So you’ve found yourself a great partner, and you’ve just started what looks to be an amazing relationship. But do you know how to make that relationship last?
Once you get over the initial obstacles of dating, finding a relationship is actually pretty easy. The trick is to keep one going for more than a few weeks. Of course, not every relationship has the potential to last—some partners truly are fundamentally incompatible. But for those other relationships, the ones with real potential to work, you’ll have to use these five strategies to make the relationship last:
1. Be honest. Your first goal should be to remain honest with your partner. The minute you start lying, it can become a habit, whether you’re lying about something small like whether you liked that dinner he cooked or something big like whether you’re seeing someone else on the side. Dishonesty ruins relationships, every time.
2. Be yourself. In the same vein as being honest, you also have to be true to yourself. It’s common to exaggerate your best features and hide your unpleasant ones on a first date, but once you enter a serious relationship, don’t try to alter your personality. Be your true self—it’s going to come out sooner or later anyway.
3. Go at a reasonable pace. Two pacing mistakes can ruin relationships; one, going too fast, at which point your partner becomes intimidated or threatened. The other is going too slow, at which point your partner becomes frustrated or impatient.
4. Spend time together. Always make time to see each other, go on dates, and share some truly special memories. Do new things together, form routines together, and enjoy each other’s company.
5. But spend time apart, too. However, you also need some personal space. Your identity isn’t exclusively tied to your partner’s, so make some time to develop your own interests and pursuits.
With these practices and habits in place, you’ll have a much easier time making that relationship last. In the meantime, try not to jump into a relationship until you’re ready—don’t be afraid to go on dates and mingle with as many people as possible!
Sheila Blagg is a Divorce Mediator certified through the Ohio Supreme courts, & founder & CEO of Divorce 2 Dating, the first social networking site for individuals navigating a divorce. Follow Sheila on Twitter and Facebook!