Navigating Relationships//

We’ve Been Together 73 Years Now

It’s a lot of work AND a lot of Fun. This writer researches what keeps long-standing relationships thriving.

India celebrates its 73rd Independence Day this week. Our Union is now over seven decades old! Keeping this in mind, I searched out couples whose romantic unions were just as long-lived and asked them for the best relationship advice that they could give us.  Here’s what they had to say…

Respect and trust

Respect and trust are the backbone of a relationship. A slight crack can lead to relationship challenges. It is wise to mend the crack immediately and not allow it to grow, because a large crack creates a dangerous void, loosening the roots of a relationship allowing it to be blown away by the slightest wind.

Give and take

Marriage or a committed relationship are not about keeping score. You don’t have to win every fight. Learning to give-in, and being patient are key ingredients for a strong relationship. Think of it as the salt in your daily meals. It is vital and so is patience, it will bring your relationship to life!

It’s not always 50-50

Being in a relationship is about partnership, but it is rare that it is ever an “equal” partnership. Depending on the situation, one of the partners usually has a stronger say. Focus on “fair”, not “equal”

Learn to disagree

Disagreements come gift wrapped when you enter a relationship. Don’t fear an honest disagreement or argument. Challenges come up only when the way you disagree is disrespectful or abusive. Always fight fair, and never go to bed angry.

Be your own person

It is important to understand that soulmate or perfect partner is a myth. No one can and should be expected to fulfil all your emotional and social needs.

In order to accomplish a truly balanced relationship you must have a life together, and a life of your very own. Spend quality time with one another, but also be sure to spend quality time with yourself, and your friends outside of your relationship. Develop and keep your own interests.

Parenting

Being a parent has to be a combined responsibility. Not doing so may not be healthy for the relationship.

The Great Indian Family

Neglect the great Indian extended family at your own peril. In India, the relationship is not limited to the two individuals involved. It is about involving families. Give them the respect that needs to be given, but do not succumb to their hearsay of how you need to build your relationship.

And finally…

Being in a relationship is a responsibility and a huge one at that. It is a responsibility towards self, on the partner, on the children, and on the extended family. Get into a committed relationship only if you can take on the responsibility. Once in it, give it all you have- it is worth it.

Romantic relationships are not fairy tales gifted to you, but you can certainly make them into one with a bit of constant hard work.

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