Uncovering the secrets to lasting love, and how can you apply them to your own relationship? Here match.com relationship expert Kate Taylor reveals all:
British couples really do know the secrets of a long, happy life together! From holidaying separately to never going to never going to bed while they’re angry, it seems that the secret to a lasting relationship is finding and fostering your own unique way to make it work. However, it’s one thing to be armed with info but another to actually manage to incorporate it into your relationship or – if you’re looking for love – into your search for lasting love. So we’ve taken the best tips so far and found practical ways you can integrate them into your life.
“Play kiss chase, tickle one another, have pillow fights.”
How to do it
If you’re in love: “The couple that plays together stays together” – how many times have you heard that? But then how often do you remember to do it? Taking time as a couple to have fun is vital. It can feel like an effort of time when you have work, domesticity and maybe children to raise, but think long-term: laughter releases dopamine in your brain which is a vital chemical for sexual attraction. So let go! If you don’t know where to start, a new shared hobby is great. Learning new sports often combines exercise with fun.
If you’re searching for love: Keep your dates light-hearted, exciting and fun! Comedy clubs are a wonderful idea as they get you laughing, as are ice-skating, circus workshops and dancing. Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself: it’s endearing. Long-term, it’s these memories that will make you smile.
“Remembering when you met and treating your partner like your best friend.”
How to do it
If you’re in love: John Gottman, the highly respected director of the Gottman Institute in America that studies the science of love, believes a couple’s joint “love map” helps help them together. By talking with your partner about your shared memories – like your first meeting, your early dates – you are strengthening your unique love map all the time. So do your own love PR – talk about your relationship in positive terms. Don’t stew over the small stuff! Look for good things and you’ll both find them.
If you’re searching for love: “Treating your partner like your best friend” in the search for love means you should take some time to consider what you really want out of your next relationship., Try not to become too emotionally invested in the first couple of weeks, it will help you interact with new people in a lighter way. If a date has to cancel or is running late, accept it (like you would with a friend) and keep things in perspective. Also, keeping up with your other friends is vital too, it’ll stop you focusing too much on your new relationship and will give you more to talk about on dates.
“Be responsible for your own happiness and be considerate of your partner’s well-being, but not responsible for it.”
How to do it
If you’re in love: This is really saying, don’t be co-dependent. Co-dependency is a psychological problem where we smother our partner and make their problems our own. Try to trust that your partner is capable of fighting their own battles! It can be scary to let go, but if you focus on making your own life as good as it can be, you will be happier and less likely to interfere with your partner’s issues (unless they ask for your support). They will feel that you respect their ability to deal with situations, and will relax.
If you’re searching for love: Don’t look for a “fixer-upper” – someone who would be perfect if they just changed a few things about themselves. Focus on the good points of new people you meet, and realise that by making yourself the best you can be, you will attract equally well-rounded partners.
“Loyalty and communication, stay true as individuals and come together often, keep life simple. We have reached our Pearl Wedding Anniversary (30 years) and look forward every day to just waking up together.”
How to do it
If you’re in love: Communication is the secret to many long term relationships, but it’s not as easy as just talking, talking, talking! More important is that your partner feels “heard” by you. Try to listen non-judgementally. If possible, start a system where each of you can share with the other in a “no comment zone” where you will not be criticised or rejected. Even if just for 30 minutes a week, this will help each of you feel more accepted and safe with one another.
If you’re searching for love: Keeping life simple is a wonderful idea! When looking for love, try to stay focused on simple traits like “reliability and dependability” in a partner, not “earns a lot” or “has adventurous hobbies”. People’s careers and interests change over time and only the basic character stays the same. A shared sense of humour will do a lot to soften the bumps in the road that all couples encounter.
“Patience, trust, honesty, never parting on an argument, and keeping the fridge stocked up!”
How to do it
If you’re in love: Keeping the fridge stocked with your partner’s favourite thing is a simple tip but works so well to make a house feel like “home” for both of you. When shopping, if you see something you know your partner likes, buy it and sneak it into the cupboard. When they find it, it’ll be like you’ve just given them a hug.
If you’re searching for love: Laughter is vital, so look for people who make you laugh. Honestly and trust are the foundations of a strong relationship, so make sure you spend time building those.