10 Ways to Build a Strong and Healthy Long-Term Relationship

As the saying goes, 'Falling in love is easy, but staying in love isn't'. Well, Psychologist Nisha Khanna, Practo, tells you how to do the latter. 

Everything is fun and games until you cross a certain phase in your relationship. Eventually, s**t get's serious, and while nobody awaits the honeymoon phase to end, you've gotta move on from it. Basically, you must consider 'things settling down' to be a mark of progress, rather than an indication of unwelcome boredom. As they say, 'falling in love is easy but staying in love isn't.' It's probably true, but who knows, right? Any which way, achieving and maintaining a long-term relationship is definitely a challenge worth pursuing.

"Intimacy in a marriage or a relationship is a process that takes time, effort, and hard work. Once achieved, it also takes a great deal of effort to sustain. Couples must constantly search for ways to nurture their bond, in the hopes of establishing a healthy and strong long-term connection," says Nisha. 

Do you want yourself and your beau to be #relationshipgoals? Here are 10 ways to make it happen.

1. Open Communication

"Upholding an open line of communication is an essential component for any healthy relationship. While some feel comfortable in sharing their feelings, emotions, and experiences, others find it equally hard to convey even the most mundane thoughts," states Nisha. Thereby, it's extremely important that you make your partner feel comfortable in taking their time to open up, as well as make the relationship a non-judgemental, safe zone for personal sharing. 

2. Respect Individual Differences

No two people are the same or can ever be, and we are all well-aware of the fact. However, despite individual differences, one must be respectful and understanding towards the varied personality traits of their partner. "The more we appreciate and are willing to accept our partner's nature and personality, the more satisfying and wholesome the relationship will turn out to be," informs Nisha.

3. Conflict Resolution 

In some relationships one may be more open and willing to recognise and resolve issues, whereas the other may believe in brushing things under the carpet. "Believe it or not, it is those couples who actively work together to resolve conflicts that tend to have a stronger bond," she adds.

4. Financial Management 

According to Nisha, for developing and sustaining a healthy relationship partners must be in close accord on how to earn and spend their finances. Since some people are big-spenders while others might be savers, differences are bound to give way. To avoid this from happening, it's crucial they be discussed and resolved timely. 

5. Leisure Activities

"There is often potential for conflict in relationships where partners enjoy engaging in different leisure activities," informs Nisha. You may look forward to an adventurous getaway, whereas he might desire a relaxing weekend escape! In such a scenario, couples should work out a common ground, based on mutual consent and respect for what the other wants.

6. Healthy Sexual Relations

Are things not-so-steamy beneath the sheets? Red flag! "Partners enjoying a healthy sex life are often able to express themselves more freely and openly in the relationship, while being receptive as well as respecting each other’s needs and desires," states Nisha. At the end of the day, striking a balance between emotional and physical intimacy is crucial. 

7. Division of Roles & Responsibilities

A couple must mutually agree on what works best for them. Whether this involves a clear-cut division of roles and responsibilities, such as one prepares the food while the other washes the dishes, or an interdependent system wherein if one is busy with work the other can take over.

8. Value Individuality 

It's very important to understand that we cannot take another person for granted. More often that not, after a certain point in time in a relationship, we start assuming the other person to be our property. This is where the troubles start brewing. "In order to stay happy, both partners must make it a point to value, acknowledge, and appreciate the individuality and uniquess of the other," advocates Nisha. 

9. Sustain Your Social Circle Beyond Your Relationship

Humans are inherently gregarious social beings that cannot survive without being a part of a wider social circle. Thereby, alterations in relationships with the immediate family, relatives, and friends must be handled carefully. According to Nisha, while its important to dedicate quality time to your significant other, it is equally important to preserve ties with friends and family. A good support system in the form of family and friends can often pose to be resourceful for a couple!

10. Spend Quality Time Together

"No matter how busy you are, you have to steal some time away from your busy schedule and spend it with your partner," suggests Nisha. It could mean having a meal together, watching a favourite show, going out for a stroll, or even engaging in a mutual hobby! (Do all of this virtually if you're in a long distance relationship) Just make sure you don't attend to work calls or give into distractions that will disrupt or interfere with the quality time you have with your partner.