put all of their eggs in one happiness basket," clinical psychologist Traci Stein, PhD, MPH tells Bustle. "They seek other types of satisfaction, such as at work, in friendships, and the like."
3. They Make Attempts For Repair
A happy, long-lasting couple will make an extra effort to work on issues that come up. "Trying to repair or make up for past mistake shows efforts that one cares about the other's feelings and is willing to accommodate in an effort to avoid hurting their partner," says Aluisy.
4. They Agree To Disagree
You're not always going to have the same opinion as your partner, and that's OK. "It's important to show respect for differences of opinions or beliefs," says Aluisy. "This is a great way to show acceptance even with conflicting views."
5. They Have Realistic Expectations
"Long lasting couples are realistic and flexible with respect to their expectations about their partner and relationship in general," psychologist Rob Pascale tells Bustle "But they also keep an optimistic outlook and a positive perspective. If you expect your partner to be a certain way or your relationship should follow a certain path and it doesn’t, those in successful relationships can realize their expectations are unrealistic and will make adjustments."
6. They Get Out Together
Couples who stick together find a good balance between staying inside and going outdoors. "Getting away from [your usual] space provides an opportunity to focus on each other," psychologist and sexologist Barbara Winter, Ph.D, PA tells Bustle. Plus, you get to feel healthier at the same time!
7. They Nurture A Common Project
"People in longer-term relationships share a common goal, whether it be renovating their home, having a side-business as a couple, or leading a fundraiser," says Winter. "Projects are important for many reasons. Besides a joint venture, it allows for continued momentum in the relationship."
8. They Value The Whole Person
A long-lasting relationship goes beyond just physical attraction and having a good time together. "They value the whole person — mind, body, emotions — and understand that their partner is more than just their physical appearance, which will change over time," says Stein.
9. They Know No One Is Perfect
Long-lasting couples realize no one is perfect, and they don’t expect their partner to be equally agreeable, interesting, or attractive to them all the time, says Stein. Instead, they understand that their partner will sometimes have a bad day, and will be there to offer support when needed.
Everyone's relationships are different, but follow these simple tricks, and experts say you might find that your relationship becomes a bit easier.