Are you confused about how to make love last? Here’s the key ingredient that’s often overlooked: when relationships break down, you can bet that respect has already gone out the window. But rather than trying to figure out all the different components of how to make love last, focus instead on creating an atmosphere of respect with your partner. Here's 5 practical ways to begin increasing the level of respect in any relationship:
  1. Take your own life seriously:  your health, your finances, your career, your mental and emotional well-being. It’s your responsibility (not your partner’s) to ensure that you are functioning as a healthy adult.
  2. Express gratitude:  every day, look your partner in the eyes and say, “thank you” when they do even the simplest thing to make your day nicer. It’s amazing how easy it is to take those closest to us for granted. A simple, but thoughtful expression of gratitude will help you remember how special it is to have someone care about you. And, it will ensure your partner feels acknowledged and appreciated.
  3. Be real:  when challenges arise between the two of you, avoid cheap ways of discharging your pain by name-calling, eye rolling, sarcasm, ignoring them or being intentionally hurtful. Try this instead: openly communicate exactly how you're feeling - without any drama. When in doubt, try the truth.
  4. Focus on what you do respect about your partner:  is your partner great at their job? Do they have a kind, compassionate heart? Are they a committed parent? What you focus on expands and this is definitely true in our relationships. When you intentionally choose to admire and appreciate your partner, you will begin to notice more and more of the things that make you feel proud to be with them.
  5. Accept that your partner has legitimate needs:  just like you, your partner will need emotional and physical safety, regular touch and closeness, a sense of purpose, solitude, recognition, etc. When we spend a lot of time with someone, we can forget that they are a separate individual with valid needs of their own. We see this often with desire for sexual intimacy or your partner's need to zone out for a while after work.