Make Your Love Last

      The reality of making a relationship last can be simple and basic. Didi Zahariades, MA, psychotherapist and life coach, joined us before Valentine's Day ti check in on the following 6 Secrets and see how you are doing on making your love last:

      1. Respect yourself & your partner: Found to be the #1 trait in couples that have a long, happy, successful relationship. This may be as simple as how you speak to one another in public and the tone you use in private. This is treating your partner with the same level of respect as a co-worker, family member or friend. Respect is kindness, love, consideration, and the ability to be a good listener. You must be true to your word in order to respect your partner.

      2. Fight Right: Attack the Issue not Each Other. A relationship is not 50/50 participation; and you can't keep score if you want to win in the long term. Relationships that last take work; there will be conflict because you are passionate. There isn't mean-spirited, right-fighting, if you want your partner to be happy with you. Winning will make you feel better in the moment but will not work over the years.

      3. Implement some LOVE BLINDNESS: 'Love Blindness' is the ability to sustain your "positive illusions" about your partner. Men & women who continue to maintain that their partner is attractive, funny, kind, and ideal for them in just about every way remain content with their partnerships. (Oddly, this doesn't have to be based on fact!) Remember all the reasons you feel in love. Life gets complicated but remembering the positives about him/her can support the foundation of your relationship.

      4. Understand Your Relationship Rules: The rules must be understood and discussed with each person. This is when you are Honest and Truthful with one another about what is and isn't ok. It may be about who does the dishes or who is responsible to get the babysitter. These are the rules that work for the two of you. Understanding the relationship rules may include what is/isn't ok to do on Facebook; how you want to represent yourself on social networking sites; who it is ok to talk to and who makes your partner uncomfortable. Interpersonal communication is an ongoing factor to good relationships. Know when it is time to have a proactive discussion; if you don't know the rules you are apt to fail.

      5. Be Best Friends with Benefits: Enjoy each other. Value your time together and be sure to get plenty of it! Have fun. This is the person you LIKE and LOVE. Laugh with one another. If your 'friend' wants to try a new activity --- join in! If your 'friend' is having a bad day; be a good listener. This is the Best Friend with Benefits plan. Hug, cuddle, send cute notes. Engage your best friend!

      6. You must want your relationship to work: It is simple. If you truly want it to work, it most likely will. Speak Success into Your Relationship. Discuss the great things, not just the problems. Remind your mate what you love about being with him/her. Point out his/her greatness. Tell others how much you love your relationship. Wake each day with the concept, 'What can I do today to make him/her feel important?'

      For more great information, visit Didi's website.