Five pieces of advice to keep your longterm relationship happy and healthy
By Alex Stanton, Staff Writer
With the advent of apps like Tinder, never in the history of humankind has it been as easy to get dates as it is now. Anyone with a smartphone can put themselves out there. That said, longterm relationships generally take a ton of work. Like most whimsical forces of nature, there isn’t really a secret formula to a successful love. I imagine most of you just kind of wing it, as I do. I’m leaving definitive conclusions on romance up to smarter people than myself; instead, I’ll list off some qualities that—in my extensive personal experience—are synonymous with healthy, loving relationships.
Be yourself. It seems like a clichéd piece of advice, but it’s also underrated. There are many people who fake their way into a longterm relationship for one reason or another—generally for a constant, sure-bet source of emotional support and/or sex—but it’s not fair to either party. It’s unfair to your partner because they’ve fallen in love with a fabricated personality as opposed to your actual, real self. It’s also unfair to you because you likely don’t have a lot of self-confidence.
Love yourself. You’ll have to excuse yet another cliché, but how exactly do you expect someone to love you if you don’t love yourself? You can’t rely on anyone for your happiness except you. It’s not healthy or fair to put that weight on someone else’s shoulders. If you decide to ignore this advice, expect the inevitable “Friends?! You want to be just friends?!” fight.
Never forget your sex life. The sliding scale of human sex drives is as varied as humans themselves. The importance of sex in one’s life varies from person to person, and it’s absolutely imperative that you find someone with a compatible sex drive. For example, if you find you want to spend breakfast, lunch, and dinner between the sheets, you should probably avoid someone who wears a purity ring.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. The rules change slightly when you’re married, but completely integrating your lives together as soon as the L-Bomb is dropped is a huge mistake. To keep things fun and exciting in your relationship, you need to have fun and excitement in your own life.
Never go to bed angry. Try to solve every issue as soon as possible; don’t let it fester into unhealthy resentment. Always fall asleep cherishing and loving your partner as much as you did when you first met. Also, morning sex.
In the name of full disclosure, I’m 22 years old; I’m no pick-up artist, and I’m not Dr. Phil. All I am is a man who loves and is loved by a woman, so I like to think I’m doing something right.