Dating can be wonderful, and romance exhilarating. But finding a love that will last is like winning the lottery and taking the payout over a lifetime. It surpasses the butterflies-in-your-stomach lust and settles into a life-enriching sustainability.
Unfortunately, reality tells us that over 50% of relationships and marriages will not stand the test of time.
That’s why I am so passionate about the work I do. I have the privilege of helping clients find and create authentic, lasting love.
And today I’m going to share with you 7 “musts” for increasing your odds of building a love that will last forever.
Your life goals need to be aligned.I’ve coached clients in relationships teeming with chemistry and shared interests.
However, the couples wanted different things out of life and, in the end, the relationships didn’t last.
One of my 40-something female clients was dating a man for two years. She had hoped they would get married and start a family.
Through our coaching, I empowered her to have that all-important conversation about her goals.
Sadly, he wasn’t as interested in marriage and a family as she was hoping for.
All that wasted time.
But at least my client didn’t waste more time. And, after breaking off the relationship, she
began her search for a life partner who did want the same things out of life.
The good news?
The next man she dated (within a couple of months of the breakup, remarkably) did desire marriage and a family. And now they’re happily married with children.
Do you have a life vision? And can you articulate it clearly and confidently?
Where do you want to be in 5 years? Where will you be living? What will your life look like? How will you be devoting your time?
Does your life vision have space dedicated to a life partner who can happily share and flourish in that vision?
Your partner needs to honor your relationship values.Chemistry and common interests go only so far. If your values aren’t in alignment, your life paths won’t be, either.
For example, let’s say you believe in generosity and giving back to your community. You take a guy you’re dating to a fundraiser for an organization you believe in, and he signs up for the silent auction.
But what happens when it’s time to go and he wants to bolt without paying for the item he won? (True story, by the way.)
Chances are the embarrassment you feel would be a wake-up call to your incompatibility from a value perspective, and you would end the relationship.
It’s very important that your partner supports your core relationship values. Values are the glue that keeps a couple together with a love that will last.
What relationship values do you need to have met in order for a relationship to go the distance? (One of my secret powers is helping clients really have a deep understanding of their values.)
There can’t be any deal-breakers.You have them – those make-or-break terms for your relationship. They can be anything from financial stability to no smoking or no recreational drugs.
Amazingly, the longer a person sits with the idea of deal-breakers, the longer the list gets! No cheapskates, no hoarders, no couch potatoes, and on and on.
You get to decide what goes on your list.
If you’re dating someone and notice anything from your list, it could be curtains for the relationship.
However, as “absolute” as you may think you are on your deal-breakers, there are usually some gray areas.
And it’s in these areas that you get to choose if something is really a deal-breaker or an issue you can actually deal with.
This is where I help my clients discern between standards and expectations.
Are your deal-breakers really things you can’t tolerate or work with?
For example, one of my female clients listed, “Has to be over 6 feet tall” on her deal-breaker list. She was only 5’ 2” herself!
I called her on it and asked her if she could live with 5’ 8” or shorter if he was the perfect man for her. Ultimately, it remained her choice to use this limitation as a deal-breaker.
Just remember, you’re not the only one making a list. Your (potential) partner is, too. How much flexibility do you really have?
Your physical needs have to be met.We all want our partners to love and adore us. For many people, affection and physical intimacy are very important.
In order to have a love that will last, both partners have to be in synchrony when it comes to physical needs.
Those needs don’t have to be identical (we all know that men and women tend to have different needs in that department), but they need to be communicated, understood, and accommodated.
One of my clients was upset that her boyfriend was uncomfortable with PDA, while she really liked it.
When she asked why he wouldn’t kiss her in public, he replied, “My parents never did that. They know they love each other; they don’t have to show that they do.”
Her parents, on the other hand, were openly demonstrative. And this difference in affection styles was enough to end the relationship.
How can you know sooner than later that your physical needs are similar and will be met in a relationship? When is it appropriate to have this conversation?
You need to respect one another and treat one another with kindness and understanding.How you argue and deal with conflict is very telling of your relationship’s future.
You are going to have misunderstandings and conflicts. Expect them.
How you fight matters.
Being respectful, listening to one another’s perspectives, and finding ways to compromise for mutual benefit will set your relationship up for success and growth.
There is no room for being mean, sarcastic, critical, or indifferent in a relationship.
One unnecessary negative can quickly wipe out a history of positives. And the recovery time will always be longer than the time it took to be careless.
Think about how you want your partner to treat you. Follow the Golden Rule. And always fight fair.
Your partner needs to appreciate you for your talents and interests.We all come into a relationship with differences in interests and talents.
You’re not both going to want to do everything together. Everyone needs time alone and time with same-gender friends.
However, couples that share interests have a better chance for success than those who don’t.
My husband, for example, loves sports, especially baseball.
Watching a baseball game isn’t what I would normally choose for a Sunday afternoon. But, on a beautiful day, going to the baseball stadium can be a fun experience.
And I’ve gotten a better appreciation for the game, one annoying question at a time.
What are you willing to try that may not be something you’re used to doing? Are you open to expanding your interests? Can you appreciate your partner’s talents and enjoy them too?
You both need to put the effort into keeping the romance flame going.Making time to be a couple is important.
Have regular date nights. Get away for a weekend or even a week’s vacation.
Remember and make an effort for birthdays, your anniversary, the end of the year holidays, and Valentine’s Day.
We all want to feel special and valued. By making a continued effort and knowing what’s important to your partner, you’ll fan the flames of desire.
Some people love gifts. Others find heart-felt messages endearing. And others are impressed by doing something nice for the person that helps him or her out.
Learning one another’s love language can be an enlightening process. It can help you both love with intention and be loved the way you want to be loved.
Following this prescription for creating a love that will last will increase your odds of living a long and happy life together with your newfound love.
And you’ll be one of those couples others admire and look to for inspiration.
Need help putting the pieces together so you can create a love that will last? You’re one click away!
Go to https://motivatedtomarry.com/connect-with-coach-amy/ and sign up for one of my limited slots for a Meet Your Mate Strategy Session.