Finding your special someone is exciting. But its only the first step. Making your relationship last is the real prize.

Contrary to popular belief, successful relationships don’t just “happen”. Yes, chemistry and shared life goals are important – but truly successful couples work at it.

Here’s 6 things you can do to turn your new found romance into a long term relationship:

  1. Excitement matters:  what’s the real “relationship-killer”? Boredom. Spend less time reducing conflict – and more time experiencing thrills – and your relationship will prosper.
  2. Use your delusion:  being a little deluded helps couples – overly idealistic relationship illusions at the start lead to greater satisfaction, love, and trust, and less conflict and ambivalence in both dating and marital relationships.
  3. 5 to 1:  keep that ratio in mind. You need five good things for every bad thing in order to keep a happy relationship. A 2.9 to 1 ratio means you are headed for a divorce. You need a 5 to 1 ratio to predict a strong and loving marriage— five positive statements for every critical statement you make of your spouse.
  4. Be Conscientious:  conscientiousness is the trait most associated with marital satisfaction. Findings suggest that conscientiousness is the trait most broadly associated with marital satisfaction in a sample of long-wed couples.
  5. Gratitude:  gratitude can be a booster shot for a relationship – gratitude had uniquely predictive power in relationship promotion, perhaps acting as a booster shot for the relationship.
  6. Try:  sounds silly but it’s true. Want a better relationship? Try. Sounds ridiculous but improving any relationship is as easy as actively showing interest in the other person or sharing with them.