Advice: How to Maintain a Long-Term Relationship

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When I was in high school, 6 years ago, I never thought of love. I never thought of falling in love, marriage or a relationship. I was focused on finishing high school with a GPA above 4.0, I dreamed of graduating in white. I graduated from high school in 2011 and started college right away.

Our love story:

I met my boyfriend, now fiance, 9 years ago. He was a senior and I was a freshman in high school. I still remember the first time we met. It was during breakfast at 7:00am, my best friend who was in the ESOL program (I was no longer in the ESOL program), used to seat with her ESOL friends to eat. One day, like any other, we sat at the same table to eat our breakfast. In front of me was Ricardo, I never noticed him during breakfast because their conversations were pointless to me, the usual boring high school conversations. That day he said something meaningful and interesting about life, I immediately looked at him. When my eyes met his, my brain and heart when like, “Wow! That’s the man with whom I want to share my life and goals.”

When he graduated from high school in 2007, we lost communication, until I joined MySpace in 2010. I added all my high school friends, including Ricardo. During 2010 we started talking and messaging. I was determined to make him notice me. After a year of friendship and getting to know each other we became a couple in 2011. In 2015 we became engaged, although we see it more like a love promise towards each other. Through the years we had our ups and downs. Now that we have been in a relationship for 6 years, I have more knowledge of how to maintain a healthy and long term relationship.

Why I Wrote this Post:

The other day I was cleaning my social media, especially Facebook. I deleted friends that I no longer talked to and untagged myself from pictures I don’t want medical schools to see. While I was doing this I was struck by the number of friends that no longer were with their high school sweethearts or that have been with different boyfriends after high school graduation. That day I asked my fiance, “Why are you still with me?” He looked at me with a puzzled face and said, “well, easy to answer, you give me space and freedom, we have amazing and passionate sex, i thoroughly love your company, and you make me a better person”

A couple of days later, I decided to that I should share what I know about my relationship. Who knows, this post might actually inspire other women like me or women who thinks different than me.

How to Maintain a Long-Term Relationship:

1. Communication and friendship is a must! 

Is great when you can talk about anything with your partner. From an embarrassing moment, a silly joke, a weird dream, something someone said, or about some who was flirting with you or your partner. Sometimes when my fiance is at work, he texts me about this girl that told him he was cute or when his ex-girlfriend texts him. When someone flirts with me I usually tell him and we laugh about it together. The best part of a relationship is when you can tell each other anything without getting upset.

We know each other’s passwords, bank information, and other personal things. Not because we HAVE to know it as a couple, but because we trust each other. I don’t need to check his phone to see if a girl is talking to him and vice versa. We trust and communication with each other so well, that jealousy doesn’t play a role in our relationship. That’s how comfortable we are with each other.

2. Intimacy <3

Yes, sex is important! It creates a powerful bond between a couple. It reminds you how special that person is and how sweet he/she can be with you in that intimate moment. While I was writing this article, I asked my fiance, “is sex everything in a relationship?” and he said, “no, you need intimacy in a relationship to keep the spark going.” What does that mean? Sometimes we imagine that the only thing that our partner wants is sex, but that’s not true. Sometimes is nice to be playful with your partner, wear something sexy and provocative, say something with a double meaning, watch a movie naked…e.t.c.

That’s what I mean when I say, “intimacy is important in a relationship to keep the spark of love going.”

3. Space is important!

We all love to have our partner’s attention all the time, but sometimes we want to be alone, even when we are in the same house or room. Since my fiance and I started dating, I made sure to respect his alone time. When he is at the office playing video games or just working on his computer, I let him enjoy his alone time at the office. When I’m in the living room studying, reading, watching a movie, or just browsing the web, he respects that moment, that space. I believe this is a must in every relationship.

You need to let the other person miss your company, your jokes, your laugh, and your presence. I love when he comes to the room or the kitchen and tells me that he loves me or if I need something. That makes me feel special and reminds me of the wonderful partner that I have in my life.

4. Choose your battles and know how you fight them

Is inevitable to not fight with your partner, but you need to choose your battles and know how you fight them. When I was younger, I would often hear my parents fight and yell at each other for anything. I swore to myself that I would never be that type of person. When I get mad at my fiance for something he did or didn’t do, I give my brain 5 seconds to chose my words wisely. I don’t want to insult him or make him feel bad, I want him to think about his actions carefully, that way he doesn’t make the same mistake again and we don’t have to argue about it again.

We never fight over silly things (choose your battles carefully), we laugh at the silly things. When we have to clean the house together, I let him choose, “do you want to wash the dishes or walk Rocky (our dog)?” That way we choose what we want to do and we won’t have to argue about it. This is where having a great communication comes to play again.

5. Look your best!

Yes, always look pretty for your partner. My mother in law, with whom I can talk about anything, gave me this advice. She told me, “always look your best! Not only to go to school, or work. Look your best for your partner too.” Over the years, we become so comfortable with the person we share our life with, that we forget what made them fall in love with us in the beginning.

I always try to spray a little bit of perfume before I go to bed (he loves the smell of my perfume and he says he instantly thinks of me when he smells it somewhere <3). Wear nice and comfortable clothes at home, not broken or old clothes (you wouldn’t like seen you partner like that). Even when we go out, I make sure to feel comfortable and pretty with what I’m wearing. When you are happy with yourself, your partner will see it and feel happy with you too.

6. Marriage isn’t everything

I was raised in a catholic family, my fiance too. My fiance still identifies himself as a catholic and follow the religion, I no longer follow a religion. I define my religion as an open door, I rather learn about different religions and be open minded about it, than follow a religion that I don’t believe in.

We don’t think that a piece of paper will tell us how happy or successful our relationship is going to be. We see our engagement or relationship as a promise to each other, not as a contract made up and followed by society.

7. Be thankful!

When your partner buys you something, when he/she does something nice for you, when you go to the movie theater, or when he/she invites you to dinner be thankful for their thought. I have seen couples that over time forget to say thank you to each other or to recognize something nice their partner did for them. Even when my fiance walks our dog without me telling him, I thank him for it. It makes him feel special and appreciated, and he is more willing to do things without being asked.

If you have a comment or something I did not mention in this post, please let me know. I’d love to read your comments.

Jenniffer life is messy and brilliant signature

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5 thoughts on “Advice: How to Maintain a Long-Term Relationship

  1. Sheila Joy says:

    I can totally relate to this post! My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 5 years, basically long distance the whole time. We met in college but he moved back home shortly thereafter. We’re only a couple of hours apart, but that can even be difficult sometimes. All your points are spot on, especially communication and space!

    http://www.insearchofsheila.com

  2. Margaret says:

    This is a great post! I think it is really relatable for a lot of people. My boyfriend and I have been long distance and I find that all the points that you’ve talked about are key for our relationship to succeed

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