I was inspired by an article I read recently about a couple sharing their secrets to a successful marriage after being together for over 50 years. It made me wonder what makes a relationship last and how to keep loving someone for decades. I consulted a few happily married couples and I realized it’s not as hard as we think it is. It’s all in the details.
1. Be honest with each other about your feelings, your needs and your own personal reflections.
2. Be kind to one another. Kind with your words, kind in your actions and kind with your heart.
3. Tell each other everything. Secrets, silly things, embarrassing stories, childhood memories and future dreams.
4. Admit your mistakes and put your ego aside. Mistakes can make the relationship stronger once you sincerely admit them and realize that you were wrong.
5. Be each other’s biggest fans. Cheer each other on the small things like cooking a great meal and the big things like getting a promotion.
6. Maintain the respect no matter how long you’ve been together. Respect is the fuel that keeps the relationship going, never lose it.
7. Let go of the little things that bother you. As long as it doesn’t take away from your relationship, let it go.
8. Don’t expect perfection and don’t try to be perfect. Embrace each other for who you truly are and focus on the good qualities you both admire about each other.
9. Find things to laugh about. Movies, old stories, old home videos. Release more dopamine together.
10. Don’t lose the passion in the bedroom. Keep it hot, passionate and innovative.
11. Never stop appreciating each other for the small things you do and don’t take them for granted.
12. Do something special for them every now and then. Plan an exotic vacation, or make a scrapbook of all your memories together. Find ways to let them know how much they mean to you.
13. Be playful. Go to theme parks, karaoke bars and water slides. Keep your heart beating and your free spirit alive.
14. Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability. It will always be part of who you are and you shouldn’t be scared to show your partner how much you love them or how soft they make you.
15. Give a little more. Try to give without expecting anything in return. It’s not a business trade, it’s a relationship.
16. Be each other’s reality checks. Be honest about your flaws and setbacks too, tell them the hard things they need to hear sometimes.
17. Treat them like your best friend. You don’t hold grudges or give your best friend a hard time. Adopt the same mantra with your partner and you will be amazed at how much easier the relationship will be.
18. Remember the tiny details. Remember what makes them happy and what makes them smile and find ways to bring those moments back.
19. Hold hands and cuddle. Nothing beats the classic hand holding and cuddling when it comes to deepening your emotional bond and feeling the real connection between you two.
20. Have a lot of patience with each other. Especially during tough times. Most of the time we let our bad mood out on the people we love the most. Don’t take it personally and try to understand where your partner is coming from.
21. Always put each other first. Check in with your partner before doing something selfish or something you know your partner is not a big fan of.
22. Never stop working on yourself. The happier you are with yourself, the happier you will make your partner.
23. Give each other the space you need. We all need some time to recharge our batteries to nurture ourselves so we can be able to take care of others.
24. Get involved in their job. Not literally but know what they do, know the latest updates in their company, know their upcoming deadlines and projects. When you are aware of what’s happening in their other life, you will be able to offer the right kind of support.
25. Recreate romantic moments. First dates, first kisses, first time you said I love you. Celebrate the beautiful memories by reliving them.
26. Get lost together. In a foreign country, on a new adventure or on a cruise. Go somewhere where no one knows your name.
27. Buy things for each other and send your partner anything that reminds you of them.
28. Enjoy the silence. Don’t try to fill your time together with noise. Get comfortable with just being silent together and feel the true definition of comfort.
29. Engage them with your family. Let them be part of it–the good, the bad and the ugly.
30. Choose each other. Keep choosing to love each other and be together every single day.