You’ve found “the one,” but can you keep him?
It’s a statistic fact that most relationships fail within the first 12 months, and the reason for it may just be bad habits you’ve accumulated over a series of bad experiences, or just and a lack of basic relationship skills.
There are some basic pitfalls you can avoid, and positive steps you can take that will put your relationship on solid ground, and strengthen your bond.
1. No Power Play
Number one has got to be realizing that a relationship is a delicate balance of give and take, and you don’t have to win, be on top, be in charge.
Picking fights to gain ascendancy over your partner may make you feel empowered, but it will cause damage to the relationship. Communication and intimacy is key, so drop the power play, and open up.
2. Be Your Love’s Biggest Fan
Make sure your beloved knows how much you love and admire him. We all have insecurities, especially when we are in love, and vulnerable, so don’t forget to tell him he looks good…
Feeling appreciated, pampered, and admired by the one you love feels good to you, and it will certainly feel good to him, so dish out those compliments with a generous hand.
3. Keep Your Friends In The Frame
There is a tendency for lovers to focus on each other to the exclusion of all else in the honeymoon phase of a relationship, losing touch with friends, and in effect cutting ties with their support network.
Wrong move! You need other people in your lives, his friends and yours, and socializing with other people will do wonders for the long-term health of your relationship.
4. Keep Dating
Yes, you are now together forever, and you spend all your time together, but quantity is not quality. Dates are times you set aside to touch base, be with each other. That’s how you fell in love in the first place, remember?
Grocery shopping, discussing everyday-life issues and family during dates is strictly forbidden – and so is having sex! Dates are for sharing, enjoying each other, and romance, lots of romance…
5. Challenge Each Other
A relationship is not a static thing. You will both grow and change and experience new things, so make sure that you do some of that adventuring together.
Try new activities neither have ever done together, build up your bond with new interests and experiences that are unique to you as a couple, even if it’s just trying out-of-the-box cuisine, going to an amusement park, or trying Congolese cuisine.
6. Socialize WIth The In-Laws
This is essential. No matter how bad your experience with previous in-laws has been, don’t avoid his family events. This is where he came from, and no matter how independent he’s become, this will always be his family.
Under no circumstances become embroiled in a power struggle with his mother/ father/ siblings. Be sweet, attentive, and polite, but remember you’re not there for you, you’re there for HIM.
7. Express Your Needs
If there is something you need or something that is important to you, say so. He is not a mind reader, and will not guess.
So if you expect that he will somehow “know” that you need a cuddle, or that it’s important to you to go to your grandmother’s grave on her birthday you will be sadly disappointed, and resentful. Speak up, and keep your relationship healthy,
8. Keep It Sexy
Just because you now share the same bed every night does not mean you just “do it” roll over and go to sleep. Keep the sex fun, and lively, and why not share your secret fantasies?
Make your bedroom your secret kingdom, a place where you are both free to explore each other’s sexuality and your own. And don’t show up in flannel, wear silk and lace, or maybe just a dash of perfume with those handcuffs…
9. Keep It Private
Never, ever talk about your partner or your relationship to your friends, sisters, or mother (unless you are in an a abusive relationship, of course).
Your personal life is a private thing, so if you are not happy about something, don’t whine to your girlfriends, talk to the man in a constructive way, and sort it out before it balloons onto a serious problem.
10. Say You’re Sorry
If you are wrong, say so. It’s OK to be wrong, it won’t diminish you, but refusing to admit it certainly will. When you’ve made a mistake, or have been unreasonable, make sure you own up.
A heartfelt apology will go a long way to mending any little dents you’ve put in his heart. And say you are sorry as many times as you have to. Being proud and stubborn is good and fine, but it’s a thin blanket on a cold night!
Above all, don’t forget what made you want to be with this person for the rest of your life. Keep that in sight, and don’t let that love in your heart be worn out by anger, and those silly expectations we all build up about each other.
Communicate, innovate, don’t forget to hold hands, and stay in love forever!