For the long haul
How can you make sure you're one of the select few whose union and love really does last forever? We gathered some tips from authors, experts and doctors on how to keep love going for the long-term.
Do something nice everyday
Do one nice, unexpected thing each day, like leaving a note in his briefcase or giving a back rub. These gestures will show appreciation and make your interactions more positive.
Explain true feelings
Few relationships can survive without open, honest communication. Relationships Australia supplies several tips for talking constructively with your partner, such as telling him exactly what you are feeling, stating your needs and listening to his thoughts.
Maintain your individuality
According to a survey by Relationships Australia, one in 10 full-time Australian workers want more time for themselves. Sometimes the best thing for a duo to do is split into solo acts once in a while. Maintain your separate friends, hobbies and interests, and you'll have new experiences to share every time you are together.
Talk for 20 minutes at the end of the day
Building lasting relationships takes constructive things like spending time together and working on communication, says Relationships Australia national vice-president Anne Hollonds. You can do this with your partner by making sure to have a chat one-on-one--without kids or the telly distracting you---for a few minutes after work or before bedtime.
Treat love like a plant
Central Queensland University Dr. Ann-Marie Priest, author of Great Writers, Great Loves: The Reinvention of Love in the 20th Century, says the key to long-term love is a willingness to make it work when the passion fades.
"If you truly believe that you have met your soulmate, you will work in ways that reinforce that, she says, and increase your chances of that romance staple... everlasting love," she says.
Be creative with intimacy
In the Great Australian Sex Census 2009/10 conducted by online swingers and social networking site RedHotPie.com.au, 47.1 percent of men and 44.3 percent of women say they've cheated on a partner. Part of the reason for infidelity is boredom in the bedroom, so keep things spicy by trying a new position, wearing a sexy nightgown or discussing fantasies. But remember that intimacy also encompasses sharing emotions and things about yourself.
Tackle trouble as a team
Whether it's his needy mum or the plumbing in the toilet, respond to issues with a unified front. Consequently, if your union is already in peril, consider outside help in the form of counselling. Relationships Australia's Hollonds says one of the reasons the country's divorce rate has stabilized instead of increased is because couples seek therapy when they need it.
Embrace change and challenge
Many relationship experts dispense this final tip: recognize that love changes--and challenges--as time goes on. That means that when the butterflies fade, learn to relish in the more balanced bedrock upon which your bond stands. And when you have a setback, work through it.
Australian Institute of Family Studies director Alan Hayes said in an article in The Age that Australian marriages may be lasting longer because people understand more about what a long-term commitment entails.
"It's around the maturity to understand the nature of give and take, and the extent to which you do have to make a solid commitment.''