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How To Make a Relationship Last and Thrive Through the Years

by eharmony Editorial Team - November 22, 2023

Keeping your relationship healthy, strong and positive isn’t always easy, particularly when you’ve been together for some time. Couples often find that after the initial passion has faded somewhat deeper obstacles in the way of you building a life together that may have seemed trivial at first begin to emerge with time.
But most that know how to make a relationship last know it takes work, patience and a reliance on your partner. So, let’s look at some of the conscious things you can do to learn how to make a marriage last, supporting your partner and also keeping the romance alive in developing relationships.

How to make a relationship last and strengthen your connection with your partner

The first thing you need to know about how to make your relationship strong and last longer is that you can’t do it alone. Building a solid bond and a strong, healthy relationship is a team effort. So, if you’re looking at how to make a relationship last, you have to make sure your partner is on board and that you’re willing to work together to make your life together work.
Here are some simple tips for strengthening your relationship.

Talk openly and honestly often

Effective and open communication is vital in any lasting relationship. Make sure to express your feelings, needs, and concerns honestly and respectfully. Really listen to what your partner is trying to tell you and try to see things from their perspective while also keeping a clear notion of your own expectations.

Trust is the foundation of your love

Trust forms the foundation of any strong relationship if you’re looking at how to make a marriage last or even a long-term relationship. This concept only becomes more important as your bond deepens. Be open and honest with them and avoid keeping secrets or withholding the issues you’re experiencing in the relationship. Trust takes longer to develop than other relationship qualities, so patience, reliability and consistency are key.

Learn to fight in healthy ways

There are going to be times in your relationship when you just don’t see eye to eye. Learning healthy and constructive ways to get past this is crucial. Try expressing your needs calmly, avoid blaming language, practice active listening and find ways to equitably come to a compromise. Always pursue a resolution rather than a win in arguments.

Compromise only becomes more vital with time

How to make a relationship last requires constant compromise and flexibility. Be willing to find solutions that work for both of you and help strengthen your relationship. Be open to adapting to the relationship as it changes with time. Stop holding onto old relationship expectations and modes and be more open to meeting each other halfway.

Make spending quality time together a priority in how to make a relationship last

Try to spend time together in meaningful ways where you don’t just sit around the house together but also go on special dates or find shared activities to explore. Make some hobbies your ‘shared thing’. Make creating shared experiences a priority. Quality time and a shared life helps foster intimacy and deepens your emotional connection.

Be each other’s rock in the good and the bad times

Sharing a life also means sharing the bad times. There are going to be rocky patches where one of you isn’t always going to be in a good place. Moments like these and how positively you respond as a partner can have a huge impact on how to make your relationship strong and last longer. So always be their cheering section.

Make sure your goals and values in the relationship are aligned

A relationship can’t last if you want different things. This can be as basic as wanting children or a goal to work abroad someday but it’s also about the more nuanced aspects of the relationship such as your perspective on intimacy, personal belief systems and your general outlook on what constitutes a healthy relationship.

Maintain intimacy

This doesn’t just mean sexual but also through everyday affectionate gestures and by being vulnerable with your partner. Take time to share your deepest thoughts and feelings. Create a safe space where you can express yourselves without judgment. Strong physical and emotional connectivity can help strengthen your bond.

Learn when it’s good to take time apart

One of the key things in how to make a relationship last is also realizing you sometimes need time apart to pursue your own interests and relationships with friends and family. As the proverb goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. So while quality time is healthy, it’s crucial you both also maintain your own separate lives and passions.

Always try to be growing and developing as a couple

Relationships continue to evolve and change in nature over time. Embrace the personal growth that comes from it and encourage your partner to do the same. Keep learning about each other, exploring new experiences, and exploring new ways to keep the relationship fresh and exciting.

Playing your role in how to make your relationship strong and last longer

It’s important to remember that even if you follow all these tips on how to make a relationship last, staying together may just not be in the cards. This is because, despite the concerted effort you both may put into it, there can be deeper psychological and lifestyle incompatibilities that will always get in the way of your relationship growing past a certain level.

This is why we focus on the science of compatibility at eharmony, rather than just surface attraction, connecting people that aren’t just similar but whose disparate personalities complement each other in ways proven to lead to lasting connections. As John Lehrer said in his bestselling novel, A Book About Love: “Most online dating websites are focused on finding you a similar partner. But when you look at meta-analyses of thousands and thousands of couples you find that similarity is insignificant. It’s less than 1% of the variation in overall marital satisfaction. Researcher Eli Finkel argues that the algorithms they use are really no better than random chance because the idea that the person we should be seeking out is our doppelganger ends up leading us astray.” So come find someone that truly fits you in an enduring way on eharmony today.

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