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Being in a relationship is bliss. While it doesn’t define you as a person and you can still be an independent woman, having a person to come home to, to help you through life’s difficulties and to rely on and love, can be life affirming. However, a relationship needs work, care and nurturing. The secrets to a happy relationship can be difficult to uncover. However, if you want to make sure that your relationship is long lasting, you need to follow these key steps.

Express Your Feelings

While being open and honest in a relationship can leave you feeling vulnerable, this is vital if your relationship is to be long term. You need to know where you stand in a relationship and you owe it to your partner to allow them to feel the same. You need to be on the same page and have the same goals. Do you want to cohabit? Are you keen to start a family? If you are with somebody who doesn’t see babies in their future, is it a relationship worth pursuing? Being honest and talking about your feelings can help those happy hormones surge around your bloodstream. Feeling secure in a relationship can allow us to feel more confident and boost our self esteem.

Don’t Smother

While you might be keen to be with one another every second of every day, especially in your early days, this can become unhealthy. You need to give one another space to see your own groups of friends, to pursue your own interests and to have some time for yourself. Even when you are married, you need your own space to help avoid the divorce lawyers and maintain a healthy relationship. Have a night every week where you head for dinner with pals. Spend the odd weekend visiting family on your own. And consider joining a mid week club to help you find your own circle of friends. If you don’t, one of you will eventually feel smothered which could spell the end of a relationship.

Be Accepting

Everyone has minor issues with their partner that they would love to change. This might be the noise they make when they chew, their inability to load a dishwasher correctly, or their quirky way of squeezing the toothpaste tube from the top. In the greater scheme of things, these are minor issues. They don’t affect how kind, beautiful, vibrant and funny they are. If you are a perfect match, let these foibles go and focus on being accepting of all of your partner’s traits, warts and all. Doing this means that you can get to know your partner on a deeper level. If you are looking to the future, you need to accept that you cannot change your partner, and nor should you. Everyone is an individual and it’s up to you to respect that.

A happy relationship is something that we all strive for. Love creeps up on you when you least expect it, so be content with your lot, and when love comes around, follow this guide to help your relationship stay happy and be long lasting.

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