Everyone feels butterflies and a warm glow in the beginning stages of a relationship. Love is easy to get off the ground, but it takes some planning to keep things from falling back down to earth.
If you really want your love to last, it needs to start out on the right foot. Here are six things successful people do in the beginning of their relationships:
1. Friends 'til the end
Successful partners decide early on that their love for each other outweighs their romantic journey. They appreciate each other and enjoy each other's companionship. So as time goes on they know even if they're intimate days come to an end, they won't be out of each other's lives.
Respect is the first and last thing on the minds of forever couples. Whether they share values or agree on beliefs has no bearing on how the think of or treat their partner. Each shows interest in the others world view and is open to understanding their partner.
There may be rousing conversations, but condescension, criticism and attacks are off-limits. There is also great effort put into maintaining respect when the romance hits a snag and things become challenging. Being able to show kindness and consideration in the midst of emotional turmoil helps long-term lovers get through anything.
3. Shared commitment
Having a common core of commitment is essential to growing old together. Talking about why you want to be with each other now is just a start. You will also need to understand why you want to stay together.Think about how you will keep things fresh as time goes on, or what you'll do when your relationship hits a wall.
It may be unromantic or unpleasant, but successful couples also understand how and why they would split up. And most importantly, they're honest about it. Making empty threats or promises won't help build the lasting foundation you're looking for.
Long-time lovers tend to head in the same direction. They know from the start they want similar things. It may be a yea or nay on career goals, marriage, kids or a place to settle down, but wherever they're going, they're going together.
5. House rules
Discussing the roles and responsibilities each partner upholds is a basic element of long-lived relationships. Yet, these issues often go undiscussed until things heat to a boil. How each partner contributes in the relationship and in the home may evolve naturally at first, but one partner will start to feel more weight on their shoulders.
This can easily and quickly breed resentment - kryptonite to everlasting love. Have the "who does what" and "who pays for what" conversations early on to keep things civil.
What is and is not infidelity varies greatly from person to person. What to do if infidelity happens is another matter entirely. But you need to know the rules your relationship lives by if you plan to keep it alive. You don't want to step on your beloved's toes and cripple your relationship without even realizing you made a misstep.
Infidelity can be heartbreaking, but many couples survive on the other side. How they get there and what their post-cheating relationship is like is up to them. Talking about it early can light a path to healing without descending into chaos.
Getting things right early on can help avoid a lot of drama later. As a relationship matures and grows, things left unsaid and unexamined often add up to hidden heartache and sudden departures. Have a plan going in to stay on track over the long haul.