Ask Dr. Joy: How to Make a Loving Relationship Last

By WEEK Reporter

Ask Dr. Joy: How to Make a Loving Relationship Last

June 28, 2011 Updated Jun 28, 2011 at 5:55 PM CDT

Relationship experts generally agree on two things about lasting & enduring relationships: First, relationships are BUILT not FOUND. Secondly, that lasting relationships are sustained and kindled in many small ways throughout the years.

We see more and more divorces and separations today in America. What do couples who have sustained long relationships suggest are common keys in their lasting success?

· good communication based in good listening and reflecting skills

· shared interests and hobbies

· mutual respect for each other without needing to change the other person

· ability to give and take—learning the skills of compromise & negiotation

· equality in the relationship which encourages individuality

· playfulness & humor

How do these partners create this type of enduring love?

· accept differences in each other

· maintain strength during adversity—work together when times are difficult

· provide nurturing, kindness and gentleness

· build togetherness

· use positives- be a cheerleader for each other

What are some simple things you can do each day that will take less than 5 minutes to nurture your relationship?

· Make time for touching, hugs, and kisses

· Bring attention to “us” This means make the relationship the number one priority in your life

· Give compliments to your partner. Try to say at least 5 positive things to your partner each day

· Express appreciation & gratitude to your partner

· Have “meaningful” communication about things that matter. Talk about your dreams, your purpose, and things that are of value to both of you.

· Say “I love you” and let your behaviors exhibit it

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