• Tricia Karp

What makes a relationship last - part 3

This is part three of a four part series on what makes a relationship last. If you missed the previous articles, click here for part one and here for part two

Laughter and having fun

Couples who can be lighthearted, silly, at ease with each other and fully themselves are on a good thing when it comes to their relationship lasting.

The don't feel like they're walking on eggshells with their partner for fear of saying the wrong thing.

Ideally, those who laugh a lot and have fun together also know what sort of humour is and isn't appropriate, and when, and can use humour during conflict if it helps calm one another when emotions are escalating.

Laughing and having fun together often feels good. It's also super sexy.

What can you do to bring more fun and laughter to your relationship?

Don't expect your partner to meet your every need

The "happily every after" fairytales where the princess meets the prince and they're suddenly complete have a lot to answer for with this one.

Along with the enormous amount of pressure it puts on a relationship, it's impossible for a couple to meet all of one another's needs. Simply not possible for another person to be your everything.

We all have a range of needs that are best met by different people in our lives. If there are needs that are not being met in your relationship, who could help meet them? It's a little like the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." For each of us to have our needs met, it takes our own village - including when we're in a relationship.

The good news is that when your needs are being met in healthy ways there's less pressure on your partner, and that makes for a more satisfying relationship.

Open communication

In a healthy lasting relationship, both partners can talk openly to one another. You feel safe to be all of yourself, to share what's on your mind and in your heart, being vulnerable when it's necessary, even though it feels hard sometimes. You feel safe to disagree and know that you'll still be accepted and loved.

You're not afraid that you might say the wrong thing or be put down, and you don't have to try to predict how your partner will behave and change your behaviour accordingly. These are things you never need to be worried about.

You can work through issues and conflict together, doing your best to be kind, not shut down, not shame your partner, or criticise them. When you don't get it right, you work towards doing better next time.

What can you do to be more open in your communication with your partner?

Remember, it only takes one partner to become the change they want to experience in their relationship.

I'll be back next week with part four.


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Photo by Taylor Deas-Melesh