It’s hard enough to be single and dating and trying to find true love, so things must be magically amazing when you finally have that, right? Wrong. That couldn’t possibly be more wrong. If you enter a new relationship with the super naive and innocent belief that nothing will ever be bad ever again in your life, you’re not alone there… but you need to get on board with reality and fast. Relationships take hard work, energy, time and effort, and they’re not always a piece of cake. If only. You know that it takes two and that if you refuse to try to make things work, they’re just not going to because you can’t expect your relationship to be this separate thing from you that doesn’t need your time and attention. But hope is here. You can put some work in and have a happily ever after. Here are 15 ways to make a relationship last.
15Spend Time Together
Sounds simple but that’s exactly why this is such a good tip. It’s so easy to forget about the most simple things in life since you’re so busy and dealing with so many things at any given moment. If you don’t make a point of scheduling time with your boyfriend, guess what? You’re never, ever going to see each other and you won’t even feel like you have a boyfriend at all. And what’s the point of that? You might as well be single. So schedule date nights a few times a week. You don’t have to see each other seven days a week. That’s not going to last and that’s going to just put pressure on both of you since you do have so many other things going on. But do things that you love together. Go to your favorite restaurants. Cook some new meals if you both enjoy that. Go for a run together or head to the gym. And yes, Netflix totally and completely counts (as long as that’s not all that you do together).
14Have A Routine
Every couple has their own routine, and you absolutely need to develop one of your own with your boyfriend. Without it, you won’t feel so bonded and connected. You need to feel some sort of ownership over the things that the two of you do together. So maybe you want to make a new dinner every Sunday night and then watch a few episodes of a drama or comedy. Maybe you want to meet another couple that you’re both friends with and grab drinks and dinner every Tuesday night. Maybe you even want to see each other’s parents for dinner a few times a month. Just make sure that you’re planning these things and making a point to develop your own couple routine. It’s going to be so much fun and make you feel like you’re both super close, no matter how crazy busy life gets, and that’s going to be worth it in the end.
Yes, you and your boyfriend are going to fight. It doesn’t matter how close you are or how long you’ve been together. And it doesn’t matter how much you two love each other. You can absolutely be super in love and still fight. You’re both human. When you argue, you’re saying that something is wrong in the relationship (whether big or small) and that you want to get your feelings off your chest so you can deal with things head-on and solve the problems. That’s a really healthy way to be, so don’t feel bad if you’re bringing up something that’s bothering you. You’re not bugging your boyfriend and you’re actually proving that you care a lot about him and your relationship. You can even explain that to him if he thinks that you’re angry for no reason or that your words are coming totally out of left field. So when you fight, fight properly, and make sure to say how you feel without blaming or being insulting.
You do not have to follow traditional, typical relationship milestones or do anything just for the sake of doing it. Just because your friends are all living with their long-time boyfriends doesn’t mean that shacking up with your guy is right for you at this moment. Same goes if they’re engaged or even married. But you still have to make sure that you and your boyfriend are moving forward and thinking about your collective, shared future. If you don’t do that, you can pretty much say goodbye to a happy ending to your love story. Relationships need to grow and move forward. They can’t stay the same because relationships and the status quo don’t work out so well. That’s why people cheat on or resent their partners. So do both of you a favor and make sure that you’re taking steps to keep things forward and to keep looking ahead.
Just because you’re in a loving relationship doesn’t mean that you’re not your own person. And you shouldn’t be. If you refuse to separate from your boyfriend and have your own life, you’re pretty much asking for things to go south and super fast. So don’t be scared to tell him that you want to spend Fridays with your girlfriends, that you can’t give up your three-times-a-week yoga classes, and that you still want to watch your favorite TV shows. It’s not weak or lame to want alone time. It’s actually super smart and healthy. The thing is that your boyfriend will want to have his own time and life, too, and he’s going to be really happy that you’re suggesting this stuff. He’ll respect and love you even more because he’ll realize that you’re not going to give stuff up for him and that being with him doesn’t mean that you’re forgetting who you were before him.
10Talk All The Time
You can’t see your boyfriend 24/7. You might want to, but as mentioned above, it is not healthy. You are two people together but at the same time have your own thing going. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore each other (can you imagine?!) or have no idea what’s going on in each other’s lives. You should absolutely stay in touch and talk all the time. Yes, e-mail and texting totally count, so don’t feel like you have to have four-hour heart-to-heart phone conversations every single night that you’re not hanging out. This will help you feel totally connected no matter what’s going on, and will make sure that the two of you are committed to being with each other and being in a real, true relationship. You can’t honestly think that things are going well if you never talk about everyday stuff or help each other through problems and crises. That’s basically the entire point.
The thing about a good relationship is that other people are going to try to get super involved and invested. Of course, your best friends care about your well-being and they want to make sure that whoever you are with is going to treat you well. And your family definitely feels the exact same way. But unless something super awful and toxic is going on, you basically should ignore other people when it comes to who you love. It’s your relationship, not theirs. You have to make choices that are right for you and your partner. So that’s definitely a smart way to make sure that your relationship lasts (hopefully forever). You want your boyfriend to ignore what other people say and think, too, otherwise, you’re going to have a big problem because you won’t be able to survive if he’s not confident enough in his own feelings and thoughts.
