As attractive as forever may sound, it is such an abstract concept created and upheld by love-struck individuals looking for a release from the agonizing struggle of singlehood.
But having the same feelings for the same person until the end of days seems like an impossible feat. This may sound rather cruel, but it’s the harsh truth that not many relationships will make it through the end.
With that said, there are ways to make sure your relationship will at least make it through the marriage stage. This can only be achieved if you set aside your feelings. As critical as love is to the survival of humanity, it’s sometimes not enough to rescue a crumbling relationship.
1. Build a friendship first, before anything else.
This is one of the problems with the dating scheme these days. Thanks to Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Grindr, and the likes, we rush ourselves to enter a relationship without wholly knowing the other person first.
Take your time at the early stages of the relationship to get to know what turns on or ticks off your partner. Learn if his beliefs and passions align with your own. This way you won’t waste any precious moments with someone who turns out to be incompatible with you.
2. Effort and communication are key.
Showcase your love by spending quality time on dates, picnics, fun activities, or just Netflixing at home while eating a home-cooked meal.
You don’t always have to do materialistic things. Simply show effort by asking about each other’s days, leaving sweet notes, being supportive, etc.
Share your thoughts regularly, especially when you feel like our relationship is going nowhere. Communicate your ideas and come to a compromise, so both parties can resolve the issue while meeting each other’s needs.
3. Choose your battles carefully.
Your partner may forget to put the toilet seat down or clean up the fallen hair strands from the drain, but that’s totally okay. You might get upset with that, but it shouldn’t be the cause of an explosive argument. Just imagine how ridiculous it would be if a relationship ended just because of an unkempt bathroom.
What I’m trying to say is not all disagreements should lead to the end of the relationship. It’s all right to let go of an annoyance if it doesn’t derail the relationship. Pick the battles that will surely affect the relationship in the long run, like lack of attentiveness or effort.
4. The ‘spark’ can only last for a while.
Even if you make yourself believe your partner is your forever person because of the spark you both have, chances are after a year or so those butterflies will simmer out.
There’s a possibility that you’ll look for this spark elsewhere and this is something you both have to deal with. There will be temptations to sacrifice this forever relationship with the fleeting passion of an affair.
It’s okay to have a harmless crush. It’s all right to fantasize and imagine what could be. What’s not okay is to irresponsibly act on your impulses.
Situations like these are delicate and both parties have to decide if the relationship (and the person) is really worth saving after all that you’ve been through.
On one side, blatantly ignoring this betrayal based on your love for each other is truly unhealthy. On the other hand, throwing away everything that you’ve been through together after one unfortunate mishap may just cost you your forever person.
5. Be realistic.
Your love life won’t ever resemble a rom-com. Don’t expect your partner to stand outside your apartment holding a boom box or sing in a football stadium with the risk of being arrested.
The bottom line is that your relationship will always face hardships along the way and it’s completely normal. Your fantasies of meeting your Romeo or Juliet should remain just that — a fantasy that could potentially be lethal to your mental health.
Stop reading that copy of Cosmopolitan and forget whatever hacks they tell you to do to make your relationship last. You shouldn’t rely on advice that basically urges unhealthy habits that would result in a disastrous co-dependent relationship.
You’re probably tired of hearing this same advice over and over again under every circumstance but the best you could do for a long-lasting relationship is to stay true to yourself.
6. Know that feelings won’t ever solve anything.
Sure, your feelings should be the foundation of your relationship, but it shouldn’t be everything. No matter how many romantic comedies tell you “love can conquer and overcome anything,” let me just clarify that it’s complete and utter bullshit.
You and your partner’s insecurities won’t be solved by love. Your financial problems will not go away because of love. Your incompatibility with each other won’t magically disappear because of your love.
So, the next time you and your partner get in an argument and on the brink of a breakup, don’t give into the ridiculous excuse of “I love you, isn’t that enough?”
Because the answer will always be no.