Love is a Verb: Secrets from long-lasting couples 50 years +: Part 1

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Love is a Verb: Secrets from long-lasting couples 50 years +: Part 1

 

Have you ever had the pleasure of being around a couple who has been together for twenty years, thirty years, or fifty years? At times, I thought a relationship that lasted this long was a myth. However, after watching my grandparents, who have been married for 50 years, and speaking with clients who have had the opportunity to experience the same, I am happy to say this type of relationship isn’t just for fairytales, and it’s not because they lived in a different time. It’s because they have cultivated certain habits and communication processes to help their relationship succeed. We all have a chance to build and sustain a long-lasting relationship, but how? What can we do every day to make sure our relationship stays healthy? Well, I’ve done some research on long-lasting couples 50 years + and today, I am going to share with you ten tips that these badass couples have recommended: 

 

Hello, my name is Dr. Nicole Lunan, and I am the CEO and Co-founder of MoodMe, a new app that allows you to share over 400+ moods, emotions, and desires with your partner, thus making communication simple, fun, and super easy. 

 

 

  1. Let your partner know you’re thinking about them throughout the day.

    • Remember when you first met your partner? How excited were you to receive flirty texts throughout the day? Like... “Thinking about you,” “I miss you.” Your heart would skip a beat every time you would see their name pop up on your phone. Just the simple process of receiving a text or a phone call during the day from your lover affirmed that they were thinking about you and that they care about you; according to long-lasting couples, we should continue to let our partner know we are thinking about them throughout the day. If you want your partner to feel desired, make sure you're letting them know just how often they're on your mind. "Let your partner know you are thinking about them and putting them first in your mind," It takes seconds to send an I’m thinking about you text, and when we can include this habit into our daily lives, we are one step closer to creating a lasting relationship. 

  2. Let them express their feelings first.

    • Sharing is caring. In conflicts, I know we all have a bunch of things we probably want to say, and we can’t wait to make our point or share our perspective. However, research suggests that allowing your partner to express their feelings first and actively listening to the point of even making mental notes or actually physical notes will help you have a long-lasting relationship. The physical notes concept can be really helpful in conflicts. Because instead of wanting to jump in on the conversation, you can actively listen, jotting down notes to make sure that you understand your partner’s perspective, and then you can repeat the points back to them to affirm that you understand their concerns and desires. 

  3. Accept your partner as they are.

    • According to long-lasting couples who have been together for 50 years+, we have to accept our partners for who they are and stop trying to change them. Trying to change another person is an uphill battle that we are sure to lose. People change on their own time and only if they’re intrinsically motivated to do so. That means that they have discovered the motivation within to do so. That doesn’t mean that if we nag them enough about things that we don’t like about them, they’ll make lasting changes. If anything, they may act like they’ve made the changes and then start to hide their behavior because they feel judged or unsafe to be themselves around a “fixer-upper.” Sometimes we may think, “If our partner only did this, then they would be great,” and that is quite certainly conditional thinking. Also, if your partner did the things that you wanted, they might lose the very reason why you fell in love with them in the first place. Our safest bet to help our partners feel loved is to just accept them for who they are and give them a safe and non-judgmental place for them to work through their stuff. 

  4. Imagine how your life would be without them 

    • According to long-lasting couples, we should imagine how our life would be without our partners to gain perspective. When I first researched this tip, I was really confused. Why would I think about my life without my partner? So, I took a day and really tried it. I felt myself go into a deep state of gratitude quite quickly. Kisses felt like they were when we first started dating. My heart began to open because thinking about my life without my lover snapped me into deep appreciation. It made me feel really human, and that time was passing, and we should not take that for granted. Sometimes, we go into automatic. We go through our days like it’s owed to us. We forget to be grateful for the little things, like getting the chance to wake up to your lover, that they’re healthy, and that you get the gift of another day with them. All the stupid little fights melt into the background when you focus on how precious time is with this beautiful person that you’ve gotten so lucky to find. Just because your relationship gets rocky from time to time doesn't mean you and your spouse aren't a good match—just try imagining life without them, and you'll realize how important they are to you. 'Think about that you may not have tomorrow with the one you love,'" says Palmer. "'What would you wish you had said or done today that would have made a difference?'"

  5. Know which fights to pick and which ones to meet your partner halfway 

    • According to research completed on long last relationships of 50 years+, we have to be really specific about which fights we choose to have with our partner and when we should just compromise. Relationships are all about compromise, which means we have to find ways to meet our lover in the middle; we have to learn to share. There’s a natural tug of war that happens in relationships known as a power struggle; as you get to know your partner better, you’ll begin to navigate through which topics are soft and which ones are hard, meaning that if you pick that fight, you better be ready for a full-on war. So, on the soft topics, do your best to compromise; if they want to wash dishes after you guys eat, then let them. Is that a topic that you really want to pick at? Is that how you’d like to use your emotional resource. If we choose to fight our partner about every little thing we have an issue with, that can come off as critical. So scope out, and make sure to assess the entire relationship. If the majority of your relationship is feeling healthy and good, do you really want to pick a fight over leaving their socks on the floor? Pick your battles, know that nobody is perfect, and learn to compromise. 

