The Formula to a Long-Lasting Relationship (2021)

By Shaan Khan

So, you found the one at a Starbucks, maybe grabbed hold of the same book in a library or matched on a dating app where you both ticked all the right boxes for compatibility. Whether serendipitous or carefully selected, the next step is to make your relationship last.

Like any great military strategist would say, wars are won through the battle of attrition—while maintaining optimal morale for your troops to put up a good fight for the long haul.

A couple is not only a pair of lovers; they are troopers and strategists. It’s the path to success, in the art of war and love, where the ‘lovey-dovey’ fun is one side of the coin to a long-lasting relationship. The other side is the trifold of rationality that includes the following three elements: research, planning and strategy.

You’re on the right path with your first stride into research, now let’s bring you peace of mind with a short & sweet formula for a long-lasting relationship that you’ll be conscientious of for a lifetime—hopefully keeping that vehicle of love rolling on an endless fuel of elation & prosperity!

Oh and don’t worry, you’re not going to be tricked into reading another cheap telling of the four Cs (Communication, Compromise, Consideration and Compatibility)—while being a good rule of thumb, let’s jump into the juicy specifics instead!

The Essential Frameworks – MBTI & Love Languages

Unlike astrology, where a person’s character can be defined by the time & place of stars & galaxies, MBTI & Love Language quizzes are less poetically dramatic but more grounded into reality. 

They present you with a set of questions and your answers will reveal certain preferences you hold that can frame you as a clearly understood ‘type’. Tons of articles and studies are centred around types for anyone hoping to gather more research about them, including information about yours that you probably didn’t even know yourself!

MBTI

Myers Briggs Personality test (MBTI) is a window into how your preferences define your personality. Instead of spending months, if not, years in a relationship having to explain every one of your grievances that only someone with your personality type can relate to, you can bypass the issue by having your partner become aware of your MBTI type—to research and use as a framework to determine the most probable outcomes of how you will interact or deal with a life experience.

For instance, you may have never travelled abroad before, but your partner wants you to go to Bali with them now. If you both peruse online a little to uncover what people with your personality types have to say about their experiences travelling abroad, you will find what internal problems they faced and ways they overcame them.

This data allows you and your partner to better condition yourself to accommodate one another’s personalities when you both stray away from the norm and try something new—like drinking a flower Mojito cocktail as you lounge on a Bali beach after a long day of exploring ancient temples. C’mon, what personality type wouldn’t want that, though?! Sorry, excuse my bias.

The MBTI community is strong online, with many forums and articles to better understand personality types. You could go and ask the following questions I could imagine many people would lookup:

  • What parts of my personality type mesh well with my partner’s personality type?
  • What kind of hobbies does my partner’s personality type typically enjoy?
  • What sort of dates does my partner’s personality type like to go on?

Love Languages

The set of preferences this quiz brings light to is fairly simple in comparison to the latter. Out of the five following preferences, there will be a percentage presented with each of them as an outcome—highlighting your personal level of preference you have for them:

  • Quality Time
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Contact
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Gifts

All of us hold at least one of these qualities dear to our heart when it comes to our desires for a relationship; It’s what can make or break a long-lasting relationship. The results of this test can likely change over time unlike a personality, since one month we might be overworked and just need a substantial amount of acts of service to mitigate the stress, or if we’ve got lots of free time on our hands, maybe we would start to crave more quality time instead.

So it’s always good to be on top of your game because it’s not easily communicated what an individual wants. This test provides questions that deeply connects you with introspection to find the answers to your troubles of which you might not have been aware of. 

Recognising your unhappiness is one thing but finding the problem can be another and these psychological tests and impactful responses to them could be the solution.

The Essential Maintenance – Spirituality & Therapy

The finished product of a couple connecting two people in love is like a newly manufactured car with its many moving parts; you traverse through life with mental cogs twisting & turning. Over time, you need to take a step back and assess any degradation that needs some well-needed care & repair.

While vehicles need tools & oils, a human couple, on the other hand, needs spirituality & therapy.

Spirituality

A spiritual path starts by taking a step back from materiality. Like societies’ unhealthy obsession with junk food or gambling, we tend to overindulge and want more, never satisfied with what we have and sadly, the same toxic gaze can be applied to the ones we love.

We can’t help that we live in a world of hierarchy, inequality and unfairness. So undoubtedly, material success such as jaw-dropping salaries, a conglomerate of luxuries and social media fame is a set of attractive attributes to have, that will entice many to want that lifestyle by trying to date that fortunate few.

Where this can lead is the one-track mindset that human value is defined by materialism and not innate character. This is the beginning of disaster for long-lasting relationships, where a couple could focus on relishing in the moment of humorous banter, deep conversations or selfless acts of humanitarianism. Instead, they are distracted by their superficiality, ignoring what they or their partner has to offer innately—causing a void in a long-term relationship where you don’t feel loved for who you are and only for what you have. 

