12 Guidelines For a Loving Long-Term Relationship!

Have you ever noticed there are some couples who seem to float through their relationship? They always seem to be smiling and looking at each other with love in their eyes.

What is their secret?
Okay so they may be the most special of soul mates which are called twin flames but in order for them to deal with the stuff life throws up they must be aware of some important guidelines.

1. Both partners need to be responsible for the protection and nurturing of the love they share. Love should never be taken for granted, as is the case when a partner has an affair. They break the bond of love and too late realize the damage it has done. Guard your precious love with your life.

Never stand in the way of your partners dreams
2. Always encourage your partner in anything they want to do. If they want to be a rock star or a doctor you have to let them walk their path and discover their life purpose. So many partners stand in the way of their loved ones dream because they fear it will take them away from what they have together. This is the part where you have to set them free to walk their own walk. If you try to hold them back they will not thank you for it and slowly love will die as resentment and regret sets in.

Fight with sensitivity
3. Fight fair when you have a disagreement and never make personal attacks on each other. That bubble you walk around in when you are in love will burst very easily if your partner in an immature attempt to win a fight tells you he perhaps does not like the way you wear your hair or that you could lose a few pounds. Hurting your partner like this if they are not thick skinned will show them how insensitive you can be and will chip away at the foundation of your love.

Have fun
4. Try to do a lot of fun things together as life can be too serious at times with economies being as shaky as they are. If you have money problems there are always free ways to entertain yourselves. Keep the love alive at all cost.

Spend time alone together
5. Never stop the romantic side of the relationship. Make special dinners with candles and music for each other. Take the time to be together intimately as this is such a perfect expression of love and a great way to forget about the world and its problems for a while. Always make it a special and memorable time. It can get you through good times and bad.

Communicate how you feel
6. Leave the lines of communication open. If you have something on your mind talk it through with your partner. Try not to bottle things up inside, as the outcome is often an explosion of emotion. You want your partner to be your friend as well as your lover so open up to them. A lot of people are afraid to do this as they fear thy will be ridiculed for revealing their inner most thoughts. If this happens then you are with the wrong person. Secrets can be destroyers of relationships so try to always be honest with each other. If the love you have is strong you should be able to ride together through a few storms.

Should we compromise?
7. Most of us hate the word compromise as it takes away the freedom to be ourselves. I do not think you should compromise your life ideals, principles and ethics but when it comes to choosing a new television there is room for concession. Another area you should not compromise is your life path, which includes things like wanting children; a career of choice, religious beliefs and other extremely important needs that stamp who you are. If you surrender to your partner constantly you will not only lose respect for them but yourself also. Some people have a twisted belief that a relationship is one person who controls everything and the other who succumbs to that control.

Let each other breathe.
8. Give each other heaps of space. You were solo before you met each other and though now a couple you still need time to do your own thing. Do not crowd each other as too much of a good thing can be suffocating. Me time is essential for developing our creativity and sense of ourselves. If you find your partner is making unreasonable demands on your time they may be insecure, so try to talk to them about how they are feeling and why. Let them know they have nothing to fear in this relationship but you need time alone. Insecurity caused by past relationships where partners were not kind to each other would have to be one of the major causes of break ups. Sadly people who have been hurt tend to drag their unresolved baggage into every new relationship then wonder why it falls apart. Work through any pain left from a turbulent relationship before you enter a new one.

The in-laws and best friends
9. Make an effort to get on with your lovers friends and family. Sometimes this is a big ask but it can make life a lot easier if you at least try to respect them for who they are. Sometimes friends can get jealous of someone new on the scene especially if they are suddenly taking up time normally reserved for them so try to be sensitive to their feelings and even better make friends with them.

Do you think you own your partner?
10. Treat your partner as an individual not as a possession. They are an individual person with thoughts and real feelings of their own. When you fall in love with someone it does not mean you own them. Jealousy is another killer of relationships. A partner with the affliction can make life a living hell for the person they protest to love. This would be like living in partnership prison where solitary confinement would be the punishment for a partner who is friendly and free.

Love and Respect
11. If you are in love with someone it often follows that you also respect him or her. If you do not then I would question the validity of a partnership like that. For some of us love and respect go hand in hand as even though intimacy with a person you are deeply in love with is beyond words sharing life with a partner who stands for something you hold sacred is as important. This is the problem in a relationship based on lust. The cracks usually start to show after a time as the initial spark wears off and the couple finds there is no shared beliefs or mutual respect.

