“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” —Robert Heinlein
As any married couple knows, simply having the commitment of marriage is not sufficient for sustaining marital bliss. Rather, enduring intimacy and connection takes a skillful combination of compassion, understanding, conversation, and cooperation. It is quite an elusive goal, and definitely doesn’t come easy. Lasting relationships are not a stroke of luck, but collective efforts to continually improve. So, what skills make the union between two people thrive? How can couples continue to create long-lasting bonds well after saying “I do”? Although a complicated question, several skills need to be cultivated and fine-tuned starting from the moment you meet and throughout the decades you remain together.
1. Let go of perfection.
The search for perfect harmony is frustrating at best, and toxic at worst. Imperfection is the root of growth, and embracing it’s power allows both partners to come to greater understandings of themselves and each other. Rather than attempting to change yourself or your partner, let go of lofty ideals and embrace who each of you truly are with complete honesty and unconditional care.
2. Accept the evolving nature of love.
Enduring love is not the same feeling as “falling in love”, and recognizing the two as separate allows you to grow into deeper understanding and commitment. Rather than the high-hormone experience of new love, enduring love is focused on ongoing attachment, stability, and creating a life together. When you let go of what you expect love to be, and embrace what long-lasting love is, you will not be let down when unreasonable expectations cannot be met.
3. Understand and listen.
Our desire for connection is based on a deep craving to be seen and understood by another person. This experience is what keeps our closest, most loving relationships strong. Strive to openly and honestly communicate, focusing on listening and understanding one another, asking questions, and coming to mutual understanding and agreements that are comfortable for both.
4. Focus on each other’s needs.
A relationship works when both parties put in energy toward not only expressing their own needs, but working to help the needs of their partner. We go into many relationship looking to tend to our own needs, but giving little thought to our partner’s. This sets us up for a lifetime of frustration. Surprisingly, when we begin to address the needs of our partners, we often find that our own needs are met in return. Check in with your partner regularly, assess their needs, and work to create sustainable solutions.
5. Cultivate communication.
Practice communication your own needs without emotions like frustration, anger, sadness, or disappointment clouding the message you need to get across. Clear communication is a cornerstone of healthy relationships, and will allow you to solve conflicts that arise along the way. Rather than avoiding conflict, you’ll have the necessary tools to work through it skillfully, without hurting yourself or your partner.
6. Allow sex to be a space for connection.
Sex does not have to always be a celebration, a thank you, or a night cap for date night. Allow it to be present in your life at all times, even when you’re fighting, frustrated, or facing a challenge. In the post-orgasmic bliss, you’ll find space to more deeply connect, understand one another, and re-commit to working through things together. It’s like hitting the reset button, and clears your mind for better communication.
This guest post was written by Good Clean Love.
Good Clean Love provides the safest organic, all-natural organic intimacy products with no petrochemicals or parabens. Good Clean Love promotes sustainability in every aspect of relationship. Visit us at http://www.goodcleanlove.com or on social media @GoodCleanLove