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Top Qualities That Make a Relationship Last

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Successful relationships generally take work and perseverance to stand the test of time. While marriage therapists might list different characteristics for successful long-term relationships, they typically agree on the key qualities that the partners should have to make a relationship last. Some of these qualities involve personal values, while others have to do with the attitudes and habits of the couple. If you don’t possess all these qualities, you can learn and develop many of them.

Respect and Appreciation

You and your partner should treat each other with respect and honesty, allowing for individual differences and opinions, according to John Cloud, Ph.D., writing for the Iowa Coalition Against Violence website. Appreciation of your partner can also ensure that your relationship will last, according to marriage counselor, Randi Gunther, Ph.D., in a 2011 “Psychology Today” article. Affirm your partner’s best qualities and his efforts to contribute to the relationship. Remind yourself each day why you are lucky to have him in your life. Value yourself and your partner for all that you bring to the relationship.

Good Communication and a Sense of Humor

A sense of humor is a valuable quality because it can defuse conflict and help you lift the clouds when things are difficult, according to author and therapist Lisa Brookes Kift in a 2009 article on her website. Effective communication skills are also invaluable to your relationship. Commit to communication about the difficult stuff so it doesn’t derail your relationship over time. A willingness to work together to reach win-win compromises can help you maintain peace and harmony in your relationship, encouraging a sense of security. De-stress and exercise appropriate self-care to avoid dumping on your partner and lashing out when things don’t go your way in other areas of your life.

Sharing

You strengthen your relationship when you do things together. Focusing on having fun together, recommends Alice Boyes, Ph.D., in a 2013 “Psychology Today” article. Learn all you can about your partner, such as her favorite color or food, as well as events in her childhood. Share your hopes and dreams, building a vision board of those dreams you share. Take the time to nurture your relationship with date nights that demonstrate the priority you place on your relationship. When you go on dates, avoid discussing topics that ruin the romance and enjoyment.

Balance and Teamwork

You and your partner can maintain balance in your relationship, by drawing on the strengths you each have. If he does a better job of balancing the checkbook or dealing with the aggravating neighbors, allow him to take the lead there. If you enjoy cooking, you can prepare the meals and decide on your menus. Incorporate your communication and sharing skills so neither of you feels resentment when it comes to doing chores, notes therapist Lisa Brookes Kift. Encourage teamwork and celebrate your accomplishments together.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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