Regardless of whether or not you plan to exchange rings, being in a long-term relationship can be difficult and stressful at times. On the flip side, being committed to another person for life can also be so rewarding. However before you jump off of the deep end, it's probably best to learn how to dive first.
The thing is, many couples struggle, they fight and break up because they fall into a pattern, where the same issues arise again and again. It's naïve to think that love is all you need for a successful relationship. A good relationship is like one of those unpronounceable shelving units from Ikea, sturdy, long lasting, and requires two people to put it together. Think of today's post as the corresponding pamphlet with all of those instructive diagrams. So, for the snärkeilgorf shelves of your dreams, here are the five best, amazingly easy long-term relationship hacks.
Use a Calendar
It doesn't have to be anything fancy, it can be analog or digital, depending on what you like, but remember a shared calendar is a must for any long-term couple. I know you're probably thinking, how important can a calendar be? Very my friend, very.
A shared calendar really is the cornerstone of any good relationship, in fact, so many arguments and issues can be avoided just by having this little addition in your life. A lot of the time, couples have trouble grasping the concept that being a fully fledged couple, especially when you're cohabitating, means that you are no longer two separate units, you are now a team.
You have to be on the same wavelength when you're in a committed relationship, telling your significant other that you have a night out with the girls, on the day is not exactly fair. Being clear about your plans, events and appointments removes a huge chunk of stress off of your collective shoulders and easily reduces conflict.
Also, ensuring that your partner is going to be able to take time off of work to collect you from the dentist is an extremely good idea, because the last thing you want is to try and make your way home yourself, after having your wisdom teeth removed, only to accidentally shoplift a pair of raspberry-colored loafers in a novocaine fueled shopping spree. Which totally never happened to anyone ever.
Did Somebody Say Date Night?
Leading on from the calendar, make sure to organize time together. Sharing the same living space does not equate to quality time. Making time for each other is a critical part of maintaining a strong relationship. Having a date night once a month can be the difference between being a couple and being roommates.
Date night doesn't need to be a twenty-two-course tasting menu at that swanky French restaurant in town, it can be whatever you want it to be, from a walk in the park, going to the movies, or maybe hitting a comedy club. You don't even need to step outside your door, whether you want to take a tumble under the sheets, or just cuddle up and watch some HBO together, it doesn't matter, as long as you are making special time for one another.
Calm Down Martha Stewart
When you're single, or in the early days of dating, you feel that you can get away with a bowl of ramen or take out three times a week. Then you move in together, or maybe even get married and there is that expectation that you should transform from struggling to make a microwavable mac and cheese for one, into a Michelin star chef.
Unfortunately, you do not suddenly turn into Rachel Ray when that ring slips on your finger. For a lot of people there still seems to be that pressure to be Bree Van Der Kamp, providing your partner with tournedos of beef, with sauteed baby vegetables and a rosemary potato confit on a Tuesday night. If you're stressing about producing some elaborate meal every day of the week, then that is exactly what you'll be doing instead of enjoying time together.
Cook however is best for you, if you want to spatchcock a poussin, go ahead. Just don't force yourself to learn 702 new and exciting ways to cook venison. Remember, it doesn't have to be fancy, as long as it's edible, especially if you let him cook every once in a while, and just in case, it's perfectly acceptable to order a pizza every now and again.
Yes, Yes, of course you know that communication is key, but did you know keeping in touch throughout the day is vital for your relationship? It's far too easy to fall into the trap of only talking to one another when the situation demands it. Don't just text them when you're out of milk and you need them to pick some up on the way home from work, a little "I love you" here and "you make me happy" there can really help you connect emotionally with your partner.
A little bit of affection can go a long way, making each partner feel more valued, cared for and loved. It might not be the foundation of a successful relationship, but at the very least it's the mortar that holds the bricks together.
So this may seem like an odd one, but it works. When you get into a fight with your significant other, words can get heated and before you realize it, you're both shouting things you don't mean and all logic has been drowned out with reactionary insults.
A somewhat unusual, but remarkably viable piece of advice is when things start getting a bit tempestuous, start stripping. Soon the tension will be diffused for two reasons, 1) humorous repair attempts are the best at getting rid of tension, and 2) it is extremely difficult to take anything anyone says seriously when they're standing there with all of their bits hanging out. Seriously, scrotums are very distracting.
Did you find any of our hacks helpful? Or do you have any love hacks of your own to help build a solid long term relationship? We'd love to hear back from you, let us know in the comments down below.