Steps to Make Your Relationship Last Forever (No Matter What)
Everybody wants to be in love. From the time that we’re young until we finally find a special someone, it’s common for people to frequently daydream, sometimes even obsess over love. After you find that one special person that makes your heart skip a beat when they walk into the room, you run into a new challenge: how do you make a relationship last? In America, the divorce rate among married couples is currently at almost 50%, steadily growing over the past several decades. There are all many reasons why the divorce rate has continued to climb, but one thing that all divorces have in common is that one or both partners aren’t satisfied with the state of the relationship. Although there isn’t one particular formula for making every relationship work, there are some general guiding principles when looking for a love that will last.
What is love?
It may sound cliché to ask this question, but what is love anyway? If you asked five different people, you’d likely get five different answers. Everyone experiences love a little bit differently. Factors such as where you’re from, what kind of environment you grew up in, your parents' relationship and what you’re looking for in a partner will impact how you see love. While there certainly is quite a bit of variance when it comes to love, there’s still something universal about it. After all, if there wasn’t anything common, then what would all of those songs on the radio be about?
When we think of romantic love we’re often thinking about the cocktail of emotions that can make you feel excited and blissfully happy while at the same time a little bit nauseous, and certainly nervous! Romantic love is the experience that we write poems about and make movies about. Two people meet and realize that they complete each other, that they share traits and values, that they excite each other, and that there’s nothing they want more than to be together. This kind of love is valid. Psychologists have devoted considerable research to understanding how the brain responds to falling in love, and it has a huge and powerful impact on people. Romantic love can bind two people together in some really powerful ways. But research has also demonstrated a downside to romantic love.
The downside to romantic love is primarily just that; it slows down. Those butterflies you used to get and the warmth that would spread through your whole body just from seeing someone slowly diminishes. Most research indicates that this type of romantic love lasts for couples for about two years. Some experts describe it as the honeymoon phase; it’s the period when everything seems perfect no matter what. After those two years you don’t suddenly fall out of love, but your brain begins to act differently. It’s at this two-year mark that many couples have to face a decision. If those feelings subside and they realize that they don’t share much with their partner and aren’t all that interested, then it may be time to step away. On the other hand, it’s also an opportunity for romance to evolve into something else, something more like a deep and meaningful form of friendship. Many longtime couples describe their partners as their best friends. While falling in love could happen overnight, that kind of deep bond doesn’t. It takes cultivation, but it can ultimately be extremely rewarding.
Read on to learn more about how to make your relationship last.