Five ways to maintain a long-term relationship

"Being honest with yourself about what you want out of life, and out of your relationship is a must"

Five ways to maintain a long-term relationship

Just what does it take to have a long-term relationship?

Here are five top tips for maintaining a long-term relationship from eHarmony expert Jemima Wade:

1. Embrace flaws

Once you’re in a relationship, remember the old adage "nobody’s perfect". Jemima says that when you fall for someone your initial attraction can stop you noticing your new partner's flaws, or at least override them. But as things progress, you learn more about each other - both the good and the bad.

To get through this stage, you need to be understanding and caring. "For your partner to be willing to open up and show the real them is a huge part of showing their trust in you," says Jemima, "so be kind and gracious".

2. Don't rush

Enjoy the present and don't constantly worry about what the other is thinking. There are various stages to a relationship, according to eHarmony psychologist Doctor Linda Papadopolous, and the third involves questioning your relationship. As you look to make someone a part of your life long-term, you may question whether the relationship (rather than the person) is right for you. Going slow diminishes the risk of that.

3. Always be yourself

Being true to yourself is crucial to making a relationship last. "Being honest with yourself about what you want out of life, and out of your relationship is a must," says Jemima. "So don’t withhold or dilute your views be it about having kids or relocating. It’s not necessary to spill this all at once of course, but be mindful to tell the truth when asked and do your best to be upfront."

4. Balance

You don’t have to compromise your independence, but if you can only give your partner a two-hour window on a Wednesday night, you're probably not sending out the right signals. Date nights are a good way to show you care and quality time in any form is important in making a relationship last. At the same time, don't go too far the other way. You need to make room for your partner in your life but not at the expense of everything else  friends are crucial too and a good way to balance your personal life.

5. Communication is key

"Don’t be afraid to let your guard down," says Jemima. "And if you’re hiding your feelings, don’t expect your other half to be a mind reader  sadly, that’s not a built in function." It's a two-way street, so listening is also vital.

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