17 People Share How They’ve Maintained A Successful And Lasting Relationship (In 5 Words Or Less)


1. “Listening matters more than fixing.”

–Nicholas, married 14 years

2. “If you’re upset, tell them.”

–Celia, in a relationship 8 years

3. “Understand you’ll both constantly change.”

–Melinda, married 19 years

4. “Don’t try to be right.”

–Stuart, married 31 years

5. “More good times than bad.”

–Ivan, married 22 years

6. “Accept that love is hard.”

–Eric, in a relationship 10 years

7. “Say what you feel.”

–Alessandra, 16 years

8. “Ask each other important questions.”

–Marlon, married 12 years

9. “Remember they’re not a mindreader.”

–Babs, married 41 years

10. “Nothing ‘easy’ is worth it.”

–Chase, married 11 years

11. “Fighting can be healthy.”

–Erika, in a relationship 6 years

12. “Don’t try to change them.”

–Suz, married 24 years

13. “Truth will be your lifeblood.”

–Noah, in a relationship 13 years

14. “Relationship = number one priority.”

–Henry, married 20 years

15. “Say sorry when you should.”

–Yvette, married 19 years

16. “Ask for help.”

–Kristopher, married 23 years

17. “Love them through everything.”

–Michele, married 31 years TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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