Want to know the secret to lasting love? Here are the five rules to follow for a happy relationship...
Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, eHarmony.co.uk's relationship expert, talks us through the five golden rules for a successful partnership...
Relationship rule 1: Talk every day
'It sounds obvious, right? But lack of communication often plays a big part in couples drifting apart. With our lives now busier than ever, catching up with your other half can easily drop down to the bottom of the list between meetings, gym sessions and seeing your friends. Don’t let this happen: make time to talk – whether that’s making sure you’re both home in time to have dinner together, or scheduling in a date night. Quality time and conversations help you understand what your partner is thinking and feeling, and will keep you feeling close and part of the same team.'
Relationship rule 2: Believe your partner
'Telling the truth isn’t always easy, but if you can’t be honest with your partner, then who can you be truthful with? Being completely honest with your other half is one of the key stages of falling in love: it's the point at which you show your partner the real you, and requires total oppenness to allow for a deeper conntection. This stage can trigger feelings of doubt and increased vulnerability, but that's just because you're showing your true self. Once you've got over those feelings, it actually brings the realisation that you love each other for who you truly are, so remember how important it is to always be completely honest in your relationship.'
Relationship rule 3: Fight fair
'In the heat of an argument, it’s easy to see the situation as a competition that you want to win. But remember that the whole point of an argument is to get the other person to see your point of view; it’s about increasing communication and getting each other to look at the issue from a different perspective. Think of the thing you are fighting about not as something that sits in between you but instead as something that you both place in front of you and work together to solve.'
Relationship rule 4: Laugh every day
'Laughter really is the best medicine. It makes you feel good, can change your perspective on things, and even has great effects on your body – from decreasing your stress levels to helping you sleep better. The benefits it has on your mood and body will also be reflected in your relationship. And if you can laugh with your partner about the same things or even tease and laugh at each other, you’ll feel closer and be reminded of what a great thing you have.'
Relationship rule 5: Respect your partner
'Above all, you need to have respect for your other half. Without that, the relationship simply won’t work. You’re going to argue and disagree from time to time (and that’s perfectly normal) but make sure you always respect what the other is saying and try to see things from their perspective. Respect is a way of valuing each other; it allows us to establish healthy boundaries that work not only for each of you as individuals but also for the relationship itself.'
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