6 secrets to a lasting relationship

July 28, 2015

The key to a successful, stable relationship is no secret; it requires time and attention. The following advice deals with the little things that can make relationships go a long way.

6 secrets to a lasting relationship

1. Have a conversation about the big things

  • When you were courting, did you talk for hours about current events or the meaning of life?
  • If all you seem to talk about now is the grocery shopping or how much to spend on a new sofa, reintroduce meaningful conversation into your relationship.
  • Try this: one night, while you're in front of the TV or in the car, make a provocative (but not hurtful) remark about something your partner cares deeply about — the government, an athlete — something that will get his or her dander up.
  • He or she will disagree, of course, which will get the ball rolling. Keep it rolling!

2. Say thank you at least once a day

  • You thank others for the little courtesies they do for you. But do you thank your partner for his or hers?
  • If he or she makes you breakfast every morning, say thank you and mean it.
  • If your partner took out the garbage without being asked, say thank you even if it's his or her allotted chore.
  • Showing your gratitude keep you from taking each other for granted.

3. Get active together

  • Are you both a few pounds heavier than when you first met? Engaging in a physical activity that you both enjoy can be as good for your relationship as it is for your body, and can reinforce the fact that you're a team of two.
  • You needn't run a marathon together (although training for one could provide a lot of couple time).
  • How about tennis? Golf? Swimming? Even gardening can be a good workout, if you're landscaping the garden or tending a large flower bed or vegetable plot.

4. Develop a common interest

  • The couple that plays together, stays together.
  • To keep your relationship fresh and vibrant, think of an activity that both you and your partner enjoy, and do it together.
  • The possibilities are endless: gardening, sports, attending classes or cultural events together, walking, hiking, home-improvement projects.

5. Do charitable work together

  • Helping others takes you out of yourself and your own problems and gives you a broader, more spiritual view of life.
  • Again, try to pick a cause or an organization that appeals to you both, whether it's a mentoring program for disadvantaged children or working on weekends in the local soup kitchen.

6. Walk through your disagreements

  • When you and your partner are at loggerheads, ask him or her to go for a walk to work things through.
  • Being outdoors and walking at a steady pace can melt away the tension, so it's easier to talk honestly, form compromises or apologize.
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