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16 Secrets Of Couples With The Strongest Relationships

FREE E-BOOK: 15 WAYS TO KNOW YOU'RE DATING A GENTLEMAN

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It seems that the further we look, the harder it is to find couples who are in strong, happy, healthy relationships. But – it is important not to get discouraged, because they are out there, in all generations.

We often credit our parents’ or grandparents’ generations with having longer lasting, more solid relationships. While this may be the case, relationships like these do not just happen randomly. They require consistent effort from both partners. Here are some valuable lessons we can take from couples with the strongest relationships.

1. Arguments are natural and don’t end it all.

Strong couples understand that if you’ve got a house and a light bulb goes out, you fix the light bulb – you don’t sell the entire house. Just because you have arguments or fights doesn’t mean the demise of the relationship. You can disagree with someone and still be in love with them. Just make sure to never be insulting and understand that if you fight all the time, it is a red flag.

2. You can’t overstate how much you love someone.

If you love him or her with the intensity that you need to in order to spend a lifetime together – make sure he or she knows it. Hearing ‘I love you’ never gets old. As an added bonus, it helps eliminate any insecurities or doubts because you are keeping your partner confident about your feelings.

3. Your family is their family, and vice versa.

Family is an important part of any relationship. If you don’t think so – just imagine the tension present if you are with someone who your parents/aunt/uncle/friends/brother/sister openly dislike.

While it is unrealistic to expect everyone will always get along and like each other, it is important to put in the effort to treat his or her family as your own.

4. Keep your private life private.

It doesn’t take more than 30 seconds of scrolling through Facebook to spot more than one person’s relationship issues. When you start inviting the public into your relationship, it no longer becomes your relationship. Sure, share your fun dates, post goofy photos together, enjoy yourself – but make sure you draw the line where necessary.

5. Don’t let things get stale.

Particularly in longer-term relationships, it is natural to fall into a routine with someone. This is why it is important to stay spontaneous and keep the fire burning. Plan a date night, get in the car and pick a town for a weekend away, surprise him or her with tickets to that concert they’ve wanted to go to. Nobody wants to be in a mundane relationship forever.

6. Be punctual.

Just because you’re not picking someone up for dates anymore doesn’t mean you can be late. If you’re going to a party or event together, do your best to be ready when you both plan to leave. If someone is waiting around for you and getting impatient because you’re going to be late to something that’s important to them, it can cause unnecessary tension during an evening that’s supposed to be fun for you both.

7. Pick up the slack when your partner is overwhelmed.

Life can get busy, work can be stressful, and people can get overwhelmed. This is why it’s important to blur the lines of ‘gender roles’ in a relationship. Doing the laundry and cleaning the kitchen are not roles for a woman – they are necessary household chores, and it is important that both share the responsibilities.

If your significant other who usually does a certain type of chore or errand is feeling stressed, step in and take care of it.

8. Take care of your partner when they are sick.

Nobody wants to get sick and nobody enjoys it – but being in a relationship is not just about being there when things are great, it’s also about stepping in to do what it takes when things are not great. Cancel your dinner plans, go to the store for more medicine, and do whatever it takes to make him or her feel better.

Don’t have an attitude about it either, nobody likes to feel like they are a burden on their significant other – if you are going to grow into old age beside this person, you’ll need to know they are willing to take care of you when they have to.

9. Don’t stop doing the little things.

If you are checking out at the store and their favorite candy is on the shelf, grab some of it. Bring home flowers randomly. Plan a date night. The small things you do for someone randomly are what count the most, because it shows you don’t need a holiday or special occasion to do something nice. You just do it because you’re in love.

10. Ask how your partner’s day was.

We all need to vent sometimes. Regardless of if we had a stressful day, are feeling unappreciated at work, or have some exciting news to share – being able to open up to your significant other about the details is comforting, and openly welcoming the discussion shows him or her that you are genuinely interested in their day.

Just because you have been together for awhile doesn’t mean you should care any less about seemingly routine things – just the opposite.

Most importantly, do not ask out of obligation, ask out of genuine interest. Really listen, absorb, and respond.

11. Understand the value of compromise.

You may not always want to do what your partner wants. That work party is pretty lame every year. You really don’t care for the band you just got concert tickets for. You’d rather be doing anything else besides this double date with their rowdy friends – but, you do it with a smile on your face anyway, because it is important to your partner and you know they would do it for you in return.

Plus, isn’t who you’re with more important than what you’re doing?

