Everyone who’s having a hard time finding the right partner, or has not been able to make their relationships longer than a month or a year, wonders how those in successful long-term relationships make it work.
They wonder whether they’ll ever have a relationship that can finally cross the threshold of at least three years. They also wonder what it must be like to have a long-term relationship that is also stable.
Meanwhile, the people who have been in a relationship for at least three or four years wonder how long they can last. So, the question remains the same no matter what the situation of an individual is.
When researchers surveyed about 3,000 men and women about what the most important quality in a marriage is, they were expecting the answers to be “good communication,” “frequent sex,” and “common interests.”
But they were utterly surprised that most of the men and women answered “generosity” to be the most important quality.
In 2014, researcher John Gottman listed kindness and generosity as the two most essential elements in a lasting relationship. In general, more and more studies have linked generosity with happiness.
Here are some of the most significant elements that help to make a relationship last. You can practice these to make your relationship healthier, happier, stronger and work better.
- Generosity is a habit that everyone can acquire if it doesn’t come naturally
- Generosity does not mean self-sacrifice or scorekeeping
- Forgiveness is essential to healing and avoiding grudges
- Grant your partner the benefit of the doubt
- It can effortlessly boost your sex life
- Give attention to your partners
One 2007 study at Hebrew University found that some people are wired to be more generous than others. The experiment provided the first evidence for a possible relationship between variable human DNA and human nature.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you can’t change it. Generosity is like a muscle, you can give yourself a “generosity” workout, and you will, over time, develop strength.
It may feel counterintuitive and strange, but you can try to just fake it till you make it. Act as though you are generous, and you will develop a habit of it, after which you will finally not have to fake it.
Giving until you have nothing left won’t suffice. Generosity doesn’t mean that you’ll have to make yourself feel superior, smug or to ease the guilt.
It doesn’t even mean that you need to stop caring for yourself and expecting your partner to do their part. For example, one of the key traits of a happy marriage life or success is domestic equality.
The practice is not to make you deny your own needs but understanding that when you give something to your partner, like a present or just a reason to be happy, you will notice that something powerful is working inside you. The key to a healthy, long-lasting relationship is enjoying and caring for your partner and others around you too.
Just like a relationship with constant fighting is considered weak, a relationship with no fighting at all is considered even more vulnerable because the partners seem to be not interested enough in each other to fight.
Relationships have ruptures and disagreements too. Many times we feel like our partner is losing interest in us, for they forget a promise or don’t follow through on a special commitment, and we start complaining to them and fight with them.
It is true that forgiving isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it becomes a hundred times easier when it’s your significant other. It can also become a hundred times tougher, depending on the kind of mistake your partner made. But, if they’re sorry, genuinely sorry, and want to make amends, then the best way to rekindle your relationship is by forgiving.
And, if the mistake isn’t too big to start stressing over or start thinking about whether it is a dealbreaker, it is a lot better to just let go of the thing without making a fuss.
He had promised to meet you at your favorite cafe but didn’t show up. She was going to call you at least once every day on her vacation, but you haven’t heard from them in a while.
Instead of blaming your partner for the reason that you don’t even know yet, think about the possible reasons they couldn’t do what they’d committed to.
Maybe your boyfriend got some urgent work, perhaps he had to attend to an emergency – could be anything, right? Maybe your girlfriend had fallen ill, or was jet-lagged, or had some network issues.
You don’t know!
So, because you don’t know, do not make a judgment or an assumption. Do not push them away from you when they don’t want to get away from you.
Give your partner that benefit of the doubt, if and when they deserve it; you might need it too sometimes.
Excellent foreplay translates to a generous relationship and vice versa. We want to turn on our partner by doing what they like, being generous enough and not giving them what we think they would like.
Appreciating your partner’s efforts and letting them know that you’re pleased can add richness to your relationship and sex life.
But also, this doesn’t mean that you’ll do something that you can’t stand. Generosity doesn’t mean that you’ll go beyond your personal boundaries. And, by this, I also mean that when you don’t want to have sex, you are always entitled to say “NO.”
It does not also mean giving in. Giving is a gift while giving in leads to resentment. So you also understand your partner and accept their ‘No” without judging, even though no isn’t what you wanted to hear.
I always think about and cherish the early phase of my relationship. I used to blush just by hearing his name, and a mere glimpse of him would give me butterflies in my stomach. No matter how much of a beautiful relationship you’ve had with your partner, the good/happy/carefree butterflies start disappearing over time. The causes are legion, but it is inevitable.
When time grows old, and you’ve been with your partner for long, the best present you can give your partner is your time and your attention, and lending them your happy, curious ears to listen to their age-old everyday chatter.
Generosity can help your relationship flourish and grow beautifully. Giving and accepting affection, making each other’s life easier, forgiving, and keeping your partner both emotionally and sexually satisfied – all require a generous mind and heart.
For all those who find getting out of their own heads, the skill will help them score low on stress levels, and live a healthier, longer life.