You can’t do anything wrong in a new romance. But as the love grows, learning how to keep a relationship going strong makes all the difference.
I am just going to say it—relationships are not easy. In fact, a good relationship is about the rarest thing there is. It is very infrequent when I am not out for a girl’s night, and the conversation turns into a bash session about everyone’s significant other. Whether dating or married, learning how to keep a relationship going isn’t always simple.
How to keep your relationship going strong
At the beginning of a relationship, you can’t do anything wrong. You spend every waking moment together. All those little things they do are cute, and even if they aren’t, you look the other way. But, real life creeps in, and things aren’t so cute anymore.
Whether going through a rough patch, loss of passion or conversation, or when you just can’t seem to get off the fight roller coaster, understanding how to keep a relationship going is arduous and takes some self-sacrifice and maturity. If you really want your relationship to last, and you think your mate is worth the effort, these nine secrets keep the magic alive.
#1 Have heavy shoulders. One of the hardest parts about being in a relationship is learning to control your own emotions and having heavy shoulders. As a couple, there will be times when your other half goes through a rough patch. Unfortunately, humans take out their misery on the ones we love most.
If you notice your partner goes through something stressful or overwhelming, don’t absorb the anger they direct your way, rather see it as their way of venting and let it roll off your shoulders.
If they flip out because you left your socks on the floor or send you irate text messages, shrug them off and simply say to both them and yourself, “You don’t mean that, that is your frustration talking.” If you react, it just ends in misery.
Go for a walk, refuse to take it personally, and have heavy shoulders, to shoulder whatever they need to get out of their system. That doesn’t mean you should be a pushover. But, do let them vent and let it go. Wait for them to come to their senses and talk through the real issue. [Read: The 15 traits of selfless love that sets it apart from selfish love]
#2 Do the nice little things. If you are out during the day and see something they might like, pick it up for them. You don’t need a special day or occasion to do something nice.
If you pick up a flower on the way home from work, take an errand off of their list, or prepare their favorite meal, just because, it keeps a positive feeling in your relationship and acts as a reminder that you prioritize them.
It also lets them know you think of them often. Even if it is something as simple as a text message saying, “I love you.” Make an effort EVERYDAY to do at least one simple and significant thing to let them know you care. It doesn’t have to be spectacular. It should come from the heart and be genuine. [Read: 15 sweet gestures to express love without words]
#3 Try to spice things up in the bedroom. It is easy to start to lose some of the passion you had at the beginning of the relationship. About six months in, most couples start to freak out because they no longer steal quickies on their lunch break and Saturday mornings aren’t about lying in bed and having sex till noon.
But, even the best couples lose the heat once in a while. The trick to a healthy relationship is to mix things up. Don’t always go with the same moves, or it becomes routine.
If you want to know how to keep a relationship going with the same enthusiasm, introduce new ways to turn each other on and feel good. Sext to get them revved up, and find the things that make them tick. What goes on in the bedroom, goes on in the relationship. If you keep your sex alive and real, your relationship won’t get dull or monotonous. [Read: 20 racy ways to keep monogamous sex spicy]
#4 Forgive. One of the biggest hardships to any relationship is the art of forgiving. When you establish a long-term relationship, there will always be things you can do to hurt one another. Whether intentional or not, if you don’t forgive and let them go, you will forever carry a backpack of resentment.
That muddles any union. Instead of holding onto past grievances, to know how to keep a relationship going, you must forgive. That doesn’t mean just saying, “It’s okay.” Truly let go of whatever anger you bear, forgive with all your heart, and start each day with a fresh outlook, even when it’s super hard to do.
The unfortunate part is we hurt the people we love the most and hardest. Learning to forgive and let things go is key to keeping your relationship healthy and loving. [Read: 10 relationship milestones and when they should happen]
#5 Keep it in the relationship. As I said before, girl’s night and guy’s night quickly turns into a “bitch” session about all the things your significant others do. If you want to keep your relationship strong, only talk about your problems with each other.
Like letting a demon in, discussing your anger or your personal life with others, even your best friend, only adds fuel to the fire. If upset or hurt, go to the source and work it out. It doesn’t help to vent continually to family and friends. You want them to like your significant other, so why bash them?
It not only makes you feel ugly, but it also makes the people in your life not like your partner. That is a recipe for destruction. If you have an issue, keep it between the two of you. Stop going outside to find naysayers or people who will tell you, you are right. It doesn’t matter, just resolve and let it go. [Read: The 15 phases of a healthy relationship]
#6 Work as a team. The key to understanding how to keep a relationship going is trust. The only way that you build and establish trust is to be there for one another, not keep secrets, and work to solve problems and build a life together.
Stop thinking you are a one-man band and work together. A strong relationship involves two people combining their hearts, their souls, and their lives. If you don’t do that, then you are simply two people living together, emotionally apart.
Make major decisions together, talk through your problems, and turn to each other to figure stuff out. If you want them to be your better half, let them be, by including them in your life instead of keeping things separate.
#7 Be honest. To build trust, you must be honest. Sometimes we tell little lies to “avoid a fight.” I get it, no one wants to fight! The problem when you tell “little lies” and you are found out, they become giant fights.
They also put little cracks into your relationship and make your significant other question your truthfulness going forward. If you lie once, even in a small degree, who is to say you can’t do it on a grand scale?
It is those little mistruths we tell that damage our relationship the most. They poke holes over time and destroy trust. [Read: 25 signs of disrespect in a relationship that shouldn’t be tolerated]
#8 Learn to speak their language. A lot of times people think that everyone acknowledges love in the same way. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Every person both shows and interprets love differently.
If you want to know how to keep a relationship going, find out how your partner hears love. Each person has different needs, if you find out what your partner needs to feel loved and whole, talk to them in their language.
That might mean they need to hear you say, “I love you,” or it might mean they need you to take out the garbage. It is important to figure out their perception of love so you can speak their language and continually tell them “I love you” in the ways that they hear. [Read: Look for these 14 signs of love if you want a happily ever after]
#9 It isn’t about communication. Often, at the first sign of trouble, a couple starts to think that communication is key. And, it can sometimes be.
But, sometimes communication isn’t the problem, learning when things are important and when they are not is the key. If you constantly communicate your dissatisfaction to someone, then it isn’t that they don’t hear you, it is that they tire of hearing it.
Learn when to make something an issue and when it is better just to let it go. No one is perfect, including you. Make a pact to pick your battles and not sweat the small stuff, or all you find is the small stuff becoming enormous.
Relationships are a difficult thing to maintain. When with someone, there are always going to be times when you show your not-so-good side, have a rough patch, or, excuse my bluntness, get bored with one another.
If you try not to sweat the small stuff, trust, include one another, and keep things alive in the bedroom, it might not all be sunshine and flowers, but you will weather any storm.
The key is to continue to try. Make each day a new chance to show your love, make each other feel good, even in small ways, and never carry things forward from the day before. Follow the old Cherokee proverb, “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”
Learn how to keep a relationship going on track and harmonious with these nine tips. That means forgive, forget, and think about each other and how to make each other happy, not just on special occasions, but in little ways every day.