Staying together for many, many years is possible. What do ‘forever couples’ do to make their relationship tick over happily, year after year…especially in a world that seems to move faster than we can keep up?
According to world-famous relationship guru, psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author, Esther Perel, staying together for many, many years is possible, but it takes work, communication and a healthy dose of self-awareness!
She shares six secrets ‘forever couples’ know:
1. They share a vision
‘Forever couples’ share the same vision and hold similar values. They have the same answer to questions like “What should we eat?” and “Do I want children?”.
2. They check in with each other – regularly!
Nearly everyone is given an annual evaluation at work, but couples rarely stop and take a moment to reflect on their relationship. They don’t ask each other, “How are we doing? What would you want to be different?” By doing this every year, you take ownership of your bond, and it also gives you a sense of what you can do better and if your goals are still aligned.
3. They take ownership of their mistakes
‘Forever couples’ know their vulnerabilities, strengths and fears. They identify their wrongdoings and try not to let them happen again.
So, if you’ve been dating someone for six months and they’ve never been able to say “I made a mistake,” or “I’m sorry’, it’s a red flag that your relationship may not be able to stand the test of time!
4. They ask for what they want
To get their needs met, ‘forever couples’ ask for what they want – and make requests instead of complaints.
If they want to spend time with their partner, they ask, “Do you want to go for dinner tomorrow?” rather than saying, “You never spend time with me!”
5. They don’t ‘owe’ each other
Relationships are not always easy, and if you think yours will be, then you are setting yourself up to be disappointed and resentful of your partner. Yes, you have the right to expect certain things – love, faithfulness, communication – but your partner does not always ‘owe’ you.
6. They re-invent their relationship
Instead of seeing ‘forever’ as the same partnership from the beginning until death, think of it as having two or three relationships with the same person through your lives. Now, this doesn’t mean that you’re literally breaking up and getting back together, just that your relationship and roles change over the course of your lives.
For example, if you are with someone for 30 years, the first decade might have been spent chasing your partner’s dreams, then you may take time to pursue yours.
It’s the partners who view their journey together in this way that really withstand the test of time.