Everyone dreams about being with someone they love as early as elementary school and by the time we are in high school, we have heard enough stories, watch some movies, or been in relationship ourselves.
Some puppy love relationships blossom and go on to last a lifetime. Most end up as learning experiences as we cruise through life. It’s interesting that in spite of the low batting average, people keep going through it. There are those who had enough, but in time, fall in love again.
Victorian Poet Alfred Lord Tennyson hit the nail on the head when he immortalized “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” because everyone eventually does.
So why do some relationships last forever, while most do not even last three years?
Is there a secret recipe for success?
Unfortunately, there isn’t. If there is such a thing, it wouldn’t stay a secret for long, but there are ways to increase your batting average. Apart from carefully choosing your partner, setting priorities helps beat the odds.
So what are the three biggest priorities in a relationship? Here they are in no particular order.
The relationship itself is a priority
A generation ago, we had something called “the seven-year itch.” It’s the average time most couples break up. Modern data has reduced the average relationship length from 6-8 years to (less than) 3 to 4.5 years.
That’s a considerable drop.
They are blaming social media for the drastic change in the statistic, but social media is an inanimate object. Like guns, it won’t kill anyone unless someone is using it.
Relationships are a living being that needs to be fed, nurtured, and protected. Like a child, it requires the right balance of discipline and pampering to mature.
Let’s be specific, get off Facebook and hug your partner!
The digital age provided us a lot of great tools to communicate with people around the world. It’s cheap, convenient, and fast. Ironically, it also became time-consuming.
People live under one roof because they want to spend more time together, but as time goes by, we miss other people in our lives and eventually reach out to them. So instead of having our partner as the foremost person to share our lives, we now do it with everyone else, even strangers, because we can.
It may not sound like a big deal, but each second you spend chatting with other people is a second you spend away from the relationship. Seconds pile up into minutes, minutes to hours, and so on and so forth. Eventually, it would be like you aren’t in a relationship at all.
Bad things start to happen after that.
Build a relationship with a future
Nobody wants to commit very long to nonsensical things. It may provide good laughs and entertainment, but we won’t dedicate our lives to it. Relationships especially marriage, is going through life as a couple. It’s about going places, achieving goals, and raising a family together.
It is not about endless drifting in a sea of sand.
That’s why it’s important for couples to align their goals. They discuss it while they are dating and hopefully it gets somewhere.
So if one partner wants to go to Africa and spend his life taking care of starving children, while the other one wants to be a real estate developer in New York, then obviously, someone has to give up on their dreams or else there’s no future together. It’s easy to deduce that the odds of this relationship working is low.
Building a future together is one of the three biggest priorities in a relationship. It needs to have something more than just love, sex, and rock n’ roll.
Anything that isn’t fun is difficult to do for a long time. Patient people can survive tedious work for years, but they won’t be happy.
So a relationship has to be fun, sure sex is fun, but you can’t have sex all the time, and even if you could, it won’t be fun after a few years.
Real world priorities eventually take over people’s lives, especially when there are young children involved. But spontaneous fun is the best kind of recreation and children themselves are not a burden, kids regardless of how old they are a great source of happiness.
Fun is also subjective. Some couples have it just by gossiping about their neighbors while others need to travel to a distant land to enjoy themselves.
Fun is different from happiness. It is one of its important components, but not the heart of it. It doesn’t have to be expensive, couples with long-lasting relationships are able to have fun without spending a cent.
Everything from watching Netflix, to doing chores, and playing with kids can be fun if you have the right chemistry with your partner.
When long term relationships become comfortable, it also gets boring.That’s why relationships need to be fun, meaningful, and prioritized. Like most things in this world, it needs conscious effort to grow and mature.
Once it does mature, it becomes background noise. Something that’s always there, and we are used to it that we don’t bother working it anymore. It is so much a part of us that we neglect our duties past what is expected and comforted by the fact that it will always be there.
At this point, one or both partners start to look for something more.
Stupid things enter their mind such as, “Is this all that I have to look forward to in my life?” and other stupid things bored people think about. A biblical proverb said, “idle mind/hands are the devil’s workshop.” It applies even to relationships.
The moment a couple becomes complacent, that’s when cracks begin to appear.
A conscious effort, with an adverb, is needed to keep things from being idle. Because the devil has nothing to do with it, it’s up to the couple to work on their own relationship and make it flourish. The world turns and when it does, things change, doing nothing means the world decides the changes for you and your relationship.
So what are the three biggest priorities in a relationship? The same three biggest priorities for any sort of success. Hard work, focus, and have fun.