“It always better to just leave” - I thought that when I was younger and wasn’t really even considering marriage. When you’ve heard some stories and all of them end up in two possible outcomes: it just vanishes or it’s finally over but with endless, cyclic shit-show drama. It seems to be so hard, but in the meantime there’s not a lot of resources out there encouraging you to work through relationship problems just to jettison them and move on to the next.  

Everything changed when I finally found that person I never want to leave. I started asking myself a lot of questions like “How can I become a better partner?”, “Is she satisfied with me?” and the main one “Do I really want to be with this person, until death do us apart?”.
After 15 years together, I can say that my conclusions were pretty much correct. I made a checklist on how to understand that your partner is the real deal and how to work on your relationship to make it long lasting.  So sit back. I’m gonna drop some red pills down your throat.

It’s not about you, it’s about your partner

It doesn’t contradict the fact that we all need to consider our personal happiness and sacrifices. This idea can make you a better partner and a happier person. When deciding to get married, or having long-term relationships, imagine this person being happy with you, smiling in the morning. Imagine you working your ass off to make this person smile. Are you happy doing it? Then you’re ready for the next step.

Look at the relationship from your partner’s perspective

One of the triggers family psychologists use, is to make a couple describe their relationship from the partner’s perspective. Sometimes, this method can be the end of therapy - people understand the problem by themselves.

Give more than you think you receive

When you have a pretty responsible job, you always believe that you’re doing more than you should. You’re not getting enough money, enough motivation and enough respect from your colleagues. Remember this: the 50/50 approach doesn’t work here and doesn’t work in relationships either. You can’t estimate how much efforts your partner put in to solve a problem or to make you happy. Estimate how much you put in to do the same.

Give more than you think you receive. Love'n'Graph

Communicate about everything

Discuss everything. Saves money on going to couples therapy. Tell your partner how hard it was at some point and how delightful it was at another. Talk about your fears, share your dreams, reveal your past, confide your everyday problems, open up your innermost thoughts. Even if you really want to hide something you did to be a better person, in someone else’s eyes, it won’t bring you better communication. It will forever be that skeleton in the closet, lingering and rotting in the midst of this lasting relationship.

Communicate about everything. Love'n'Graph

Go through some stressful situations together before planning your future

Me tell you fam, life can get tough, it can be full of hardcore stress and we’re not even aquaman who can deal with it smoothly and carefully. Everyone reacts differently to stress, do you think you can get through everything with your partner? To test it, you should put yourselves in a tight spot and overcome it together. It can be an apartment renovation, a trip, and, a big celebration with all your relatives. Whatever, just try to keep it legal.

Travel together

Traveling can be an amazing adventure filled with memories and the hardest of all stress. Plan a backpacking trip or explore some non-touristy places, where no one knows your language. Spend a night on top of a mountain while it’s snowing. Moreover, have sex there. Get lost in the middle of the road or catch a cold while traveling. All of these happenings can reveal to you a completely new personality in your partner, and confirm, that yes, she/he is truly the one. After this, travel all your life together and never stop creating lasting memories.

Travel together. Love'n'Graph

Work together

It doesn’t mean you need to start your business and never be more than a few feet apart. Your project can be about doing something good for society or for your family. Plan a reconstruction of your grandmother’s house or conduct a charity market for homeless dogs. It’ll help you understand each other better and get much closer. Likewise, I’m all for doing it from time to time to strengthen the connection, and just being there for each other.

Work on sex together

First of all, be sure that your partner and you are sexually compatible before planning your future. It may look like you can always sweeten it a beat and everything will be cool. But... it’s not. Sorry bro. It’s just not. If something isn’t working for you and you can’t discuss and resolve it, it can make both of you miserable pretty quick. Sure, sex isn’t always as hot as it is at the beginning, but you’re two people with two bodies, minds and hearts. Work on your passions, play, try to make your partner happy.

Work on sex together. Love'n'Graph

Don’t expect your partner to change

This issue is probably one of the reasons I made this guide. The most self-destroying decision you can make is to choose a partner you can’t fully comprehend and accept as is. If you started dating a smoker, be aware that this person will always be nicotine addict. If your partner listens to jazz and you prefer punk, be ready to spend your nights listening to trumpet solos. You found a real person, not a character. Either your accept her/him fully, or you get to doing I did before: you hit the road, Jack.

Work on yourself

“So plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers” - this sappy ass phrase can actually be a solid explanation of what I really want you to get done here. Don’t blame your partner, don’t blame yourself, don’t blame the current state of things or suddenly appearing problems. You have all the means in the world to work on yourself within the relationships, to estimate the level of satisfaction, to create your perfect partner, to choose the right person and to solve problems together. Don’t wait until the Universe comes and whispers sweetly the answer to you. It’s inside your head and heart. Accept it and try to be a better person and a better partner with every decision you make.

Work on yourself. Love'n'Graph

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