After decades as a relationship writer who delves into the mystery of why love lasts, I have discovered that most of us ― yes even the millennials ― do desire long-term partners. And making that happen comes down to three essential things, described in this TedX Talk:
Embrace the power of the ordinary.
There is real power in the predictable, in the power of a routine. Yet it is precisely boredom or malaise with the grind of the ordinary that makes people want to bolt from old relationships. This, when these are the predictable and reliable people who provide a safe harbor in a shaky and unpredictable world.
Extraordinary is fleeting; the ordinary is the steady rudder of our lives. When we embrace the decades of ordinary there comes a connection of the heart that is indestructible.
Remember to talk and touch.
Couples that manage to go the distance make it a point to remain intimate until death do they part ― which today can be a very long time. Women in their 90s are the fastest growing segment of the aging population. The ability to sustain intimacy is fueled by communication. As one wife of 48 years put it: “If you’re not talking, you’re not touching, and when you’re not touching you’re in trouble.”
Don’t count on anyone else to make you happy.
Expecting someone else to make you happy is a ticket to divorce. You can have the most doting life partner of anyone you know, but he or she is not the source to draw from for a lasting sense of purpose and fulfillment.
The strongest couples have individual passions and pursuits apart from their partnerships. Long marriages bolster us in many ways. They are our history-holders, they give us continuity and stability. Yet each person needs to be in charge of creating his and her own happiness.
When we realize this going into a love relationship we have the best shot of growing gray together.