12. Trusting another person in this world of con artists and liars is a lot to ask of any one. When you are in love you are faced with the daunting prospect of having to trust this new person with your heart. Sometimes trust is betrayed leaving the person who so willingly gave this precious gift thinking that thy can never again cannot trust anyone. A cycle of mistrust begins in every relationship they go into generally causing an eventual break up. I believe that as humans we are not perfect and capable not always on purpose of hurting another human being by an action made in haste. I personally have never cheated on a partner but it does happen. I believe I could forgive one indiscretion but after that you may have a serial cheater on your hands and I for one would finish with them. Trust can be broken in many different ways in a relationship and you have to decide how you will deal with it. If you go through your life not being able to offer your trust you may end up bitter and lonely. My attitude is to let a good thing be and if something happens cross that bridge when you come to it. As I said we are capable of mistakes and it is not always a hanging offence. If you truly love a person who has stolen your trust first try talking about it. Tell them how it made you feel and do not verbally attack them, as this will make them defensive and angry. It is amazing how we blame our partners to find a change in us was instrumental in their negative action. It takes two to tango.

Possibly 7 out of 10 relationships are problematic. An endless disagreement about insecurities, jealousies and different outlooks on love plague these partnerships until love is no longer a reason to stay together. Simple and effective relationship rules can prevent this from happening and give couples who have fallen in love the tools to have happy and fun filled lives together.

The Chemistry of Love: How Relationships and Breakups Happen

Well, you should know there are three basic stages of Love:

* Infatuation

* Attraction

* Attachment

Infatuation or lust is the initial passionate, sexual desire. In the first stage, sex hormones as testosterone and estrogen are released in greater amounts.

Then you quickly move to the “falling in love” or “crazy about you” phase where you start obsessing about that person. Many chemicals are released: PEA (phenyl ethyl amine), dopamine (which is also activated by cocaine) and nor-epinephrine (which stimulates adrenaline production). These chemicals combined give us that feeling of infatuation. It is why new lovers feel euphoric and energized, floating on air. It is also why new lovers are rather inseparable and can talk all night for weeks on end. The effects of this stage last from several weeks to several months, depending on the person and circumstances.

However, the interesting thing is when we have great chemistry with someone, it’s hardly flattering! According to Dr. Harville Hendrix our brain dumps PEA when we identify someone who can finish our childhood business; that is when our brain recognizes the original child-parent relationship!

Later in this highly-charged stage, serotonin and endorphins are released as well. Serotonin is a natural anti-depressant; endorphins give the feeling of morphine-like calmness and they promote feelings of intimacy, comfort and warmth. They don’t give those “hyper” feelings experienced before; however, they can be more addictive. The absence of endorphins is responsible for making you miss or yearn for your loved one when apart. This stage lasts from several months to a few years.

By the way, endorphins are also released after a good workout or eating good-quality chocolate; remember that!

When infatuation and attraction subside and things seem to be cooling off, it’s the last stage which many don’t reach (and when breakups often happen). This is the “unconditional acceptance”, lucky attachment phase. This involves commitment and is responsible for long-term relationships. Here you are aware of both the positive and negative traits of your partner AND you’ve decided you want to build a life together.

In this stage, higher levels of the chemicals oxytocin and vasopressin are producedto a greater degree than in short-term relationships; both promote bonding and devotion to your partner. They are both released when we’re physically intimate-while holding hands, kissing, cuddling, or having sex. Oxytocin makes people calmer and more sensitive to others’ feelings. Oxytocin is also linked to milk production in women.

Only the “attachment phase” of love is physiologically sustainable and can thus endure. This incidentally is real love; the earlier stages are a part of love, too, but as amazing as they can be, they’re always and must be transitory and short-lived. They can’t last, but a deeper sense of love and commitment is achieved instead which is, after all, what we are eventually seeking.

Which reminds me: Don’t take it too personally when someone breaks up with you or tells you they’re no longer in love with you. I know this is so hard to grasp at first. But the truth of the matter is most of the time it’s not about you. They’ve run out of their “love cocktail”. They weren’t in love with you to begin with; they were in love with being “high”; sadly not you.

Accordingly, some people become “love addicts” or “junkies” based on these facts. They badly need this chemical “excitement” to be intoxicated by life (which happens in the earlier stage of love). Once this initial rush of chemicals wanes (inevitable after several months to several years, depending on the individual and the circumstances), the relationship crumbles. They’re soon off again, seeking a “quick fix” to their forlorn feelings and “shattered dreams”: another chemical high from infatuation.

