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5 Amazing Secrets of Long Lasting Relationships

Author:

Technology Manager, Poet, History Maniac. Also, a prolific writer on varied topics

Any successful relationship depends on the kindness between the partners.

Any successful relationship depends on the kindness between the partners.

I must admit that I had a rather turbulent childhood.

My parents divorced when I was very young. The years of infighting had made their marriage unbearable. Soon after that, I lost both; my dad in an accident and my mother becoming an incurable alcoholic. It was not that they did not try to make it work. It was just that things simply spiraled out of control and I became the fall guy of their actions.

Then my grandparents took over. They nurtured me. They instilled values inside me and transformed me into a man of substance — not an easy task considering the emotional wreck that I was in, at that impressionable young age.

And today I am celebrating their 50th marriage anniversary.50 years of togetherness. Wow!! I could not resist asking that pertinent question.

“Grandpa, how did you guys put along with each other for so long? What made your love tick?"

He smiled and said, “The secret of our love is just kindness.”

Kindness?” I asked, puzzled.

Yes, kindness,” he said, a twinkle in his eyes.

The definition of kindness is flawed. Most people think kindness is just being considerate. But kindness goes much beyond that. Kindness means being aware of each other’s flaws, deficiencies, and constraints and doing your best to avoid sidestepping on them.”

Once you do that, life becomes a breeze and love becomes the glue that holds the relationship together. Nothing can ever break a relationship based on kindness”

And here are some of the things we did to instill kindness in our relationship.

We do not try to change each other

The issue with change is that it brings along with it, resistance which is not a good thing as far as a relationship goes.

Your grandma is a bad cook (she still is) whereas cooking is my passion. I am very bad at finances (never understood math). Your grandma, on the other hand, is a pro in managing finances. Your grandma loves to live in disorder. I, on the other hand, have an OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder) when it comes to maintaining order.

Despite all these differences, we have an unwritten rule in place. We embrace each other’s deficiencies and focus on the uniqueness we both have within us. We enhance each other’s strengths and support each other’s goals. We support each other and the idea of changing each other never occurs to us in any of our conversations.

By doing this we enter a path of zero resistance and maximum acceptance. This is the type of kindness I was talking about.

We savor positive experiences

Often, when something makes us happy, we appreciate it for a split second and then move on to something else. But the trick to cultivating more positive emotions is savoring the ones you already have.

Don’t be a joy killer. Adopt an active constructive approach in responding to joys. Active constructive responding allows the partner to savor her joy and gives the couple an opportunity to bond over the good news.

For example, whenever your Grandma wins some contest in writing (the amount can be as meager as 10$), I don’t stop with just saying ‘great stuff’ and kill the joy. I ask questions about it to keep the celebration going. When did you find out? Did they call you? What classes are you taking?”

I show enthusiasm and interest to know more and make sure that joyful experiences are propagated to the maximum possible extent. Your grandma also follows suit whenever I achieve something however insignificant.

The point here is that, the happier you act, the happier you are likely to feel and the stronger your relationship grows with time.

We step outside our comfort zones often

The problem is any relationship is that it tends to get stale over time. We get so much used to each other that we tend to take everything for granted. This is dangerous and needs to be avoided.

You need to keep the spark active and kicking always. Propose an activity that challenges both of you more than usual. Instead of watching TV, go camping, take a long car trip, or paint a room together because that’s when you get to know the real person.

For example, I came to know that your grandma is a pro in mountaineering when we went on a long hiking trip. Similarly, she made sure that I join a professional painting class, the moment she knew that I have a natural flair for painting. Now if people call me an accomplished painter, it is all because of your grandma’s untiring motivation.

Doing unusual things prevents the grey mundane periods of your relationship from developing into open sores and keep the adventurous spirit alive and kicking.

We talk and talk and talk

The ‘strong silent’ type of personality looks good in movies, but it is the worst personality to be in real relationships.

Keep yapping at each other. That is the only way to keep a relationship alive.

These deep conversations are necessary to make the ‘glue’ that holds you together and creates the intimacy people desire in their marriage. It’s critical that you talk about your highs and lows that have been sprinkled throughout your week. These topics may be from outside interactions with others or something specifically between you and your partner.

You also have to be able to talk for fun. Can you go out for dinner for two hours and keep up a good conversation? Can we go to that food fair today? and so on…

The deeper the conversation, the more the romantic bond thrives and becomes stronger. Simple as that!

Lastly, we keep ourselves attractive

Yes, along with inner beauty, outer beauty is also important.

But that doesn’t mean you have to be movie-star handsome or turn to cosmetic surgery. Rather, it means staying a healthy weight and looking as good as you can. That’s especially helpful if you want to keep the sexual spark alive in a relationship.

Both of us keep ourselves fit. We avoid bad habits and try to lead an active lifestyle. It helps us not only ward away diseases but prevents us from becoming a ‘parasite’ on each other. After all, my body is my responsibility. Why should my partner suffer from my unhealthy habits?

Always remember, making a relationship work is hard enough; starting out with this key element missing heavily stacks the odds against you. While physical attraction isn’t everything, you need to realize that it diminishes over time, so your best bet is to prolong it as much as possible by taking suitable preventive measures.

As George Best has rightly said,

"Love is about mutual respect, apart from the attraction."

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ravi Rajan

Comments

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on February 13, 2021:

Thanks Vanita

Vanita Thakkar on February 13, 2021:

Very nice article. True, simple and touchy. My parents celebrated 53 years of wonderful togetherness last month.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on February 12, 2021:

Thanks MG

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on February 12, 2021:

Thanks Bill

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on February 12, 2021:

Thanks Misbah

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on February 12, 2021:

Thanks Chitrangada

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on February 12, 2021:

Thanks Devika

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on February 12, 2021:

Thanks Miebakagh

MG Singh emge from Singapore on February 12, 2021:

Nice article Ravi. Good suggestions as well.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 12, 2021:

50 years? Congratulations! That is wonderful, and I love your words of advice.

Misbah from The Planet Earth on February 12, 2021:

Very well written and worth reading article.

Thanks for sharing.

Sending Blessings

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 12, 2021:

Nice article. I agree with the points you have made, for a lasting relationship in marriage. Good to know that you are celebrating your grandparents 50th anniversary. It’s a blessing indeed. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 12, 2021:

Interesting and worth the read thank you

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on February 12, 2021:

Hey Ravi, the points you state are long lasting in a relationship. Thanks for sharing.