Enduring Love: Ingredients For A Relationship That Lasts

Updated August 22, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

When a relationship first begins, it can be easy to believe that those intense, feel-good emotions will last forever. In reality, though, most relationships experience some type of decline in romance and passion over time that couples must work through themselves. When many couples go through conflict and tough times, it seems to test the very foundation their relationship was built on. So, how do some relationships last while others don’t? The answer may lie in the type of love that’s enduring—one that doesn’t give up despite the obstacles. Keep reading to learn more about the ingredients needed to build a relationship that lasts.

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  1. Compatibility

One major component of a successful relationship can be the compatibility of both partners. You may have heard phrases like "opposites attract," which is largely true in science class when discussing magnets. However, when it comes to love, research has shown that couples who share similarities are more likely to experience satisfying long-term relationships. Compatibility doesn’t mean both people agree on everything and don’t have any differences. Rather, it means they shared similar life values and are able to openly discuss areas of discord with respect and compromise. Examples of topics that can be important for compatibility could include future plans, children, where to live, religion, how involved family is, and politics. Of course, some differences can be overcome if there are strong similarities in other areas. 

  1. Communication

Beyond being compatible, couples need to learn how to communicate effectively in order to experience a lasting relationship. This includes communication in all forms ranging from daily discussions, learning about each other, and even having healthy disagreements. Along with communicating regularly, each partner needs to feel safe saying what they want and need to say, while the other party needs to be open to listening to what is said.

Sometimes couples do have to work diligently to learn and use productive communication skills. One key skill is active listening, which involves proactively hearing what your partner is saying rather than listening to respond. Active listening also involves reflecting or paraphrasing what you heard and asking questions about things you do not understand.

When being the talker and not the listener, healthy communication skills sometimes require getting your emotions in check, so you do not say things you might regret. At times, you may need to pause, think things over, and then express yourself when you can do so in ways that won’t be harmful to the other person or the relationship. This can prevent excessive or unproductive arguments.

At the same time, sometimes couples need to communicate to work through a disagreement. If a couple never disagrees or argues, it could mean they are avoiding difficult conversations. Some confrontation of difficult matters can be necessary to make a relationship healthy enough to last. When disagreements do occur, couples in lasting relationships use their communication skills to sort things out in a productive manner.

Note that communication does not just occur through words. Some people give and receive love in ways aside from just saying the words. Figure out how you typically communicate your love (is it through giving gifts, spending quality time together, or something else?) and determine how your partner shows their love. If you use different ways to convey love to one another, you might miss the signals. However, by talking about it, you can communicate love in ways you both can recognize.

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  1. Honesty

You have likely heard the old phrase, which says "Honesty is the best policy." Indeed, that is generally the case in a healthy relationship from the very start. You may be tempted in the early stages of a relationship to be misleading about who you are and what your future may look like. However, being dishonest likely won’t lead to an enduring love or a relationship that lasts. Rather, it may end the relationship when your partner discovers the truth. As you build your relationship, it can be crucial to remain open and honest with your partner about your past, present, and future. Making up lies may only undermine the relationship and can erode an already poor foundation. 

  1. Compromise

You may have heard the saying, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you might find you get what you need." This can be true when it pertains to compromise in relationships. The reality is that even if a couple is very compatible with similar goals, there can still be times when each person wants something different. In those instances, the only solution may be an old-fashioned compromise.

Compromise is often not as simple as partners getting their way in an alternating fashion.

Nor does it always mean meeting in the middle, because sometimes there is no easily found middle-ground solution. Real compromise involves talking everything over and finding the best solution in each specific situation. Sometimes one person may have to give more. Sometimes the other person will. Try to keep the focus on finding the best outcome each time so that you do not feel tempted to "keep score."

  1. Understanding

Being in a relationship typically requires a high degree of understanding for one another. You are not always going to be on the same page as your partner because you’re both unique human beings. Remember that you were each living your own life with your own families and unique environmental settings until the two of you met. As such, you each learned certain ways of being and doing. 

It can be tempting to be judgmental when your partner approaches something vastly different from how you would approach it. However, instead of letting a judgmental attitude get the best of you (which could be detrimental to the relationship), try to seek understanding. Ask questions to learn about why they do what they do in the way they do it, and you can effectively learn more about your partner. This can strengthen the relationship and contribute to the likelihood that it stands the test of time.

  1. Patience

Patience may be a virtue, but it can also be an important ingredient in a lasting relationship. Just as it can be vital to avoid judgment and practice understanding, sometimes you will also need to be patient with your partner and in the relationship. Your partner may approach life differently than you do. They might move through life at their own pace, and it may not make sense to you. If you push them and rush them, though, it could harm the relationship. Instead, try to practice patience. The same can be said if there are weaknesses your partner is working on. Rather than point out when they’re doing something wrong, notice when they get it right and encourage them to keep improving.

  1. Kindness

Kindness can go a long way in life and relationships. You and your partner may love each other a lot. However, sometimes actions speak louder than words (and of course, saying the words can be important too). You can show your love for your partner by practicing kindness. This can happen in small and big ways daily and sometimes in less frequent but grander ways.

There are all kinds of ways you can communicate kindness to your partner. You could give them compliments, make them lunch, or leave them a little note to cheer up their day. Plan a party, take them to dinner, or go on a trip with them away from the doldrums of daily life. Not only are you showing kindness, but you are also showing your appreciation for them. Those acts of kindness can help them feel loved, which can continue to strengthen a relationship and help it last a lifetime.

  1. Forgiveness

Enduring relationships often require a willingness to practice forgiveness. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Your partner may forget your dinner date or neglect to pick up milk from the store. Holding grudges might only chip away at the relationship. Try to learn how to forgive the small stuff and let it go because the odds are your next mistake is just around the corner. Treat your partner the way you’d hope to be treated. 

For the bigger stuff (such as a breach of trust or infidelity), you may still need to work toward forgiveness to maintain the relationship if you both desire to. However, in those cases, you may need outside help to reach forgiveness if you feel unable to do so on your own. 

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Online Counseling With Regain

Even the healthiest, happiest relationships experience ups and downs. Many problems can be worked through with open communication and effort, but sometimes, you may need to confide in a therapist for extra support. Regain is an online platform that can provide couples counseling to you and your partner from the comfort and privacy of your home. Whether you’re trying to build a stronger foundation together or mend something that’s been broken, a therapist can help you work toward these goals as a team. The ease, convenience, and cost-effectiveness of online therapy may make it a valuable option for you and your partner. Together, you can work to develop the right ingredients for a lasting relationship. 

The Effectiveness Of Online Counseling 

Couples counseling has been shown to be an effective resource for those experiencing problems in their relationship. In one study, researchers explored the efficacy of an online counseling program delivered through videoconferencing. They found that the couples experienced a positive shift in their expectations toward one another. Participants stated that the video format of the program created an element of ‘distance’ from the therapist, which ultimately let them feel a deeper sense of comfort and control and allowed them to be more open and honest.   

The Takeaway

What makes for a long-lasting relationship can vary from couple to couple. Still, there are some qualities that couples can cultivate within their relationship to make it more likely to endure the highs and lows. Couples counseling has been shown to be an effective resource for those wanting to strengthen or repair the bond they share. Regain can connect you and your partner with a licensed therapist who can help you foster the ingredients for a successful long-term relationship. Whether you’ve been married for years or are transitioning to a lifelong commitment with your partner, online counseling can support you in the goals you have individually and as a couple. 

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