When two people decide that they want to be together, they might not realize the challenges ahead. From dealing with lifestyle changes to weathering the storms of daily life and infidelity, there’s no such thing as an easy relationship without effort put in by both partners. There are many things that can keep couples together and make them last over the long-term, but what keeps some relationships going while others fade? The answer may surprise you!
Why do relationships fade
For many people, new relationships are their primary source of joy. Â It’s exciting to meet someone new, to talk with them, and eventually to grow close. Â Unfortunately, there’s one question that rarely gets answered: What is it that actually makes a relationship fade? There’s no definitive reason why most relationships fail – but there are definitely some warning signs to look out for.
Stop making excuses
You’ve heard it all before, time and time again: You can’t have everything. You have to choose what’s most important. Life is full of tradeoffs. Sacrifices must be made. It’s either/or, never both/and. If you want to go right, I’ll go left—we can no longer travel together. This kind of attitude sets people up for one big failure after another.
Know your partner’s priorities
Different people have different priorities—so if there are problems in your relationship, it’s important to know where your partner stands. Some people put career first, while others value family above all else. A clear understanding of your partner’s priorities can help you gauge how they might react in certain situations.
Don’t play games
Do not play games with each other. Making someone think they are going to get something when they aren’t is pointless and only hurts your chances of staying together in one piece. If you want to do it, commit or don’t do it at all. Or, as some might say: If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, great. If not…great! A lot less effort than holding on to someone who isn’t happy where they are!
Come clean about what bothers you
We’ve all felt like we can’t tell our partner something that bothers us. We think it’s too small to bother mentioning, or we don’t want them to feel bad about it, or we want to avoid conflict. All of these reasons, however, point toward one thing: not being able to come clean about what bothers us.
Don’t put your entire life on hold
As author Neil Strauss says, One of my favorite things about polyamory is that it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. It can be nothing. If that works for you, then go for it! If polyamory isn’t for you but other nonmonogamous options aren’t feasible—for example, if your partner just won’t consider it—consider what nonsexual monogamy might look like to you.
Rebounding isn’t always bad
When it comes to love and relationships, there are no hard and fast rules. For example, some people swear by never dating their friends’ exes, while others will happily move on from an ex as soon as someone new comes along.
Speak up and ask for what you want
If your partner is focused on his or her own needs, it’s hard to remember that love is about compromise and cooperation. It’s normal for both parties to occasionally put their own needs first. But if it becomes habitual, your relationship will suffer as a result. So don’t be afraid to ask directly for what you need—even if it feels like putting yourself first.