Although a great deal of romantic relationships do not last long-term, there are also many examples of couples that maintain a healthy, functional and loving dynamic for 20, 30, or 40 years or more.
If you are just beginning a new relationship or are thinking about taking the next step in an existing one, you and your partner can greatly benefit from examining the traits of successful relationships and evaluating them in regard to your personal situation. Happy couples in lasting relationships tend to have certain characteristics in common that shape their interactions and strengthen their bond over time.
Take an in-depth look at five traits that partners who are successful in love typically possess.
1. A Strong Commitment To One Another
Long-term couples often demonstrate a strong commitment to one another through mutual honesty, trustworthiness, fidelity and resolve to make their relationship work in good and bad times.
If the desire to fully commit to a partner is absent on one or both sides, the longevity and quality of the relationship is at risk. Successful and happy couples share a deep and special connection that perseveres over time.
Quick Tips For Fostering Commitment:
Make an effort to keep your relationship as one of your top priorities. You and your partner should feel confident in being valued as important by the other.
Be willing and enthusiastic about allowing your relationship to progress over time. Show your partner that milestones such as living together, engagement or marriage are meaningful to you.
Convey to other people in your life, such as friends and family that you love and respect your partner deeply. Do this both in and out of your partner’s presence.
Resolve to tackle relationship, work, family and life issues as a united team.
2. Consistent Practice Of Kindness, Empathy And Compassion
A relationship characterized by apathy, cruelty or stubbornness is not one that lends itself to a healthy, lasting and fulfilling dynamic. Rather, couples that endure over time tend to express kindness, empathy and compassion to one another on a frequent basis.
These elements correspond beautifully with the most powerful component of a successful relationship – love. Everyone wants to feel understood, valued and respected by a partner.
Quick Tips For Fostering Kindness, Empathy And Compassion:
Be a strong source of support for your partner if he or she is going through a difficult time. Offer affection, a sympathetic ear, advice or simply your comforting presence.
Make it a practice to extend grace and kindness to everyone in your familial and social circle. Living with this mindset encourages an organic exchange of empathy within your romantic relationship as well.
Work together with your partner to demonstrate compassion and caring on a broader level. Volunteer together to feed people in need, rescue stray animals, mentor children in the community or raise funds for causes that are dear to you both.
3. Chemistry On An Emotional And Physical Level
Physical attraction is commonly the trait that drives people to want to date each other to begin with, and it is also integral to the long-term endurance of a fully-fledged relationship. Emotional attraction plays as much of a big role in defining “chemistry” between a couple.
Although a number of relationships may be unbalanced in terms of the presence of physical and emotional chemistry, successful partnerships have a healthy dose of both.
Quick Tips For Fostering Chemistry:
Integrate small gestures of affection into you and your partner’s daily routines. Whether it’s a quick kiss and hug, a touch on the shoulder or a walk hand-in-hand, a loving gesture helps you to stay connected emotionally and physically.
Schedule regular “date nights” so that the two of you have the chance to spend quality time talking, engaging in fun activities and enjoying one another’s company without interruptions or distractions.
Get on the same page in regard to maintaining an intimate life that satisfies and fulfills both you and your partner. It need not be excessively frequent, but it should be rich in quality and authentically pleasurable.
4. Shared Interests, Values And Life Goals
Although it is fine for each half of a couple to have some individual interests, relationships thrive when two people share a number of hobbies and passions that they can partake in together.
Personality traits and basic values also mesh well in partnerships that have lasted and grown throughout years. Couples should possess similar goals in regard to areas such as financial stability and raising a family.
Quick Tips For Fostering Shared Interests, Values And Life Goals:
Every once in a while, check in with one another to discuss your goals and aspirations as a couple in the present time. Make a list of any mutually agreed-upon goals that you would like to accomplish together in the future as well.
If you’ve always talked about signing up for a class or activity that you both enjoy but never actually got around to it, this is the ideal time to take the plunge. Whether you and your partner sign up for dancing lessons, a community sports team or a gourmet cooking class, you can easily become even closer through exploring shared interests.
5. The Ability To Communicate Honestly And Productively
Communication breakdowns are some of the biggest pitfalls in relationships, causing many a partnership to falter if more productive patterns are not put into place.
Enduring couples understand that healthy communication is essential to an in-depth understanding and appreciation of one another as individuals and as a unit. Verbal exchanges as well as body language can greatly impact the lasting success of one-to-one interactions.
Quick Tips For Fostering Communication:
Strive to really listen to your partner when they are sharing thoughts, frustrations or stories with you. Many people fall into the trap of “waiting to talk,” and thus do not give their partners proper attention and consideration. Being a good listener is just as important as being a strong verbal communicator.
Have a plan in place for healthy communication during times of conflict. This joint plan may contain resolutions such as allowing each person to express a viewpoint for five minutes without interruption, resolving to stick to the issues rather than engage in personal attacks, or agreeing to table the issue until the next day should the disagreement not be resolved by evening’s end.
Recognize that you and your partner both need time alone once in a while, and accept that the need for personal space without resentment, anger or forced conversation being involved is important. Let each other know ahead of time when a retreat from communication is necessary.
Remember that even the most successful long-term relationships hit rough patches on occasion, but as long as the above traits provide a solid foundation, progress toward a smoother path is attainable. Reach out to a relationship expert or go on a couples’ retreat if you and your partner need a bit of extra guidance in keeping your special connection going for years to come.
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By Heather Redwood
Heather Redwood graduated from Penn State University with a Speech Communication degree, and specializes in communication therapy. She has logged over 15,000 hours in one-to-one sessions with men and women, helping them to cope with codependency issues and love and sex addiction. She also specializes in online dating and marriage counselling.
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