In our modern age, we may often find that maintaining a healthy and functional long term relationship is vastly more difficult than what past generations may have initially led us to believe. With the constant presence of massive social media sites and countless dating and hookup apps that are readily available on our mobile devices at a second's notice, we currently live in a society that has begun to find more satisfaction in easier, briefer flings than in a real relationship that actually takes some time and effort to build and nurture. In this instant gratification centered world, is it really still possible to maintain a something more permanent?
The most basic answer is, yes, it is still possible to make a life with your partner and settle down for the long haul, but real relationships are by no means effortless, and both parties need to be willing and able to contribute the necessary work involved with keeping a more permanent partnership afloat. Relationships can and will fail for any number of reasons, be it incompatibility or loss of interest, but three of the biggest reasons that they fail are actually some of the easiest elements to keep in check. The first one we will examine is the element of trust. You've probably heard the constant utterance of "without trust, there is no love", or some other variation of the phrase, but the sentiment does hold a great deal of truth to it. In order to keep a relationship moving forward, both parties must absolutely trust each other in all aspects of their lives together. If one party betrays the trust of another, be it through an act of romantic infidelity or simply lying about where they have been or what they have been doing, these actions will rapidly deteriorate the built up trust of the offended party. If you cannot trust each other to tell the truth, to be faithful, to pay the bills on time, or to do exactly as you've said you will do, the relationship will ultimately fail. A strong house cannot be built on an unstable foundation.
Another important factor in maintaining a stable relationship is intimacy. As we get to know our partners and become more comfortable with the relationship itself, the initial fire and passion that we experienced in the very beginnings of the romance may begin to die down. While this is entirely common, it is often a serious problem for relationship maintenance. When you enter into a long term romantic commitment with someone, you're promising each other that you alone will both be able to satisfy the other's need for physical and emotional intimacy. If, during the course of the relationship, this need is suddenly no longer met for either party, that party will begin to experience dissatisfaction and negative emotions related to the lack of intimacy from their partner, and will ultimately either stray from the relationship in search of some form of fulfillment, or exit the relationship altogether. It is very important to ensure that both parties make the time and effort to physically and emotionally take care of the other, and to constantly check with their partner to make sure that they are content and satisfied.
A third and final important factor in maintaining a long term romance is excitement. Much like the topic of intimacy, as we get comfortable with our partners we lose that sense of urgency to constantly entertain and romance the other person because we've already locked the relationship down and both parties are happy and comfortable. However, allowing yourselves to become too comfortable can lead to the relationship becoming boring or stagnant, adjectives that no one should ever want to use when describing their romantic life. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with being content lounging on the couch with each other watching movies and eating pizza, it's important that you make sure that's not all you two seem to do together in your spare time. Be sure to make a date night or two a mandatory addition to each month, allowing you both to leave the house and try out new activities and scenery together. Try to explore a new hobby every once in a while as a couple, and make an effort to regularly think up new and exciting ideas to keep both parties entertained and enthralled.
While each romantic partnership is different from the other, at the core we all need the same basic things to build a strong and sturdy partnership. We all need love, affection, commitment, trust, and sparks, and as long as each of those needs is constantly met and satisfied, one should find it no trouble at all to build and maintain a successful long term relationship.