Thursday, April 21, 2011

On a Recipe for Sustaining a Long-Term Relationship

• Be interested in each other’s lives, even the mundane at times.
• Encourage and support each other; sometimes all it takes is listening, sometimes a gentle push.
• Share a common core of enjoyable activities, but maintain or develop your own interests.
• Learn to enjoy a new activity that is important to the other person, even if it’s one you might not have chosen yourself.
• Respect each other’s privacy, need for space, and time alone or with other friends.
• Never go to bed angry.
• Be frequently affectionate with each other—lots of hugging, kissing, hand holding, and snuggling that doesn’t always signal sex, but just genuine caring.
• Amuse, entertain, and playfully tease each other; find ways to make each other laugh. A lot.
• Take an interest in the other person’s opinions—about current events, books read, movies or plays watched. Challenge each other intellectually.
• Go on at least one “date” a week outside the house.
• Find time for each other every day (no multi-tasking!)
• Appreciate each other sincerely—do not take the other person for granted. Tell that person you love them regularly, remind them of their great qualities, compliment them.
• Find a way to work out your financials—not necessariy merging everything into common accounts, especially if starting out later in life. Money should not become a target for argument.
• Discuss your hopes, dreams, and long term visions for your lives together—to keep yourselves on the same page as you get older.
• Figure out which battles are most worth fighting for and leave the rest alone.
• Give and take.
• Be honest, but not unkind.

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