Looking to forge a loving, lifelong bond? With a few tips, you can make your relationship last a lifetime.
Step 1: Work together Make your partner your teammate. Genuinely cheer their successes, and pick up the slack and offer support when they face difficult personal issues. Remember: few teams that give in to personal rivalries ever go all the way.
Step 2: Share your needs Identify the people, activities, and attitudes that matter to you -- psychologists have found that people who are true to themselves are better at building intimate relationships.
TIP: Let your partner know if your priorities change and give them a chance to adjust their behavior.
Step 3: Open up If something your partner does or says bothers you, tell them -- research shows that couples that express their anger may live longer than those who bottle up their emotions. Don't be petty, though -- pick your battles wisely to avoid burying your partner in criticism.
TIP: If you criticize, do it in a constructive way -- destructive criticism has been shown to cause anger and tension.
Step 4: Mix it up Keep things interesting -- studies have revealed that boredom is a relationship-killer. Find a shared passion with new activities to explore together and bond over.
Step 5: Get it on Spice up your sex life, too. Try new positions, find unexpected moments, or delve into fantasy -- whatever helps you fan the flames of passion.
Step 6: Be patient Prepare to work at your relationship -- a mutual understanding develops gradually. The more time you and your partner devote to making your relationship strong, the longer it will last.
FACT: In 2009, the record for the longest continuous marriage was set at 85 years.