There’s a big secret to a lasting relationship and It’s interesting when couples talk about how they’re so in love when they’ve recently met, however, the real challenge comes years down the track when other people and responsibilities take over. So what is the secret to a long lasting and happy relationship? The key seems to lie with an old Greek philosopher..
I find it kind of cute when a newly formed couple talk about how their first meeting was “love at first sight”.. and I’m always curious as to what they mean. As we all know it’s easy to be attracted to someone, however, the growing in love is the challenging part. I dare them to come forward with their relationship 5, 10 or 20 years later, because that’s when courage and hard work really kick in.
What most couples face years down the track is a lack of connection. It’s definitely difficult to keep the friendship strong and the romance alive, particularly when work, family and friends become a priority and children take over. Time together becomes nearly none existent and when it does exist it can be difficult to get that ol’ mojo back. So why do some couples go the distance and others fall by the wayside?
The Big Secret To A Lasting Relationship
There are many different theories on this including one from psychologist, John Gottman, who maintains that history can hold a couple in good stead when trouble shows its face because they have a friendship to fall back on. While I agree with this, I also believe there could also be something enigmatic which holds a couple together long term.
Virtues.. more commonly known as Values
This answer seems to lie with the Greek Philosopher, Aristotle, who came up with the word “Virtue”. His idea was that in order to have a meaningful life, you need to embody certain qualities like compassion, justice and wisdom. Following this your life would expand and become meaningful. The modern term for this word is “values”. I believe this is the glue which can hold a relationship together. Aristotle maintains that virtues are desirable ways of relating to other persons. They are patterns of character that correspond to the ideals about the kind of persons we aspire to be and the kinds of relationships we find desirable.
For example the virtue of generosity in a relationship shows up when we start seeing the best in each other. That is, giving our partner the benefit of the doubt, giving time, attention and care to each other and forgiving each other’s mistakes. Other virtues include caring, faithfulness, respect, fairness, honesty, wisdom, courage and gratitude.
An easy assumption for us girls to make when our partner turns up late is that they’ve been having some drinks with the boys and we can easily go into overdrive when they walk through that door. However, if we were to apply the virtue of patience, the challenge would be to ask them calmly why they are late instead of jumping in with accusations?
I believe there are other attributes which hold a relationship together such as chemistry and great communication, however, it’s a respect for each other’s values which hold a couple together long term.
If you’d like to learn more about how to ‘tune in’ as a couple and become more connected, author Danni Crews will be holding free seminars in Melbourne and Sydney on a regular basis. To reserve your place, go to her web site.
Author: Danni Crews is a Relationship Therapist and general student of love and life who specializes in Family Therapy and Systemic Therapy. She has worked alongside many individuals and couples with Australia’s largest Relationship Organisation and has recently published The Ticking Heart – Making Love the Priority. She is now holding seminars across Australia. You can book into the next seminar at www.relationshipworkshop.com.au