Let's face it -- no matter how happy you both are together, relationships take a lot of work. Every couple argues from time to time -- like when you load the dishwasher wrong, when you eat the last Chipwich (and don't throw out the package) or when you forget to call and say you'll be 20 minutes late. But, somehow, you are still truly, madly, deeply in love with each other. So how do you make sure it's that forever kind of love? Here are six ways to know that your relationship is going to last a lifetime, regardless of all those little bumps you hit along the way.
1. You know how to get your kiss on.
We all know that intimacy is the key to any good relationship, but it doesn't always need to be the intensely passionate, can't-get-enough-of-you kind of intimacy. A simple kiss hello or a bear hug before you head out for the day can really strengthen your bond. It's the little things that make all the difference.
2. You're on the same team.
You may not always split your chores, errands, and responsibilities 50/50, but you both know what it means to pull your own weight. One week you may carry most of the burden, but the next, it falls on your partner. Keeping a scorecard doesn't do anyone any good, so learn how to speak honestly about your needs while respecting your partner's. Don't lose it because he forgot to take the trash out one night or when she leaves a wet towel on the bed (again); instead, accept that it's a partnership and chip in whenever possible.
3. You can still surprise each other.
Whether you've been together for four months or four years, spontaneity is everything. Obviously major secrets aren't cool, but neither is being predictable. Changing things up every so often will keep your partner on his/her toes...and that spark alive. But remember, surprises don't need to be over-the-top; you can go simple (like bringing home her favorite ice cream or making a reservation at that restaurant he's been talking about) and still make your mark. You love each other for a reason, but the unexpected is what makes being together so.much.fun.
4. You know how to spend time apart.
There are times when the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" really rings true. And whether you live together or not, spending a night or two apart can actually make your relationship stronger. So don't underestimate those girls' or boys' nights out! But it's also important to know when you should turn down an invitation to spend some quiet time together. Just because you spend all your time together doesn't make it quality time; set aside one night a week as date night. Make a reservation at a new place, leave the cell phones at home (or in your pocket), and just enjoy each other's company.
5. You say "I love you" often...and you ALWAYS mean it.
Remember the feeling you felt the very first time you said "I love you" to your partner? There were definitely butterflies involved. But if you've been together for a while, those three little words can start to lose their meaning. "I love you" suddenly becomes as uneventful as a hello or goodbye. So make sure you say it often, but make sure you're not saying it absentmindedly.
6. You understand what "unconditional" means.
Every relationship has its ups and downs, but knowing how to look past those hard times is what will take you into the big leagues. Yes, the going WILL get tough, but knowing you're both in it for the long run is essential to getting through those bumps. Being angry is healthy, but resentment is not. So fight and talk things out, but then apologize and find a way to move on.