These love junkies also have one other problem. The body builds up tolerance to these chemicals. Then it takes more and more chemistry to bring that “special” feeling of love which they crave.

Many adults go through life in a series of three-month to three-year relationships. If these love junkies stay married, they are likely to seek affairs to fuel their chemical highs.

One of the best things I’ve ever learned is knowing if someone is/will be happy in their marriage, or marriage-to-be. The answer is very simple. It’s actually a question:

How happy were/are they before getting married?

There’s your answer.

Remember in the first stages of love, we project expectations and ideals on our partner. Both parties are also on their best behavior. The chemicals produced in the early stages do that to you. They “suspend observation and distort perception” which is why after some time some people think they have fallen out of love because their beloved no longer meets their ‘fantasy standards’. Now you know why.

Whoever abandons the other first in a relationship breaks free from the “spell of love” first.

Surprisingly enough, there have been suggestions that the levels of dopamine and serotonin drop off first in the originally less happy partner who wasn’t at peace with themselves from the start. The one with more self-doubts and less self-acceptance breaks free from the biochemical spell often fast, too.

The closer to the attachment phase you are, the more difficult a breakup is on you and the greater the withdrawal symptoms are (from all the chemicals you’re now being denied being apart from the one you love)-similar to the withdrawal symptoms of a narcotic! The deeper in love you are with someone, the more painful abandonment or betrayal of that person feels.

My advice to you: Even though we have no control over who we fall in love with, we can control who we get in a relationship with. Choose someone happy about who they are and at peace with themselves. AVOID like the plague anyone who tells you they’ve been waiting for you to save/fix/help them or make them happy. Observe that person: what they have achieved in their life so far, their parents’ relationship with each other, how that person treats others, the kind of relationships he/she has been in and HOW and WHY things ended (you could observe a pattern). See if they jump from relationship to relationship because “they’re addicted to love” and being in relationships.

Just remember a relationship can never remain in the “infatuation” or “attraction” stage indefinitely; it’s not really a sign you’re in the wrong relationship.

Apart from chemistry, love is still a mystery to many of us and I enjoy writing about it in my novels. Here’s something (non-chemical) I’ve written before about love:

Love hurts. A lot. It’s unexplained. It’s unexpected. It’s very clear. It’s strange. It’s mysterious. It’s cruel. It’s kind. It’s sweet. It’s bitter. It’s sadness. It’s pure joy. It’s torture. It’s relief. It’s nothing. It’s everything.

Exactly. No one can figure out love.

I can tell you one thing though: Everyone’s version of love is different. Some have dwelled on the bright side; others on the very dark side. So don’t let others’ stories affect you.

My side of the story is that love is cruelly kind, vaguely clear, sweetly bitter and sadly joyful.

Real love is different. Real love is about two people letting go of their selfishness selflessly for love. Real love is about hanging on, and still knowing your someone is on the other side holding the other side of the rope, even if only ever so lightly. Real love is about understanding, commitment, intuition, communication, patience, and faith… a lot of faith. Real love is strengthened with time, not otherwise.

Most importantly remember to fall in love with yourself first; only then others will follow.

Marwa Ayad is the first Egyptian female born and raised in Egypt to have an English-language (fictional) romance novel published. THE YEARS OF SILENCE was a bestseller at various bookstores for months after its release in April 2009. Marwa holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and has been writing since the age of ten. She also likes writing articles and short stories, and is currently writing her second novel.

Long – Term Relationships – Keeping Love Alive

Once I overcame the fantasy of a beefy stud carting me off on his sturdy steed, the idea of marriage-for-life has always let loose the cynic in me. Marriage as a five-year-contract-with-the-option-to-renew seems a far more prudent idea than committing to death as the only legitimate way of parting with a Mr Wrong.

Don’t be mistaken though; with a fifteen-year relationship under my belt, it’s not the length that scares me so much as what one does with it.

I’ve always been intolerant of being taken for granted and, by definition, signing up for life makes marriage a habit-forming institution. Habits look best on nuns and like the fabric of their garb, the idea of eventually wearing thin is not something I relish in a relationship.

After years of being together many couples complain about no longer being in love and try in desperation to keep the flame flickering by spicing up their sex-life. Some try sizzling knickers, others a stronger chandelier; but even after a night of kinky fun, you still wake up next to that same old snoring somebody in the morning.

