Discovering Happily Ever After. The Relationship Survival Guide.

Happily ever after can be uniquely defined by you. Every relationship is different and trust me when I say there is a reason it is called “happily” ever after and not “perfectly” ever after. Happiness is not necessarily faultless and glossy perfection especially when it comes to love and relationships. We are all learning and discovering how to do things right day by day. Maintaining a relationship, especially a long-term one, takes a lot of effort, dedication, patience, commitment and of course, love.

So buckle up and read these important tips:

Accept humanness. Firstly, remember that your partner is only human. He/She will make mistakes and, like I said, it is all a learning process. Once your partner did not intentionally set out to cause you pain and sadness, then you should at least listen to what he/she has to say before having a major tantrum or meltdown. Voice what you dislike and work towards learning from the mistake. Forgiveness goes a long way in relationships and their growth. 

Be Supportive. It doesn’t matter if your girlfriend is a makeup artist and you don’t know the first thing about makeup or if your husband is a dentist and you don’t have a clue about oral health, ask questions and be interested. The simple act of asking questions and showing concern can really show how much you care about your partner and what he/she does during the day. Be his/her biggest fan or don’t get angry if someone else takes over that role in his/her life. 

Spice it up out of the bedroom if you want it to stay spicy in the bedroom. Yes, a sexy night out on the town can help things short-term but, believe it or not, the real turn on happens with minor lifestyle changes. Make breakfast for your partner, do the dishes, surprise him or her with a dessert from his/her favourite place, pick up your clothes (from the floor), do things without them having to nag or ask. That is the real deal when it comes to making someone’s mind want you more and making them thankful for your effort and presence.

Always be physical. Hold hands, kiss and cuddle no matter how much time has passed or how busy your day gets. Make the effort and touch your partner in cute little ways when the opportunity presents itself. 

Don’t lie. Trust me on that, the truth has a way of creeping out so it is best to be the bigger person and be honest even if it hurts. Loyalty and honesty go hand in hand.

Plan Activities. Be sure to set aside a fun adventure at least once a month or maintain a weekly hobby such as going to the gym or family night. It's important to spend quality time together away from work and everyday responsibilities. 

Faith is like glue. You don’t have to share a religion to understand that faith is important and prayer is essential. Figure out a dynamic way to pray together and even do devotion daily. Spiritual bonding with your partner is a beautiful experience and on the days you are angry with each other, it just might be the glue that holds things together and gives you both the guidance and strength needed to move ahead and resolve disagreements with love and respect. 

Give each other space. I have trouble with this one, but it’s so necessary if you want a relationship to thrive. People need time to themselves, especially when they are frustrated or angry. Respect your partner’s space if he/she needs to blow off some steam but still, let him/her know that you are there when needed.

Never be boring. Sounds simple but it takes creativity and motivation. This is YOUR person, your life partner, the one you want to grow old with. Always be fun and on the lookout for ways to keep the interest alive. Don’t just exist day by day. Lust after your partner, try new things in the bedroom and pay attention to his/her needs, wants and desires.

Remember why you fell in love in the first place. Always keep in mind the bigger picture, shared goals and why you chose this person to be your special someone. Celebrate milestones and traditions.

The ebbs and flows of a relationship may be difficult to figure out and navigate during its different stages, but it can work if the couple makes a genuine joint effort. Falling in love is easy, staying in love is where the real success is at. In modern society, being in a long term union is something to be admired and cherished. Don’t give up on your version of happily ever after, create it, maintain it and enjoy it to the fullest in every way you can.