How to keep a relationship strong? – My advice

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Hi guys!
Today, I’m coming to you with a slightly wordier post which I am really excited to write. My parents have been together for the past 30 years. Whoever knows them, also knows how much they still love each other. Having this example throughout my whole childhood, I always had a very idealistic idea of love; you meet someone by bumping in them on the street, you share a moment and that is it, happily ever after, right? Sadly, it really isn’t. Relationships actually require a lot more work which I have actually been talking about with my mum recently. I have been with Bart for the past three years and with our third anniversary just around the corner, I have been thinking a lot about our relationship. We are a very happy couple. Every day I feel that I fall in love with him just that little bit more, despite thinking I could never possibly love him more. Unfortunately, finding a person that you have these feelings towards can be difficult in today’s society. With so many relationships falling apart and couples breaking up, what could you do to try and keep your relationship strong? Here is some advice from me and my three year relationship, and my Mum with a 30 years’ experience!
  1. Give each other space – I can’t stress this enough. Despite wanting to spend every minute of the day with each other when we first got together, it isn’t always healthy. Having your own hobbies and interests develop you as a person and if you can’t grow within yourself, then your relationship won’t either. A healthy, fruitful relationship consists of two people that are content in themselves. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend quality time together, in fact, you definitely should! It just means that at the end of the day, each one of you has your own life and you still manage to fascinate each other as individuals.
  2. Respect each other – So, sometimes people fight. Sometimes things get heated and that is absolutely normal. What isn’t, is when disrespect starts to creep in. People have different temperaments and you have to acknowledge that, however, personally there is nothing that justifies swearing, throwing and even worse, hitting. I have heard somewhere about a rule of not going to bed mad at each other. I try to put it in practice and although it doesn’t ALWAYS work, we do try our best. Respect isn’t only related to fights though. Respecting your significant other’s choices, decisions and views is also necessary not only for them, but for yourself also; at the end of the day, why would you want to be with someone who holds views so different to yours?
  3. Make sure you’re with the right person- This is a tricky one, because often people don’t know who the right person is. Before I met Bart, I thought I was in love when in fact, I was just smitten and ended up having a broken heart which will happen if it isn’t the right person. I really appreciate the experience and wouldn’t change it but I always had the mindset of having a relationship with someone I really cared about not just anyone, only for the sake of having a relationship. When I met my boyfriend, I just knew (as cliche as it sounds). So if your relationship doesn’t seem to work then maybe you should ask yourself whether you do indeed think they are the ones.
  4. Trust and friendship – I think this is perhaps the most important one. Before anything else, my boyfriend is my best friend.  I trust him with absolutely everything; I can moan about work and friends, I can tell him my silliest fears without being laughed at, I can end up laughing my head off with him after a terrible day, I can fully count on his support with whatever I do. There is no better feeling. So before love, make sure you are friends because spending your life with someone whose presence you truly enjoy is the best thing in the world. Be each other’s best friend and you are much more likely to achieve what my parents have (well, at least that is what my mum says!)
I hope these have been somewhat helpful. What do you think good relationships should consist of? What is a quality you look for in a partner? Let me know, as I would be more than interested to hear you views.
Lots of love,

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