If there's one thing we can be sure of, it's that life is uncertain. Times are changing, it's almost impossible to set goals, and the world is flipped upside down before we even think about love and relationships. The good news is that love may not be as fleeting as you think: we're here to help with 10 ways your relationship will stay happy.
1. Enjoy Spending Time Together
Firstly, if you're in a relationship, you have to enjoy spending time together. If you don't have anything in common, your relationship won't last long, that's for sure, but in reality, you don't have to be copies of each other. There's no need for matching anoraks (unless you like them!), but you do at least need to have a couple of shared interests or things you enjoy doing together.
2. Know That Even Bad Habits Are OK
In every relationship, there are always things that will annoy you or that you'll find disgusting about your beloved. You will eventually think "yuck" - it could be in a day, a month, or a year, but it will happen. Likewise, be sure you will also have habits that annoy your partner, and you may not even be aware of them. The good news is, it's perfectly normal - happy couples just look past it and carry on.
3. Spend "Together Time"
There's no doubt about it: together time and physical affection is hugely important. In short, you need to be able to leave the cares of the world behind you as a couple. Intimate relationships help you connect in body and mind, with just you, your special person and alone time together - make a regular date night to help things along.
4. Respect, Always
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, had it spot on: respect is everything. The good thing is that respect to keep things healthy and happy is easy, cheap, and makes a difference in every situation. You should, above all things, respect your partner and vice versa - in other words, anything less means inevitable failure.
5. Spot Red Flags And Act On Them
There's no point avoiding it - even sunshine means shade; good times mean challenges; smooth sailing is the flip side of stormy seas. Indeed, bad times happen to us all. To keep your relationship strong, the best thing you can do is to spot the signs and red flags, then tackle them as a team - most importantly, leave no man or woman behind.
6. The Little Things Matter
Be under no illusions: the little things make all the difference. For example, you could buy a cute gift subscription, treat them to a digital edition of their favorite read, or put away the laundry - it all counts. In other words, looking after the small stuff will build the stepping stones to the big stuff. Similarly, keep caring and keep thinking of your significant other in a relationship to keep things healthy.
7. Healthy Relationships Need Space
Everyone needs a little time to themselves now and again - reading, exercise, or meditation, for instance. Time to think, time to relax and space to spend time with yourself are precious and should be a gift we all give to our partners. In short, giving each other space in a relationship is essential and is all too often undervalued.
8. Serious Relationships Are Built On Trust
There are no exceptions to this step and no way around it: without trust, your relationship won't last very long. Nothing makes you feel worse than not being able to trust your partner or if your partner can't trust you. For you to stay happy as a couple, you need to stick together, and that means trusting each other.
9. A Happy Relationship Needs Laughter
Laughter is the best medicine, and it's even better together. Find the time to have a giggle, to be silly, and laugh until it hurts. Share the moment, make the best of building happy memories together, and get the comedy on!
10. Don't Be Afraid To Get A Therapist
We're all human, and sometimes we need a little help to get along. If things get a bit rocky, and you need a little help during the tough times, don't be afraid to get a therapist. Whether that's a marriage and family therapist, or even a hypnotherapist, do what's right for you - there are many types of therapy out there. Be guided by the professionals.
Therapists have seen and heard it all before, so don't worry that they'll be shocked, because they won't! It could be the nudge required to get back on the right track without the need for either of you to feel worse.
With a little patience, heaps of understanding, some consideration, and a whole bucket of respect, these 10 ways your relationship will stay happy and should help give you the inspiration you need to stay the distance. Why not quiz each other and see how many of these you've got covered already?