Nick Hornby once said, “It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn’t even speak to each other if they met at a party.”
I’m not a therapist or relationship expert, but after nearly a decade of marriage, I’m not convinced that your taste in movies or music determines if you and your significant other are destined for happily-ever-after or a bad break-up. My marriage isn’t perfect, but it’s satisfying and happy and it’s taught me a few things about what keeps long-term partnerships working. Thankfully, those things have nothing to do with musical preferences or I would have taken my country albums and left my Beatles-loving husband long ago. Instead, we’ve figured out how to compromise on music, and other things, and settle in for the long haul.
Here are a few of those things that I’ve learned do seem to say something about the strength of your union
You Speak Your Mind
Relationships thrive when couples can express themselves freely and honestly. That means no topic is off-limits, and you both feel heard. Consistent communication is vital to building a lasting life together.
You Have Your Own Space
Just because you’re in love doesn’t mean you have to spend every moment together. Taking time to pursue your own interests and friendships keeps your relationship fresh and gives you both the opportunity to grow as individuals—even while you’re growing as a couple.
Disagreements are normal, so if you aren’t fighting, chances are you’re holding back. But when people in healthy relationships fight, they fight productively and fairly. That means avoiding name-calling or put-downs. It also means striving to understand your partner instead of trying to score points. And when you’re wrong? You apologize. Read more