5 Easy Steps to an Amazing, Long-Lasting Relationship

Love & Learn 7

A healthy relationship. Sounds heavenly, right? It also sounds (to me) like one of those things you see listed in a pamphlet somewhere about how you should eat your veggies, recycle your old stuff, and grow your own fruit.

In other words, it sounds unattainable. It's not.

Building -- and maintaining -- a healthy romantic relationship is a heck of a lot easier than growing strawberries (without the deer eating them).

Here are some gentle guidelines for building solid, lasting relationships.

1) Take a step back and look at the reasons you want to be part of a couple -- is it because you need someone or because you want someone (and feel that you, in turn, have something to offer)? Strong relationships are not based on need.

2) A healthy relationship involves the word "team," not the words "me" and "you." When the honeymoon period of the relationship wears off (and trust me, it always does), you're left with a partnership. Is this a partner you can trust to make decisions for you? Do you want the same things out of life? Are you on each other's side NO MATTER WHAT? These are all aspects of good relationships that are very important in the long run.

3) Remember: the picture-perfect, happily-ever-after does exist. In the movies. There's no shame in wanting to have that happily-ever-after, but recognize that in real life, we don't always have the hilarious punchline, we don't wear an impeccable size 1, and relationships can, from time to time, be challenging.

4) Love yourself. I'm not sure which pop princess said it first, but it bears repeating: you must love you. If you're not loving on YOU, you're not going to have much to give to a partner. And? You'll attract the wrong KIND of partner for YOU.

5) This is probably the most important of ALL my advice, and something I should have tattooed on my forehead when I was a teenager: DO NOT SETTLE FOR LESS THAN YOU DESERVE. If you're looking around and have that sinking feeling in your gut, you know what I mean. Remember: you're worth it. End of story. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

What other advice do you have to offer about healthy romantic relationships?


Image via ciocci/Flickr

dating, marriage


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kuwel... kuwelsdestiny

Save sex. And dont call me a prude. "Bad" guys are drawn to women who advertise that they are sexually available, and a lot of women do this without even realizing it. So I guess what I am saying is save sexual cues. If you want to be sure that dude is attracted to more than your hot bod, make it clear that he wont receive any boink for "the forseeable future." And what is more, drop like a rock any dude that presses the issue before you are ready.

nonmember avatar Michelle

I must be a prude too because I agree with kuwelsdestiny 110%!!!

kuwel... kuwelsdestiny

Thank you Michelle! I really wish this were put into the article itself. So many people have made sex into such a non-issue that it is crazy. Everyone talks about teaching "safe sex" in schools, but no one teaches "smart sex" anymore.

PonyC... PonyChaser

One word: Respect. It covers everything, from simply treating someone well to the above mentioned (and very well mentioned, I might add) Sex.

If someone doesn't respect you, there can be no like, love, trust, humor, sex... nothing. If you don't respect yourself enough to withold sex (or anything else) from those who don't deserve you, you have nothing.

Everything else can be sorted, if you have respect. A relationship devoid of respect is not a relationship at all.

CPN322 CPN322

I completely agree with the article and was going to say what ponychaser said, respect. I think respect and open communication are keys to a healthy relationship. I've seen this demonstrated by my own parents who are by all accounts best friends and partners for life.

CPN322 CPN322

I also agree to hold off on sex, and I don't mean until you get married. I think you should save sex for after you have been dating for a while, are in a committed relationship and feel the time is right.

nonmember avatar BETHIE

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