Ariana Grande's hit song, 'Thank You, Next' is a fun anthem for all the ladies and gents out there who feel like they grew from past relationships. However, if you're currently in love and not so fond of the idea of there being any more 'nexts', here are seven tips on how to keep that relationship alive and happy.
1. Learn your partner's love language.
The first lesson in dating 101 is learning what your partner's needs are when it comes to feeling loved. Sit down with your partner and take the following quiz separately to learn both of your love languages. Knowing whether your partner requires mostly words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, or physical touch can do wonders for any relationship. For example, if you learn that your partner's love language is physical touch, then the next time both of you have a disagreement try holding your partner's hand to prevent the discussion from escalating.
2. Know what an unhealthy relationship is.
Obviously, a relationship is unhealthy whenever one feels abused or significantly unhappy. However, there is a lot of talk out there about what other people's opinions about an unhealthy relationship is. Some may say jealousy in a relationship definitely makes it unhealthy, but there are some couples out there that both respect and are happy with that side of their partner.
If there is an issue in your relationship talk it out with your partner to get to the route of the problem before consulting outside sources on what their take is on a certain behavior. However, if your partner is emotionally or physically abusive, or if you're not sure, this does not apply and it is always best to let the people closest to you know so that they can help remove you from the situation.
3. Forgive (when appropriate).
If you don't learn to forgive the stupid comment your partner made last month over text, or that time he or she was late to dinner, you are slowly but surely building a wall between you and your partner. By not forgiving a loved one for a mistake or something they regret doing, you are only hurting yourself.
If whatever act you chose to not forgive ended up being the demise of your relationship, ask yourself if it would be worth it. Most of the time the answer is no, and in that case, it's time to let it go. If you truly love that person then love unconditionally. However, abuse, cheating, etc. does not apply. Forgive when appropriate but it is up to you to decide what is deserving of forgiveness.
4. Be self-aware.
To make a relationship last, you have to realize that sometimes you're the one who caused a problem. Constantly blaming your partner for everything that goes wrong will lead to resentment. Nobody's perfect, but by accepting fault and being self-aware of your actions, you two will be able to work through and solve your problems rather than focusing on who caused them. Remember, it's you two against the problem, not you two against yourselves.
5. Make the little things a priority.
Making small gestures to remind your partner that they are loved every day is the bread and butter of any relationship. Extravagant gifts and big surprises are nice, but at the end of the day, they are not what keeps a couple together. Having a homemade meal ready when your partner gets off work late, putting a glass of water by their bedside, or reminding them every day that they are beautiful/handsome are the types of gestures that will give your partner that warm and fuzzy feeling and remind them how much they mean to you.
6. Don't assume your partner communicates like you.
It comes as no surprise that there is a difference between masculine and feminine communication. A girlfriend trying to get her boyfriend to give her his jacket by saying "It's cold outside, isn't it?" just to be given the response of "Yup", or a boyfriend trying to help solve a girlfriend's problem versus just hearing her out are types of complications that arise daily.
Make sure to clarify what your intentions are or what exactly you mean when communicating to your partner to avoid miscommunication. Even communication over technology can be a challenge and messages can easily be misunderstood, as there is no support from nonverbal communication. If you sense that you and your partner are miscommunicating, take a time out to clarify what you and your partner are discussing and what you both mean.
7. Be a team.
Last, but not least, always remember that the two of you are a team. Whenever you have an argument, remember that you are both on the same side. Whenever outside forces try to create a wedge between you, remember that the two of you are inseparable. You two chose each other, and you chose to be together. Having a partner for life means enduring all the losses and celebrating all the wins. Embrace your partner through the good and bad times and they will do the same for you. Never forget that you both are in it for the long haul, and you are in it together.
Having a lasting relationship is no easy feat. However, if the two of you care about each other and truly want to spend a life together, you can't quit when things get rough. It takes practice and hard work. No one in the world can prevent two people in love from being together except the people in the relationship.