10 Things old happy couples can teach us about love

When we’re in our teens, it’s all about falling in love, discovering new pleasures, getting to know another person and, in the process, getting to know ourselves better. It’s all part of growing up, including, unfortunately, having our heart broken, at least once. But time goes by, we become adults and some of us are lucky enough to find their life partner. Here’s what these lucky ones can teach youngsters about love:

1. Respect, not only bedroom fun 

There’s nothing like those early moments, when you can’t get enough of each other in bed. But physical intimacy on its own is no basis for a long, happy and fulfilling relationship. Without respect, you’ve got nothing, or rather, what you have is a hurtful relationship.

2. Practice makes perfect 

While we’re on the subject of bedroom fun, here’s an undeniable fact: the longer you are with somebody, the better you get to know their body and their preferences (and the better they get to know yours), which means that you can give and receive pleasures impossible in one-night stands and short-lived flings.

3. It’s all about the balance 

Only in a long-term relationship can you learn the importance of making mutual concessions. This is a consequence of that respect we mentioned. Knowing when to concede and when to hold your own is a process that takes time.

4. Time makes the heart grow fonder

You’ve sure heard about research discovering that love lasts no longer than a couple of years, or seven years or whatever. In fact, what happens is that romantic love evolves. Yes, the butterflies in the stomach will at some point disappear (though for some couples they appear surprisingly durable), but what will replace them is no less precious – the firm belief that this is the person for you, no doubts, no regrets.

5. Love’s not all bliss

Long-term relationships teach you that sometimes you have to make sacrifices. This is not something we do readily, so it’s a tough lesson but life is full of tough lessons, and if we learn them well, we’ll be stronger and happier.

6. Nobody’s perfect

If you’re alone because nobody you meet lives up to your standards, then may be you have impossible standards. Long-term couples have learned that there are no perfect people, but there is enough good in their partner to make the relationship worth having to live with the faults.

7. Keep the surprise alive

The longer you live with someone, the harder it gets to surprise them or be surprised by them. But it’s trying that counts – it tells your nearest and dearest that you care for them, that you still love them, even if you know him or her better than you know yourself.

8. Each person is a universe

It’s a bit like the “practice makes perfect” lesson. The more time you spend with someone, the more things about them you discover. They won’t all be good but the process of discovery is so fascinating!

9. There’s nothing like laughing together

Having compatible senses of humour can trump a lot of other things in a relationship. Such compatibility can actually contribute in a major way to the endurance of the relationship. That’s because laughter makes us feel closer than anything else apart from physical intimacy, and that’s only a maybe.

10. Attention, attention, attention

This means never taking the person next to you for granted, never assuming that because they fell in love with you, this will never change. A successful relationship needs working on by both partners, all the time, not just at the start. Paying attention to their needs and desires, even if you’re not always able or willing to satisfy them, is a must for every happy couple.

What is your recipe for a happy marriage?

Stay happy, love and be loved!

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