Portland Therapy Blog

Portland Therapy Blog

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How Strong Is Your Relationship Foundation?

Posted: April 04, 2014 by info@uncommonlovepdx.com

When it comes to building a relationship that will last a lifetime it is important to know you’re on the right track. So many couples ask me if they will make it long term. Here are five signs you have a strong foundation to build from:

1. You know what your partner needs to feel loved and you tell your partner what you need to feel loved. There are so many ways to give and receive love. For some folks it comes in the form of a bouquet of roses, or surprise tickets to a show, and for others it is getting up to feed a baby in the middle of the night. Others require sex and physical affection or verbal appreciation. The point is, each of us has different preferences when it comes to giving and receiving love. It is critical we teach our partner what our preference is instead of hoping they will read our minds. Of course our preference is obvious to us, but it may not be to them. Sharing your preference (or love language) will help create a generous flow of love between you long term.

2. You fight fair. Every couple faces conflict, but how you manage your disagreements can predict how long you'll last. Fighting fair means you don't curse, scream, belittle, or shame each other. You don't threaten or condemn each other and you take breaks when you need to cool down.

3. You have your own lives. Of course, the strongest relationships are those built on a foundation of similar underlying values and beliefs. And you want to share important values about money, spirituality, family, and time. However, it is important you each have individual interests, friends, and passions to fuel your personal fires and keep you growing as a person. It is difficult to keep desire alive when a partner becomes stuck or stagnant.

4. You know what GGG means and you live it. One of the most important secrets to long-term sexual satisfaction is being open to change. When you are together for a long time, your bodies and lives will change significantly. Find a way to talk about your sexual needs clearly and honestly early in the relationship and be open to entertaining your partner's desires, or supporting them in getting their needs met over time.

5. Put the "we" before the "me." A large part of long-term success in relationships is finding a healthy balance of compromise. A commitment to doing what is best for the relationship, rather than what is best for the individual partner, is a strong predictor of future marital satisfaction. Of course this doesn't mean totally losing yourself in your partnership, but couples who put their marriage above their own desires are more likely to flourish.

What do you think the foundation of a successful relationship is? Leave a comment and let us know!

Gina Senarighi, MA, MS, MFTI, is a relationship coach, couples counselor, sex educator, and blogger in Portland, OR. You can find out more about her practice by visiting her website or her profile.

Tags: mood and feelings, relationship and family