Being in a committed relationship is one of the coolest things in life. Having a best friend forever that you can both talk to about anything and kiss and cuddle all the time is pretty great.
People in successful relationships often display some common behaviors. Although being in a relationship is wonderful, being in a truly bonded partnership is even better.
If you're in a new relationship and think that you might have found the person you want to be with forever, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to keep your relationship healthy, happy, and lasting long-term.
The following nine behaviors are great things to do to make sure your partner wants to stay in it for the long haul:
1. Accept Them For Who They Are
Those in successful couplings each accept the other for exactly who they are, with no desire or attempt to change their partner.
I don't have exclusively good habits, of course. We're all guilty of being less than our best selves sometimes. I can be a little moody when I'm hungry or sleepless, and I can be a bit careless sometimes, too. I'm also just generally pretty weird.
The important thing is that none of that matters to my husband. He accepts me completely and it's awesome.
We all want that. By showing your partner unconditional love and acceptance, you'll ensure that they feel great with you and never want to let go.
2. Give Them Space Without You
Too many of us fall into what I like to call the "constant togetherness" trap of relationships. We think that a healthy relationship means that we do everything with our partner.
A good relationship should have a lot of together time, of course, but it should also leave space for each person in the relationship to continue to be their own individual self.
Space is critical to me, so I let my husband know early on I wanted us to prioritize our individuality in our marriage. He felt the same way, and we've built a great relationship where we get to be "married," but then we also get to be ourselves.
Giving your partner space without you, confidently and respectfully, will be like a breath of fresh air for them. It'll keep your relationship strong over the long haul so they want to be with you forever.
3. Appreciate Them
A simple "thank you" goes a long way, but many of us are guilty of forgetting to thank our partner for the little things.
It doesn't matter if your partner does the same household duties every day or if they just did something really special for you; being appreciated never gets old. I thank my husband for folding the laundry every time he does it, even though he does it every week. It's just nice to remind your partner that you see their contributions and value them.
If you truly want your partner to not be able to imagine life without you, make sure you appreciate them every chance you get.
4. Let Them Get Upset
It may not be something you think of about successful relationships, but the happiest couples tend to accept all of their partner's emotions, including anger or upsetness.
My husband and I don't fight at all, but that doesn't mean that I'm still not a cranky jerk sometimes. It can be just that my favorite chocolate isn't at the store or that I didn't get enough sleep the night before, and I'll end up walking around grumpy and huffy.
Even if the reason is stupid (which it often is), my husband lets me be upset and is there with me for it.
Letting your partner have whatever emotions they want to will make them feel even more loved and will make them want to stick around.
5. Apologize When You're Wrong (And When You're Not)
Relationships aren't about keeping score, they are about keeping the love.
It's important to apologize in situations where you are wrong. But that said, it's also important to apologize when you're not. Apologies aren't exclusive to who was right and wrong in an argument, they are about acknowledging mistakes you might have made in the communication or interaction.
If you are humble enough to apologize in your relationship, it'll last forever.
6. Keep Your Relationship Sacred
In the age of social media and brunch with besties, not too many of us place a high premium on keeping our relationships sacred.
Although I really do love sharing photos of my husband on my Facebook and Instagram, we also had a very serious talk before we got married where I told him it was important to me to keep our relationship sacred. What I meant by this was that I never wanted to be the couple badmouthing each other to our friends, even just in jest. I wanted to be a united team, at all times, and make sure other people knew it.
Your partner will appreciate it if you choose to keep your relationship close to your heart, and they'll never want to let you go.
7. Take Care Of Yourself
Taking care of ourselves sometimes gets lost when we're trying to take care of our relationships. But it's just as important, if not more, and shouldn't be forgotten.
No matter what else is going on, I make sure I hop out of bed at 5 a.m. for the first part of my workout (sometimes I do the second part later in the day). I also pay close to attention to whether I'm continuing to do the things that nurture me, like reading alone and journaling. It helps nurture my marriage because I'm continuing to nurture myself.
Taking care of yourself should be something you remember to do every day. If your partner sees your commitment to bettering yourself, they'll love you even more and want to be with you forever.
8. Use Their Love Language
Realizing that we don't all love and want to be loved the same exact way is really important in long-term relationships.
Love Languages are a tool to help you and your partner discover the ways each of you communicates best in love. There are five different styles: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Essentially, the love languages help each of you better connect in your relationship by providing love in the way that it's needed.
My husband and I took the love languages test early on in our relationship. His primary love language is physical touch, which means he likes to be cuddled and close all the time. Mine is words of affirmation, which means I like hearing him say nice things. It's helped us understand each other tremendously.
By learning your partner's love language, you'll show that you truly want to know as much about them as possible and give them what they needed emotionally.
9. Grow With Them
No relationship stays static over time, so one of the best ways to make sure your partner wants to be with you for the long haul is to continue to grow with them.
Growing with your partner means continuing to do the things they're interested in, supporting their new hobbies and habits, and constantly putting yourselves in new and different situations so that you have things to adapt to and talk about.
My husband and I are big fans of doing anything wild that comes our way, from a body painting adventure we did to our next international trip. It keeps our marriage fresh, alive, and consistently moving forward.
Growing in the relationship will make your partner feel like they have a true companion in life and it'll ensure they want to hold on to you forever.
Every couple is different, but the happiest and most successful couples have a lot in common. Doing these things will make your partner feel loved, accepted, supported, and valued, and it'll help you keep a long and happy relationship with them.