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Why Long Lasting Relationships Require Healthy Relationship Expectations

long lasting relationships require healthy relationship expectations

Guiding Principles For A Lasting Relationship Built on Healthy Relationship Expectations 

1. How Good we are at Dealing with Conflicts and Communicating about Significant Events in Life

Relationship expert John Gottman divides conflicts into two kinds: those that are solvable and those that are unsolvable. Gottman believes the unsolvable conflicts represent 69% of all of our conflicts (!)

And this means we definitely need to find a way of dealing with unsolvable conflicts if our relationship is to stand the test of time. One way of doing this is creating healthy relationship expectations surrounding conflicts.

2. How Willing we are to Work on our Relationship

Without putting in time or effort, it will be difficult for our relationship to last over time. This may seem too simple or too obvious, and in that case, I’d like to challenge you to watch how much effort and time you’re currently putting in. Is there an area you could work on a little bit more? Perhaps one you’re currently avoiding, such as your sex life?

Low libido in long-term relationships is really common (despite the fact that we seldom talk about it). And when we haven’t had physical intimacy in a long time, it’s easy for it to become a very big deal in our minds. 

Everything and anything that reminds us that we “should” be having sex: an intimate scene on tv, the way our partner cozies up to us in bed, or even just the mention of it from our partner, can cause us to tense up. 

Related: 5 Big Signs Your Partner Is Worth Your Efforts and Time

3. How Good we are at Continuing to Develop our Individual Identity, While Still Being a Team

Many believe that cultivating our individual identity is crucial for both attraction and desire to flow. If you’re no longer sure where your partner begins and you end, you might want to work on rekindling your identity.

4. How Good we are at Idealizing Our Partner’s Personality and Behaviour

At first glance, this may sound a tad strange – but stay with me here. Researcher Sandra Murray has, in a number of studies, found that those who are the happiest a few years into the relationship are those who idealized their partner at the start of the relationship. 

This can look like idealizing certain traits your partner has, such as their intelligence or kindness, or the way they treat you by cooking your favorite meal or suggesting a fun date night activity. 

5. How Often We Respond to our Partner’s Attempts at Communication

Healthy relationship expectations surrounding communication are paramount. And when looking at the most long-lasting, strong relationships, we can see that these are ones where partners more often than not, respond to their partner’s attempts at communication.

This doesn’t mean we’re brilliant at it all the time, nor that we never miss the mark. It means that those who respond more frequently to their partner’s attempts are happier with their relationship and tend to have longer lasting relationships.

6. How Supportive we are of our Partner

Being great support, whether in times of sorrow and hardship or in times of happiness and excitement – is crucial. If you’re interested in making your relationship resilient, take a look at how much you and your partner are willing to support one another’s goals, how willing you are to compromise, and what you’re both prepared to sacrifice for each other. 

Resilient Relationships

When it comes to how you can make your romantic relationship last over time, it’s all about setting healthy relationship expectations. This can be done by examining your relationship’s strengths and weaknesses and working on them together, to make your bond stronger and your relationship more resilient.  

Originally published on LeighNoren.com.
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Why Long Lasting Relationships Require Healthy Relationship Expectations
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Leigh Noren, MSc

Leigh Norén is a sex therapist and writer specialized in low libido, orgasmic difficulties, communication and relationship difficulties. She's been featured in Glamour, The Tab, Babe, Sexography, The Good Men Project and more. Leigh offers free online resources for a better sex life and happier relationship, sex therapy and online courses at her website www.therapybyleigh.comView Author posts