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Relationships are important for our happiness and well-being. However,, in many cases, relationships seem to be more complex and transitory. Break-ups have become more frequent; divorce rates are skyrocketing and long-term commitment has been reducing drastically. With over 40 percent of new marriages ending in divorce, it’s clear that relationships are not easy to maintain. Love alone isn’t enough to sustain a marriage or relationship.

Let’s go through the best relationship advice for couples that combines wisdom from other relationship therapists, matchmakers, researchers and more.

Realize that every relationship has value, regardless of how long it lasts.

April Beyer, a matchmaker and dating and relationship expert says that there’s no such thing as a failed romance. Relationships gradually evolve into what they were always meant to be. This means it’s best not to try making something that is meant to be temporary or seasonal into a lifelong relationship. Instead what matters is to let it go and enjoy the journey.

Do or say something daily to show appreciation towards your partner.

According to Terri Orbuch, professor at Oakland University and author of ‘5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great’, “Doing and saying small, simple expressions of gratitude daily yields big rewards. People in a relationship are happier when their partners show their appreciation and make them feel special. They are more motivated to make the relationship stronger and better.

All you need to do is make small gestures like holding hands, hugging, kissing, sending a card, buying a small gift, putting gas in the car, fix your partner’s favorite dessert or simply saying, ‘You’re sexy’, or ‘Thank you for being so wonderful’, or ‘You’re the best dad’. These simple gestures show your partner that you’re paying attention.”

Don’t take your partner for granted.

As per Irina Firstein, LCSW & individuals and couples therapist in New York, “This relationship advice may sound too obvious but you can’t imagine how many people seek therapy when it’s too late — their partner is done with their relationship and wants to end it.

It is important to understand that everyone potentially has a breaking point, and if their needs are not met or they don’t feel seen by their partner then they’ll more likely find it somewhere else. Most people assume that just because they are OK without things they want, so is their partner. You shouldn’t use ‘No relationship is perfect’ as a rationalization for complacency.”

Don’t just go for the big O.

According to Kat Van Kirk, Ph.D. licensed marriage and sex therapist and expert at Adam and Eve, “Sex isn’t just about orgasms. Thanks to the wonderful release of hormones due to physical touch during sex, your sexual focus involves emotional intimacy, sensation, stress relief, increased emotional bonding with your partner and improved health (improved immune and cardiovascular system). There are many more reasons to have sex other than just getting it off.”

Ensure to meet your partner’s needs.

Psychologist and dating expert, Jeremy Nicholson says that the number one thing he has learned about love is that it’s not just a feeling but a trade and a social exchange. Love relationships are a process by which we get our needs met and also meet the needs of our partners. When this exchange is mutually satisfying, then the good feelings continue to flow. But when it’s not, then things turn sour and the relationship ends. It’s important to pay attention to what you and partner actually do for each other as expressions of love.

Make sure to keep things hot!

As per Sari Cooper, LCSW, individual, couples and sex therapist, “As time goes by, people become increasingly shy with the person they love the most. People start taking love for granted and forget to keep them turned on and to continue seducing their partners. It is important to keep your sexual arousal alive by keeping up certain practices on a regular basis to allow you to remain sexy, vibrant and engaged in your love life.”

Previously Published on Medium

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