  6. Have a sense of humor about yourself and your relationship

    • According to couples that have made it to 50 years and on, we have to be able to laugh about ourselves, our partners, and the relationship. I was at a comedy show the other day, and the comedian was poking jokes at relationships, and people were so serious. Why so serious? The things that happen in our relationships are, at times, wildly absurd; I know they feel life-altering at the time, but learn to look back and find humor. We all do crazy things when we are in love, and when we can learn to turn the serious down and lay aside our ego, we can learn to bring light to our relationship with laughter. 

  7. Don’t be afraid to give each other space

    • Everyone, no matter who you are, needs space from time to time. When we are constantly with our partners, we don’t have a chance to deeply process because sometimes deep processing needs to be done alone. You need space to go through your own feelings and emotions without your partner's energy around. Also, you don’t want to lose your sense of self and fall into co-dependency. Make sure to maintain your own relationships, and create time to spend with your friends and family independently of your partner. Space also acts as really big foreplay because it allows you the chance to miss your partner, to long for them. If you don’t give each other space, you can start to feel annoyed with each other, nit-picking and fighting more often. I know it’s scary sometimes, especially for those who suffer from separation anxiety and fear of abandonment, but giving your partner space will allow them to breathe, feel free, heal, and ultimately lead them right back into your arms. 

  8. Stop looking for opportunities to leave

    • Are you a runner in your relationship? According to couples with long-lasting relationships, we have to stop looking for reasons and opportunities to leave. That means we need to put our running shoes away and intentionally choose to stay. Arguments don’t have to result in the end of your relationship. Just because things may be rough right now doesn’t mean that they’ll be that way forever, remember, relationships go through ups and downs. If you’re inclined to run, admit that to yourself. Stop looking for the exit, and look for a solution. This will stop you from going through the break-up and makeup process and draining all your energy. Saying you’re going to leave or throwing around the D word “divorce” are big deals. Especially if you change your mind the next day. Instead of looking for reasons to leave, change your perspective and assess the reason why you want to stay. 

  9. The grass isn’t always greener 

    • When we are in relationships, sometimes we begin to think that the grass would be greener on the other side, meaning that maybe another person could make us happier or that we would be happier single. That could be true for some, especially those in abusive relationships, but it’s definitely not certain for everyone. Relationships are hard and take work. Like you’ve got to get out of bed and choose to be with this person even though they are annoying the crap out of your work. Why? Because you’ve chosen to love them through the good and bad. There isn’t a magic relationship that requires no work and is smooth ALL of the time. Each person has their own baggage, and so do we. Being single can be a challenge as well. Getting back out there and navigating the dating game is anything but easy. With all the dating apps out there, one may think, I’ll just find another person; it will be easy. Unfortunately, many of the patterns of conflict we experience aren’t dependent on our partners. It’s us; it’s our trauma and internal conflict that manifest outwards. So we can try and outrun our issues, but life has a funny way of bringing our patterns back to us in new partners and in old. We can’t run away when the person that we are running from is ourselves. According to long-lasting couples who have successfully made it 50 years plus, the grass isn’t always greener on the side. Each choice we make in life has a bag of changes and costs that accompany them. 

  10. Touch, touch, touch 

    • Physical affection with one another is of the utmost importance according to long-lasting couples 50+ years. There are some that say sex is boring with the same person over and over again. Research suggests that isn’t completely accurate. If you have a routine in bed, yes, that could be boring, or maybe not; maybe you really really like that routine, and it does it for you. Either way, there’s something to be said for spontaneity. Try a new position, try it in a new place, hotels, the car, remember what it was like to be a teenager. Experiment with role plays. Meditate together before sex, massage each other before sex. The heart charka and the sacral chakra are both sensual, powerful, and spiritual, meaning that they can take you to completely different realities when evoked together. There’s a depth that you and your partner can explore together and endless recipes to please each other. This also goes for non-sexual touch; make sure to cuddle, kiss, and find reasons to touch each other every day. Oxytocin is released when you are close and cuddled with your partner; this happy hormone will be produced in both non-sexual and sexual touch. When you stop touching each other, one partner could take this as a sign that you are no longer interested and feel that they aren’t desirable anymore. This could create more distance in your relationship and block intimacy. So when in doubt, kiss, hold hands, and hug your partner! This will help your relationship last. 

 

Alright, alright, there are ten tips from long-lasting couples who have been together for fifty years plus. I will be going over another ten tips in our next video, so stay tuned. Did these tips help you? If so, leave a like or a comment below, and see you later, moodlings!

 

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