One of the biggest issues with relationships is not so much that they become humdrum; relationships are – and always will be – relatively pedestrian. More likely, it’s the illusions associated with love that cause the hiccups and these fantasies whip starry-eyed couples into a frenzy of bogus anticipation. Only when our fairytale expectations start bumping up against reality do we feel out of love, end of story.

If there was ever a list of life’s realities that are governed by illusions, ideas about sex and relationships would vie for top position. Although we can see, touch and sometimes even smell our partners, the truth is relationships live or die in our imagination.

Like everything else about coupling, foreplay sets the tone and although that early can’t-get-enough-of-each-other-chit-chatting may feel so tantalisingly cosy, the reality is far less stirring.

When we think we are getting to know our mate, what we’re really doing is building a picture of what we want him to be rather than understanding the complexity of who he is; dorks and all.

The perfect mental image we create provides the exhilarating thrill initially and by the time we’re ready to settle down, we believe we know him well enough to finish his sentences and predict his moods with accuracy.

At first this may seem like a cute way of confirming how connected our souls are, but it’s a sure-fire sign that something far less desirable is going on. Predictability shows that the only participants in the relationship are the ‘his’ and ‘her’ cardboard cut-outs we created; not the two people whose minds these images live in.

By projecting our wishes onto our partner he literally becomes the screen upon which we play out the fantasy of our expectations. It’s little wonder then that in the beginning he’s so right for us, so gorgeously exciting, and so lovable and, within this princely picture of perfection, it’s even hard to accept that our dream has materialised. For our own sanity (and the sake of any future relationship with him) it’s best not to trust these ideals at all.

When boiled down romantic love is about as realistic as trying to build a meaningful relationship with your television set. As such it is only sustainable for about two years and then the inevitable happens; the screen tarnishes, the mental projector breaks down and you start seeing each other for who you really are. This is when lovers accuse each other of changing or not being the person they fell in love with and/or married.

So, when love flies out of the window, can the door open to a more fulfilling union? If the relationship is based on really liking one another, it sure can.

Liking each other means accepting your loved one for who he is; truly enjoying his company and, after a busy day wrestling with the world, seeing your home as a comforting, soft place to land together.

Compared to the roller-coaster ride, of course this calmer alternative is cold comfort. But when it comes to the reality of what relationships are, this deeper friendship is far more gratifying than losing yourself by falling for him.

‘I love him, but I’m not in love with him’ is how couples often describe this second stage of their relationship. As absurd as this statement is, what you do when you realise that the relationship has moved on will either rekindle the love fires or tempt you to pen that “Dear John” letter.

The truth is good relationships are mundane and when the myths fail, the relationship has a better chance of working; just look at the success of arranged marriages. The difference between these and prince and princess unions is that arranged affairs don’t start out with the expectation that you will be on a pedestal and worshipped forever. They also don’t subscribe to the fantastical nonsense that signing on as someone’s ‘other half’ will make you a whole person.

Instead of relying on your partner to brighten up your existence, the best relationships happen when both people’s lives are stimulating and exciting. Usually this means improving the quality of our conversations and when we natter less about people or dull daily events and connect more around new, exciting ideas, things start heating up again.

It’s well known that the mind is the most important sex organ and good, stimulating conversation is much more likely to get the juices flowing than crotchless underwear.

Men are fascinated by spunky women who are excited about life and who challenge them. Some of the more chauvinistically-inclined may demand that you cook, clean and pick up after them, but ultimately Oedipus will kill your sex-appeal. Most men find it psychologically difficult to be aroused by women who treat them like their mothers did.

The same applies to your libido. Little boys don’t turn women on and if he’s acting like a petulant or dependent child, you’ll probably feel more passionate about giving him a bollocking than you are about having a bonk.

If you want an exciting sex-life, stop calling him ‘baby’ and when he next asks where his clean blue shirt is, tell him it’s on the floor where you left it last Tuesday, dahling!

It’s known that men like variety but novelty is not the sole domain of males. Surprising each other with something unexpected and pleasurable also keeps the love fires burning. It doesn’t matter what you do, but the wilder the surprise, the more energy it injects into the relationship.

If relationships live or die in our imagination, the solution is simple: Living your own life keeps love alive. Spontaneity releases energy and as it is key to feeling fully alive, it can also unlock the vitality in our relationships.

Although you may have felt like a princess when you wafted down the aisle in that white meringue, if you don’t make the illusions of love as transparent as your wedding veil, you risk becoming yet another of your partner’s habits. And habits are worn by the celibate.