Six Tips for a Lasting Relationship
by Marta Kagan
Small Business Coach, Life Coach & Motivational Speaker
Wondering what it takes to build a relationship that
lasts a lifetime?
Try these six timeless tactics for keeping your romantic
partnership on solid ground
• TIP 1: Dont' sweat the small stuff.
My mother used to tell me that the secret to a healthy
marriage is to keep one ear and one eye closed at all times. I didn't
quite understand what she meant by that when I was younger, but now
it makes perfect sense: if you spend your time getting worked up about
every little thing your partner does that isn't just the way you want
it, you'll soon find yourself miserable -- and quite possibly single
Take the time to clearly and concretely identify what
a successful partnership means to you - in writing! Share these with
your partner - then make a point of focusing your energy on those
When you find yourself getting steamed about some
trivial issue, try the tactic that's worked wonders around our household:
remind yourself of what really matters, take a deep breath, and on
the exhale, say "Yes, my love." (If that doesn't work, feel
free to try the one eye/one ear closed thing).
• TIP 2: Set specific goals.
Around here we have a saying: "You can live your
life by default, or you can live your life on purpose." Shouldn't
your relationships be "on purpose" too?
Turn off the cruise-control and start putting a little
muscle into this infinitely important aspect of your life. Ask yourself
what your relationship would IDEALLY be like - imagine your fairy
godmother is ready and willing to wave her magic wand!
Now ask yourself what it will take to make this ideal
your reality. Set specific goals. Wake up each morning and ask yourself
- what's one thing I can do today to step closer to my ideal? Even
a few small steps in the right direction will make a noticeable, rewarding
difference in your life
. • TIP 3: Take responsibility.
You can't control the way your partner acts in your
relationship, but you can control how you react in negative situations.
Are you guilty of accusing your partner for "making
you act that way"? Rubbish! You and only you are responsible
for your actions, choices, and behaviors.
Instead of focusing on what he or she needs to change
to improve your relationship, put your effort into working on YOUR
issues. Take responsibility for your role in the deal!
• TIP 4: Work on your friendship.
The best relationships are based on much more
than mutual attraction and a satisfying sex-life -- they're based
on friendship. Mutual respect, shared interests, and the ability to
really enjoy one another's company -- in and out of the bedroom --
are key factors to enduring relationship success.
Learn to be intimate with one another in non-sexual
ways. Sharing your thoughts, memories, and [dare I say it?!] even
your fears with one another and spending time doing the things you
would do with your best pal are two great ways to enrich your relationship.
• TIP 5: Meet each others' needs.
"The success of a relationship is a function
of the extent to which it meets the needs of two people," says
relationship expert and licensed psychologist, Phil McGraw.
At least once a day, ask yourself what your partner
might need in order to be happy -- a hug; a little encouragement;
a small gesture of gratitude or appreciation; or just a little break
to relax on their own! -- then do what you can to provide that for
Remind yourself that relationships are about giving,
compromising, and sharing.
• TIP 6: Appreciate your differences.
It's easy to get stuck thinking, "I would
NEVER do something like that!" in those frustrating moments when
conflict occurs. Instead of wasting time wondering why your partner
can't be more like you, shift your focus to her/his unique strengths
and winning qualities.
He/she may be driving you crazy at this very moment,
but this very moment is just a tiny snapshot in your greater lives.
This same quality that's making your blood boil right now may be the
very same quality that saves you from physical or emotional harm next
So give each other a break; give each other the benefit
of the doubt; and most importantly, appreciate what makes you different.
Remember that it's that 'yin and yang' that keeps it interesting in
the long run anyway!