So you found your boo. Congrats! Now all you gotta do is make your relationship last.
And nowadays, it seems like that accomplishment is about as difficult as finding a Target swimsuit that wasn’t sized for a 10 year old.
Kidding. Kind of.
Point is it’s definitely exciting to know you found somebody you can stand to be around for more than five hours in a row. And we’re assuming, you’d like it to stay that way. In order to keep long term relationships alive and thriving, Blush has put together some tips to cultivate happy and healthy lasting relationships. We want to help make your relationship last, and this is how you do it.
1. Do You
This may sound counterintuitive, but bare with me. Being independent is healthy, necessary, and essential for a strong relationship. When it comes to the little things, you don’t always have to settle for what your partner wants. You need time for yourself. Don’t be scared to run out of the house as fast as you can anytime you hear the phrase “the game is on.”
Still not convinced? Let’s break it down.
When you take time for yourself, you discover what you really want. When you discover what you really want, you stop resenting others. When you stop resenting others, you become relaxed. When you’re relaxed, you are more fun to be around. When you’re more fun to be around, you fight less. When you fight less, you bonk more.
Simple logic guys. Just trust us.
2. Work On Your Game
This can be a difficult one for many, but it’s essential.
It is ok to talk about things that are not working in a relationship.
This does NOT mean the relationship is falling apart. My husband likes to call this “working on our free throws.” And I’ll be honest, the first time he told me I needed to work on something, it felt more like he threw the dang ball in my stomach rather than at a stupid net.
As uncomfortable as this can be, it’s a great lesson to learn. Neither of you are perfect, separate or together. But if you refuse to work on the basics, nothing will ever improve. Talk about weak areas without threatening the state of the relationship. You both want it to work, so start making it happen.
3. Don’t Blame
“No you did it”–“No YOU did it”–“It’s YOUR fault”–“No…IT’S YOUR STUPID FAULT!”
Hi, 1990 called. It wants it’s behavior back.
You KNOW that’s how all of us sounded growing up, and we can’t be like that anymore. So the next time your partner does some outrageous air-head ridiculous thing (just wait a day, it’ll come), tell them clearly and concisely how you feel without blaming them for everything. Take responsibility for your emotions. You are allowed to feel sad. You are allowed to feel jealous. And you are allowed to feel really angry.
What you are not allowed to do is point fingers. Instead, use an “I statement” and get everything out in the open. Neither of you can improve if you always feel defensive. Allow for productive communication so you can move on and go play!
4. Ask For What You Want
Don’t be shy. If you need a big fat kiss because you are feeling completely invisible, say something. If you need a night out on the town with dinner and dancing, tell them. I just straight up ask for attention. Yep. Nothing specific–just attention. And am I desperate? Don’t answer that.
None of us are mind readers, and your partner will not judge you for letting them know what you need. How would you feel if your partner asked you for a hug? You’d go all Titanic on them! (“I’ll never let go”….get there faster, guys.) It’s okay to be aware of your needs and share them. Ignoring them leads to built up resentment, insecurity, and anger. So kiss those emotions goodbye! Literally!
5. Take Quality Time Together
This can be confusing for many, so let’s go over the basics.
Double dates are not quality time. Spending time with family is not quality time. Watching TV is not quality time. And being in the same room together, is not quality time. Those are all good things. But they are not quality time.
Quality time consists of engaged discussion, touching, and playing for a MINIMUM of 30 minutes. Every day. Alone. It’s not even that hard to do! Turn down the music in the car so you can talk to each other. Play games at home when you’re too broke to go out for dinner. Go walk around the lake together (without headphones you stinkers). Give your relationship attention, and then you can go watch West Wing or whatever else is on Netflix.
Which will also result in quality time, if you know what I mean.
6. Share the Responsibility
The easiest way to prevent meltdown fights is to have a plan, and this doesn’t necessarily apply to cohabiting couples only. If they make dinner, you can offer to clean. If you are sweeping the living room, send their butt to the bathroom and hand him a sponge. If you end up driving the most, make them pay for gas every now and then. What’s important is not how you divide everything up–it’s that fairness is perceived from both of you. As long as both of you feel appreciated and equally tortured by chores, you’ll be good to go.
Ok all you couples out there, we know you can do it. We hope you enjoyed our advice almost as much as you enjoy each other. Almost.