8Make Sure You’re Really In It
You may stay with a guy for far longer than you really should for a whole bunch of reasons. You could not want to shake up the status quo (which is totally normal because most people don’t want to do that) or you mind not want to break his heart (again, that’s completely normal). But you should never stay in a relationship out of guilt or fear or any of those super negative emotions. That’s a one-way ticket to breaking your own heart because staying in a relationship when you’re not feeling it is not going to make your relationship last. It’s going to pretty much cause the exact opposite of that. So if you want to be in a relationship that lasts, then you have to make sure that you’re really in it. Make sure you really do care about this guy and that it’s basically true love. If it’s not, you have to get out now, because things will end eventually.
7Don’t Change Him
You know that you should never try to change your boyfriend because he’s either not going to change… or he will but he will totally hate it, hate you, and resent you. And resent the whole relationship. Yeah, that doesn’t sound super fun, does it? Don’t try to change your boyfriend and don’t act like he’s not good enough for you. You’re going to hurt him so much more than you might expect because you wouldn’t want him to treat you like that, would you? You want a guy who loves you for exactly who you are, down to your flaws and quirks and humiliating moments, and you should absolutely do the same thing for someone else. Your relationship will never last unless you love your boyfriend for who he is and think that he’s pretty great the way that he is. The same goes for anyone else that you deal with, from your friends to your family, because people don’t change because you want them to. But it definitely applies to your love life, too.
6Invest In Your Relationship
No, not financially, although maybe you and your boyfriend are saving up to move in together, and then that totally applies. You should be investing in your relationship emotionally and intellectually. Believe that things are going to work out and they probably will, barring any ridiculous problems. You never know what’s going to happen, but the truth is that your mindset has a whole lot to do with anything that you do in your life. If you think you’re going to fail at something, you will. If you think your job interview is going to go badly or that you can’t do something, you won’t be able to do and it will essentially become a self-fulfilling property. Don’t let that happen to your relationship. Don’t think that things will fall apart. Instead, turn your mind around, stay positive, and invest in your relationship. Chances are you will be so positive about things that your boyfriend will realize how much you care about him and how much you really want things to last.
5Think About The Past
Sure, you want to look ahead and stay upbeat, but the past is always around. That’s why people say it haunts you. But it doesn’t have to be such a scary, horror movie type of thing. It can be a positive force in your life and your relationships. Think about your romantic past and make sure you don’t make those same mistakes and create the exact same problems. If you used to resent your ex-boyfriends for hanging out with their friends without you sometimes, don’t bring that annoying quality into your new relationship, because chances are your new boyfriend wants to see his friends too and he’s going to get just as mad as your ex. People tend to react to relationship problems in similar ways, so make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself. Make a point of thinking about why your past relationships failed and make sure that doesn’t happen again now.
Gratefulness isn’t just for Thanksgiving dinner, saying what you’re grateful for over turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie. It’s a great thing to think about on a daily basis, too. Be grateful for this amazing, lovely, sweet and caring guy in your life. Don’t take him for granted or you’re asking for heartache, tears and total and utter disaster. He’s going to be able to tell if you appreciate him or not, and that’s honestly a huge reason why a lot of relationships fail (and why people cheat). If you love him, tell him that on a regular basis. Don’t get super clingy and cheesy because no one likes that, male or female, but make sure he knows how you feel. If you can feel good about him and the bond that you share and the time that you spend together, that will go a long way toward making things last and last and last. You want him to feel the same way, so make sure that he does. You’ll be able to tell as well.
You don’t have to go out all the time to fancy restaurants, or make fancy dinners at home and eat by candlelight, or even give each other lavish and expensive presents. That might be what you see in romantic movies but that doesn’t mean you have dot copy that because those things are fake and pretend and they really have nothing to do with real life. Be chill in your approach to how you spend time with your boyfriend. If you plan to go to dinner but are both tired from work and life and all that jazz, it’s completely fine to order pizza and stay in. That doesn’t mean you’re failing as a couple or that you’re doing something wrong. Your friends may do fancy activities with their boyfriends but that’s them, that’s not you and it has absolutely nothing to do with you and your guy. It may be hard to be so calm and zen about the whole thing but soon you will be glad that you took a chill pill and are so normal about your relationship.
2Don’t Complicate It
Everyone makes things so much more complicated than they really have to be, and that includes love. Everyone wants love, but most people have this super complex, tricky idea of what that actually means. They think that love means all these things that it really does not. The most important thing is that you respect each other, are compassionate, care about each other and spend time with each other on a regular basis. If you do that, your relationship will 100 percent last. There is no way that it would not. If you ever find your thoughts spiraling and find yourself worrying about something that you do not think that you should be, then you definitely have to talk to your boyfriend about that to make sure that tiny issues do not escalate into massive problems. That is the only way to guarantee that things will be fine.
1Have A Good Time
If you absolutely want your relationship to last, then you have to make sure you’re having a good time with your boyfriend. That doesn’t mean that life won’t get in the way sometimes and you’ll have fights and you’ll be stressed and you might say things that you don’t mean. Those things will still happen. Neither of you are perfect. But having fun is so crucial to a relationship, and that’s something that is so easy to forget. You get caught up in posting couple selfies and wondering what your friends think of your boyfriend and wondering if you’ll ever get married to this guy that you forget to enjoy the moment. But this moment is here, and the future is far away, and you owe it to yourself and your boyfriend to have a good time. If you can do that, and he can do that too, then nothing will stand in your way and you will pretty much live happily ever after.