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How to Make a Relationship Last Long

Updated on August 26, 2012

How to Make Your Relationship Work

Every person who is in love believes that his or her relationship is going to last forever. If you ask any newly wedded couple about it, they will tell you how passionately in love they are with each other and that their love will see them through. Researchers point out that passionate love is like a drug that will give you a high, but will not last long. On the other hand, they say, companionate love, with frequent passionate highs will make your relationship a long lasting one. I wonder why it takes so much research to understand this simple fact of life. Compassionate love, emotional balance, the ability to take the good with the bad and see the bigger picture is what will make a relationship last. Now, this is really hard work. It means you have to work at your relationship night and day. Are you willing to do this? If you are, you can have the marriage or relationship that you have always dreamed of. It is hard, but it is within your power.

how to make a relationship better
how to make a relationship better | Source

Will my Relationship Last

Have you wondered why some marriages/relationships last and last while others just fall apart within months? You need to be happy to stay in a relationship for a long time. Steve Yap, a researcher with MSU, Department of Psychology says that while married people are happier than those who are not, he is quick to point out that it is not marriage that brings about satisfaction, but it seems to keep the level of satisfaction stable. A study by Neff and Karney suggests that couples who are the happiest are the ones who change their beliefs about their relationship and tend to downplay the smaller issues that rise up, in the light of a more global positive and evaluation of marriage.
Since the quality of relationship is known to be the best predictor of happiness in man, it is no wonder that people want to have good relationships and maintain them over a period. Longer relationships bring a sense of stability and commitment. A lasting relationship takes a lot of adjustment, changing of perceptions about relationships and expectations from each partner.

Do you believe that marriages or relationships could last long

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How to Make a Relationship Last

Research shows that being able to achieve certain psychological milestones in marriage helps to maintain a healthy relationship. Some of these factors, listed in Judith S. Wallerstein’s book, “A Good Marriage-How love lasts” are as follows:

  • Emotional separateness from family of origin, without being totally cut off, becomes the foundation on which a healthy relationship is established.
  • The ability to share intimacy, togetherness, identity and yet being able to respect each other’s personal space or autonomy is another important factor. The ability to protect intimacy in the relationship, from outside influences such as occurrences at the workplace and extended family obligations is crucial for a healthy relationship.
  • The ability to withstand the pressures of parenthood and the inevitable crises of life is a major test to longevity in marriage.
  • The ability to accept, nurture and comfort your partner’s various needs for dependency, relatedness and independence forms another important aspect of lasting a relationship.
  • The ability to keep the romance alive in the relationship helps sustain the marriage.

How to make a relationship last long
How to make a relationship last long | Source

Making a Relationship Work

Other research findings seem to suggest other factors for a lasting relationship:
Positive thinking – Thinking positively about your spouse, ruminating on his/her positive qualities seems to help. This does not mean that people do not acknowledge the failings and flaws in their partners, but they are able to overlook the flaws and prefer not to magnify them.
Columbia University management professor Eric Abrahamson and Massachusetts journalist David H. Freedman report that most of the fights couples have when they live together are about trivial stuff – such as socks left on the floor, kitchen left in a mess etc. Small irritations like these could cause negative emotions to pile up, which may lead you to believe that your partner is doing things deliberately.
Thinking more frequently about your partner especially when he/she is away seems to keep the emotional bonds strong. Wanting to know where your partner is all the time may seem like spying and snooping around, but to a smaller degree it seems to keep the connectedness working better.
Togetherness and spending time working on challenging projects together has been found to help in making relationships last. In Norway when the government decided to offer cash incentives to parents who decide to stay at home and take care of their kids instead of making use of the state subsidized childcare, they found that the divorce rates fell significantly. This seems to suggest that without the stress of working and having to parent kids couples found more time to bond emotionally and establish a better relationship

long lasting relationship
long lasting relationship | Source

Working Towards a Better Relationship

Open expression of emotion. Four kisses, six hugs and at least one ‘I love you’ per day is a great recipe for a lasting relationship. Well, if you leave the numbers that I have cooked up aside, you still have a great recipe. Open expression of affection makes your partner feel secure and happy. Even if your partner knows you love him/her, she/he would still be delighted to hear it from you. “Every day”? you may ask. Every day is what some studies seem to suggest. Endearments and pet names also help. Pleasing one another, finding out what your partner needs in the relationship should become your guide to a better relationship.

Make your Relationship Last

Think positively, focus on what is great- in the relationship and the best qualities of your partner

Do not magnify faults and failings of your partner.

Think of your partner often - A little obsession and maybe a little jealousy is good. Send little love notes, or call during the day.

Spend time - working on projects that challenge you and bring you together

Bond - work on your emotional and physical intimacy.

Express your emotions, cuddle, kiss, hug, show some outward expression.

Appreciation makes your marriage/relationship last long. Small words like thank you, and sorry, seems to weigh more in relationships. Doing little things for your partner, listen appreciatively, speaking words of praise work well. A little appreciation goes a long way according to a study by John Gottman and colleagues. Gottman says,” loving statements are an excellent form of foreplay.” You have the magic your mouth and say them to your partner and get that steamy romance going, no matter how long you have been together.

Research also seems to suggest a little obsession and jealousy concerning your partner is good. Do take note that I said ‘a little’ so don’t kill the love with full-blown obsession and jealousy.

Emotional and physical intimacy is of course an important key. Studies show that in lasting marriages, emotional bonding naturally leads to higher physical intimacy.

However, I have reserved the best for the last. A zeal for life and a positive attitude towards life makes for a great, long lasting relationship. This is what a study by O’Leary and associates found. I am not surprised. We generalise our attitude and carry them into all areas of our life. Go get yourself some great attitude and get passionate about living.

Working on a relationship that lasts is an everyday affair. It is hard, could mean some compromises, but I can assure you that it is worth it all. A lasting marriage/relationship, like aging wine can only get better and better.


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    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      angelladywriter, LOL that one was good ... but believe me it works... Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment .. Have a great day.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Ruby, it is always a delight to see your comments on my page. Commitment is the core issue with marriages these days no matter where in the world.. thanks for stopping by .. Have a great day.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Teaches, thank you for the comment and the share. I honestly appreciate this very much. I do hope that it reaches some people who need help in this area. Thanks once again. Have a great day.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice article with good suggestions. I love the recipe of hugs and kisses along with saying, "I love you," to your mate. Appreciation of our mate is also vital, along with patience and understanding. Keep the good articles on marriage and relationships coming. Thanks again.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      You always write about important subjects. All of your suggestions are good. It is very difficult to keep a relationship happy. Marriage is declining here in America, due i'm sure to the unwilliness to work out a problem. I agree, it takes commitment on both sides. Thank's for sharing..

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I think your hub is needed in today's world where many struggle to keep a relationship/marriage healthy and strong. I am going to post this one on Facebook and hope that readers will be encouraged. Great suggestions, all proven to make a difference, and so very needed.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      DRidge, I agree that when you have an option to walkout you are less inclined to make your relationship work. However, most people may not subscribe to this view... I had covered this in one of my earlier articles and I do believe it is an important reason for a break up. Thanks for adding your views on making a relationship last, I am sure that it would make sense to some. Have a great day.

    • DRidge profile image


      6 years ago from Gulf Coast, MS

      I like your article. I believe the tips you give are healthy for all relationships. However, my spouse and I went into marriage "for better or worse" and we both knew there was no out. In my opinion no one should enter a marriage without that mindset. There will always be hard times and unless quitting isn't an option then one party distances himself when the going gets tough. That's why relationships don't always work.


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