Some relationships are strong enough to last a lifetime, and it’s not attributed to luck or chance. It’s thanks to continuous efforts from both parties and a desire to be together.
There are certain qualities that should never be missing from a loving partnership, and once they are, it’s only a matter of time until things start to fall apart.
There is no single secret to making a relationship last because it involves so many other aspects that depend on one another. The key is whether you’re able to maintain each of those parts.
See 10 factors that every strong relationship should have.
A lasting friendship often equals a strong relationship overall because you share a deeper bond that goes beyond a romantic level. With friendship, you have a more durable foundation that’s fulfilling on multiple parts.
If friendship is the foundation, distrust is what can seep in between the cracks and make it all crumble. Even if you and your partner check off all the other nine items on this list, your relationship will not survive without trust. No matter how good things are, one person’s doubt is enough to drive the rest into the ground.
This one should go without saying, but every healthy relationship should be built upon mutual respect. Both parties should recognize each other as equals and should always be open to their partner’s thoughts, beliefs, concerns, and needs.
The honeymoon phase of not being able to keep your hands off each other will naturally fade over time. But that shouldn’t mean that affection should be completely forgotten. Verbal and physical reminders, such as saying “I love you” and touching when speaking, reinforce your connection.
One of the most common mistakes couples make is forgetting that they’re teammates. Your significant other is your partner in life and, therefore, your greatest support system. You’ll be much more successful by working with and not against them.
The second either of you begins hiding things from each other, your relationship will begin to run off track. You should be able to share anything with your SO while receiving love and support in return. Secrets can become cancerous and snowball into further damage. You’ll always carry a sense of guilt as long as you keep things to yourself, and your and your partner’s dynamic is bound to be affected.
Intimacy is not only limited to sex, although sex does play a crucial role in relationship success. It comes in layers, becoming more authentic and sweeter with time and care. Intimacy requires a deeper understanding of each other that’s far more significant than physical attraction.
You never want your relationship to get too serious, and not in terms of intensity. No matter how deep you are into things, whether it be marriage with kids or dating long-term, both partners should remember to maintain a sense of humor. Jokes that were once considered funny shouldn’t one day be met with irritation. Keep things as lighthearted and playful as they were in the beginning.
You should always be each other’s biggest cheerleader. Encourage your partner to go after what they want and ensure them that you’ll be by their side no matter the result. By being excited about each other’s achievements and celebrating even the little things, both parties benefit from a supportive relationship.
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10. Unconditional Love
True love doesn’t come with rules and terms, so don’t enforce any. At the end of the day, a relationship will not last if the couple doesn’t share a meaningful love for each other on every level, including as individuals.
It doesn’t work if you selectively love them as a parent but not as your friend, or as a teammate but not as your romantic partner. Together, your love should be well-rounded, abundant, and mutual.
Nicole Yi is the former associate editor of Popsugar. Follow her on Twitter.
This article was originally published at PopSugar. Reprinted with permission from the author.