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Love and Intimacy Tips for Long Term Relationships

Updated on January 10, 2013
Love is a vital factor to maintain a healthy relationship.
Love is a vital factor to maintain a healthy relationship. | Source

Healthy Relationship Advice

A lot of the questions that couples and individuals have when it comes to sustaining a fulfilling long term relationship require individualization for the persons involved. Two areas, love and intimacy, can be answered in a more universal way.

Without love, that affection for and caring about another individual and his/her happiness, a relationship may last for a long term, but both parties will be aware of the lack of the strong emotional bond that is the glue that holds two people together. It can happen; you may even know a couple or two who seem to be in a loveless long term relationship -- but the question becomes, "Why would anyone do that to theirself?"

Intimacy, a word that often immediately brings to mind physical intimacy, sex, is more than the sharing of your physical self with another. Emotional intimacy is that which allows you to share your innermost feelings, dreams and desires with another person.

The quality of your long term relationship will be based in large parts on love and intimacy, so what tips can be offered in these two areas?

How to Create Emotional Intimacy

Emotional Intimacy

Long after the romantic love of a relationship fades, the "honeymoon" period where both partners are ecstatically in love, can see no faults in the other, and are generally walking on clouds, there has to be something that holds a long term relationship together -- and that relationship glue is emotional intimacy.

When asked to define emotional intimacy, people have difficulty putting their nebulous versions of the term into words. (See video "How to Create Emotional Intimacy) Defining the term "emotional intimacy" helps you to see what it is both desirable and important in a healthy long term relationship.

Emotional intimacy is a psychological event that occurs between two people when trust and communication between them is shared and fosters the ability of each partner to share his/her innermost thoughts and feelings with the other person.

Emotional intimacy is that ability to feel "safe" with someone without fear of judgment, condemnation or abandonment.

All personal relationships have some degree of emotional intimacy to them -- close friends, family members and romantic partners. The people with whom we feel the most emotionally intimate are the ones we seek out when we have good news to share -- or need comfort and understanding from when we have bad news to share.

Emotional intimacy is something most everyone seeks, even if they don't know the term for it.

Fear of Intimacy -- What Is It? Why Does it Matter?

Love is a verb, not merely a state of being.
Love is a verb, not merely a state of being. | Source
Without daily care, effort and positive affirmations it can be difficult to maintain your relationship.
Without daily care, effort and positive affirmations it can be difficult to maintain your relationship. | Source

Guide to a Healthy, Happy Long Term Relationship

If you really want to know how to have a successful, fulfilling long term relationship, talk to people you know who have been together as a couple for many years. It doesn't matter if the folks you talk to are married, in a gay/lesbian relationship, or even necessarily live together. If the couple seems happy, find out what has worked for them. You might be surprised at the insights into love and intimacy you will be privy to.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Respect one another
  • Remember that being right isn't always the most important thing
  • Cultivate friendships and interests outside of the relationship. This will keep you fresh, interested and interesting
  • Do things together. Whatever the two of you enjoy, from cooking meals together to traveling around the world -- build memories and common interests
  • Show appreciation for your partner's efforts in life. Provide encouragement when times are tough.
  • Make time for romance. After the newness of a relationship wears off, oftentimes people forget to do the little things for one another that show love and intimacy. If she likes long, hot baths, draw her a tub of water or set up a spa-like atmosphere in the bathroom for her. If he likes back rubs, volunteer to give him a massage using warm oil or lotion.
  • Learn how to forgive
  • Keep communication open. Learn to communicate assertively, not passively nor aggressively.
  • Don't punish your partner -- he or she is not a child in need of discipline.
  • Be open to growth. Each of you will change over time; change needn't be a negative thing.
  • Apologize when you're wrong


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    • blueeyedTina profile image

      blueeyedTina 4 years ago

      Awesome article! Relationships do take work and very important for a healthy one that will last a long long time. :)Voted up and useful!

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Theresa, you are most welcome. I've found Brett's suggestion to be a great example of hubber support and a way for each of us to potentially reach more readers.

    • Theresa_Kennedy profile image

      Theresa Kennedy 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Thanks for clarifying that, and thanks to Brett for starting the "Sharing Movement"!

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Hi Theresa, I'm glad you enjoyed this hub. I look forward to reading yours about positive relationships in the future. "Keep it simple," is good advice. Sometimes we make relationships, and life, more complicated and dramatic than need be.

      Yes, "sharing" is using any or all of the items under "Like this Hub?" because it shares the hub link with your social networks and/or readers. Brett Tesol, a fellow hubber, sort of started a movement of sharing with his hub titled "Do You Like to Share?"

      Thank you for stopping by.

    • Theresa_Kennedy profile image

      Theresa Kennedy 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Thank you for a beautiful and insightful hub! Your tips are spot on, and I would add only to keep things simple. Letting go of the need to be right was a big one for me also! I need to write some positive relationship hubs, and when I do will most certainly link to this one. Voted up and will "share" once I figure out what is meant by that (maybe the FB "like" thingy???). Consider it done! :)

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Dreamhowl, I think a lot of us feel the strain of the way life moves at the speed of light these days. You're right that when we get caught up in everything but our relationship we are cheating the relationship, but also ourselves and what we might gain from that lack of investment.

      Thank you for your comments, voting and Sharing.

    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Marello 5 years ago from United States

      This is really helpful. I sometimes find that I am so busy, exhausted or bothered that I feel like I am cheating my relationship out of attention. Thanks for sharing; voted up, useful and beautiful.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      The girls, I appreciate your comments and vote. You've hit the nail on the head with your idea that most of these tips can be applied to your relationships with people in general. Positive efforts often reap positive rewards -- and even if the rewards aren't always there, you'll know in your heart it isn't because you didn't make the effort.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      English-zone, thank you for your read and comments. You're right that it can be difficult both to apologize when wrong and to forgive transgressions, but as you pointed out when we are able to do those things the rewards for our relationship and even for ourselves makes the effort worthwhile.

    • the girls profile image

      the girls 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Helpful article for long-lasting relationships. I hope your readers will also be encouraged to apply your tips, not just to the significant other, but to people around them as well (minus the inappropriate things, of course). Voted up!

    • english-zone profile image

      english-zone 5 years ago

      Your tips are really helpful, I have done some of them and I can say that the hardest tips are learn how to forgive and also make an apologize when we are wrong... But I agree that when we do those tips our relationship will going stronger and longer... keep share a great hub :)

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Healthylife2, I came by that tip, that being right isn't always the most important thing, through a therapist friend. I was astounded; the thought had never occurred to me. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made in the big picture of not just my relationship, but in life in general. I found it be to freeing and it actually helped to reduce some of my stress.

      Thank you for reading, voting and Sharing. I wish you the best in your efforts to keep your marriage strong.

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Those are excellent tips to follow and I think if emotional intimacy doesn't exist the relationship can't survive. With children it is often a challenge to focus on a relationship and to remember like everything else marriage requires effort to keep it going. I'm beginning to look for my own interests outside the relationship and working on finding common interests but every tip is a great one and I think it wouldn't hurt to remind my husband that being right isn't always important:) Voted up and shared!