We humans are not robots and I firmly believe most of us would be happier to share the same spaces for the rest of our lives with a person that is good company instead of a person to place around like a trophy ornament or cash machine.

Applying spirituality to a relationship:

  • Try avoid constantly talking about others superficially – If a couple continuously conversates about the lives of others and what they have, it can lead to insecurity and discontentment with your own lives, where you get trapped on this toxic hamster wheel saying the same old cliché line of “Why can’t you be more like them!”.
  • Escape the rat race together sometimes – Start to see one another in a different light by being ‘one with nature’. Head to somewhere like a secluded forest or mountain range, away from all the cultural noise and bask in each other’s company. Reflect on your organic feelings and growth together that mirrors the positive feelings felt from the surrounding environment bursting with peaceful lifeforms that organically grow & die with time, too. Maybe catching the enlightened sensation that your spirits are one, now and beyond the bodies we live in are gone.
  • Yoga & Meditation – The following actions are another means of clearing any toxic thoughts with your partner together as you enter a relaxed state and fill your minds with positivity while working your bodies positively. If you carry this out routinely, it’s known to reduce your levels of hostility from weathering the surrounding ‘societal negativity’ that can create a strain on your relationship since the rust grabs hold of you and yoga & meditation will aim to clean it right off!
  • Mindfulness – Whether you’re having sex or on a romantic date, take the time to deeply think about the sensations felt from being in that company with a loved one and savour the moments instead of simply acting out the processes. The more mindful you are about the way you both connect and feel, the more grateful you become for the experiences you get to share and in fact, enjoy it more, since the older we become, we tend to forget what made something special in the first place. Mindfulness will humble you and make you not want to lose what you have. You’ll start to recognise unique details about your loved one that you’ll cherish, too.

Therapy

Being critical and constructive can be difficult when it involves yourself and your relationship. We tend to be biased and struggle to see past our beliefs, so allowing a third-party perspective on your relationship from an expert in the field should give you much-needed clarity on what actually might be going wrong between the two of you.

Not only should a therapist come in handy, but a couple should each keep a journal and log their reflections on the relationship and track the changes and developments over time. This way of structuring your thoughts & feelings will better allow you to express your issues with a therapist through the aid of your journal to find & solve the root of a problem. 

Also, looking back at your journal might allow you to reflect on all the joyous moments in a relationship and realise they outweigh the negatives despite feeling differently in the moment over a recent falling out.

Opening the journal is like prying open a window for fresh air—in the case of a journal, you’re treated with refreshing clarity instead.

The Essential Spice – Adjustments & Adventure

Keeping in line with the theme of a car, if you drive down the same roads repeatedly, you only manifest the perfect conditions for monotony. Also, eventually it’s time for a new car with new features you & your partner will have to adjust to in order to get the most out of this fresh piece of machinery & tech to enrich your lives.

All the same can be said about a long-lasting relationship where it might be hard to let go of what you both are used to and find comforting. Still, when life turns stale and you fear trying something new, then you don’t let the negative feelings escape the window—you allow it to fester inside the home, choking the relationship between the both of you until it’s time for its funeral.

You & your partner need to go into the relationship with the following principles:

  • Open-mindedness; prepared to lower the shields of your ego and be adventurous!
  • Motivate one another to become the best versions of themselves
  • Routinely try something new and make this a habit 
  • Develop new skills together and be supportive or a little competitive—whatever you both are comfortable with!
  • Try to challenge & compete with one another in a friendly/consensual manner!

Finally, I will provide you with some advice and ideas of spicy escapades that you perhaps haven’t experienced yet but would likely create some memorable moments in your relationship:

  • Survival Training – Reconnect with your instinctual primitive ways as you both work together to create fires with twigs, build rafts, set up tents—you name it! It’s bound to activate many dormant senses and appreciate the efforts of your partner in the process. Once the training is done, set out for an unforgettable camping trip together and put your skill to the test!
  • Help Overcome Fears Together – Whether it’s watching scary movies or going on rollercoaster rides, try to show your encouraging support by helping your partner to overcome them by being at their side and starting with the least scary movies and rides and slowly building up in the level of fear factor. Never be too pressuring and if you achieve your goal, your partner will grow a great deal of respect for you being supportive of them.
  • An Ever-growing List of Dates – Make it a goal to keep experiencing new dates and keep track of them so you can rate & review the dates, produce a scoreboard and feel satisfied with what you both have achieved and gone through together—giving recognition of your history together instead of treating your relationship like one big blur.

So, if your relationship is treading on a fine line or you’ve just got into speed dating and hopped onto popular dating apps like Tinder, Bumble or Muzmatch to find the one—use this formula to iron out any creases when you’re dating. Just don’t treat this like a cheat sheet to neglect your hygiene & health in the future because you’re so confident on how to maintain a relationship after reading this now! They are just as important, too!

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