12. Know when to let things slide.

Before you bring up something small that bothers you, ask yourself if the potential argument that could arise is really worth eliminating something that is nothing more than a nuisance.

13. Do not let the intimacy fade.

Romance should not fade after the ‘honeymoon’ phase of a relationship, it should increase over time as your partner becomes a bigger, more important part of your life.

Both physical and emotional intimacy are cornerstones of a strong relationship. These are things we can’t lose sight of.

14. Give your partner your undivided attention.

This is a new problem facing our generation. Our parents and grandparents didn’t sit on the couch in silence on their smartphones, they interacted with each other. They spent quality time together. They really absorbed each other’s presence. Technology is a highly effective tool for streamlining our life and staying in touch when we are not together, but if we want to build a deep connection with someone, we need to unplug when we are with them.

15. Share new experiences together.

Whether it be something as simple as watching a movie neither of you has seen, or something as extreme as skydiving for the first time together [not that I have ever done that], I have always found value in sharing new experiences with someone. Particularly in a relationship, this is something that your girlfriend or boyfriend has never seen, heard, or felt before. Both of your minds are being opened to something new and unique for the very first time – together.

16. Value your alone time.

Even when you have jobs, friends, families, obligations, children, in-laws, and all of the busyness that comes along with a full life, one thing will always remain true: Your relationship is at the epicenter of this rotating universe you have created.

To lose sight of the two people who make it all tick in the first place is to lose sight of your foundation, your reason, your “why” that you are together. It is to sacrifice the quality of your relationship to keep the well-oiled machine that is the rest of your life working. The problem here is that when you do slow down, you are too exhausted to really enjoy each other’s presence.

This is why it is important to make time for each other. Really connect. Don’t lose sight of what matters. You are two individuals with individual lives, but you have also made the commitment to be a single unit that takes on the world together. To be a team. To be partners in crime.

Value the commitments you have made above all else, and the rest will come together and stay together – just like the two of you will.

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32 Comments

  1. Sofia on April 13, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Zzzzzzz….16 ways to put me to sleep!

    • James Michael Sama on April 13, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Hi Sofia,

      Does this mean you disagree with the content of the article? Or do you just find strong, healthy relationships to be boring? Would like to get a better idea of what your feedback means.

      Thanks for reading!

      – James

    • Jason on April 16, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      Crawl back under your bridge Sofia.

  2. Bela on April 14, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Hahaa. Funny Sofia. I’m single but I found the content insightful. I’ve decided to share it with some of my friends who are in a relationship. Keep em coming. 🙂

  3. Sofia on April 14, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Dear James,
    Really?!!!!!!! You “borrowed” these secrets from a dozen other articles I’ve read over the years. It’s always the same old BS fluff. How could we not be bored?

    • James Michael Sama on April 14, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Sofia,

      Maybe these ‘secrets’ appear frequently because there is validity to them. I know I haven’t shared them before so I wanted to have fresh points for my readers.

      Apologies if you feel as though you’ve read the same content in the past, but these are things I’ve learned from my own relationship as well as those I’ve observed in my personal life.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment. 🙂

      – James

      • Sofia on April 17, 2015 at 2:40 pm

        Only two percent of long-term couples ever reach actualization (the professional term for “strong relationship”) and you failed to identify the one single aspect that has been identified as the primary cause. The reason your list frequently appears is that people that write on varying topics in a day inevitably pull from other pulp sources (usually without references). To answer your question directly, I can agree to an extent with your sophomoric plagiarized (sixteen was it?) points, but how much better to enlighten your readers with the real science behind relationship success!



  4. […] article originally appeared on James Michael Sama’s Blog. Follow him on Facebook and […]

  5. Sofia on April 15, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I notice you didn’t really deny the plagiarism James!

    Why not just post links to all the other fluff articles from Reader’s Digest to MSN.com that have between seven and forty secret tips?

    Do you know that there are psychologists that actually study these topics (normally narrowing in on one specialty) for a living? Their books and studies are more in depth and revealing that your “learnings”. But hey, people are lazy aren’t they?

    – Sofia

    • James Michael Sama on April 15, 2015 at 9:53 pm

      Hi Sofia!

      Apologies for not touching on every single thing you mentioned in your aggressive comment. Not really sure what plagiarism you’re referring to, as I have hundreds of articles on here myself that ‘seem to’ show up on much larger websites in very similar formats…

      If you look through my internet history for probably the past 29 years you’ll likely not see a single visit to Reader’s Digest, nor MSN.com, so I unfortunately have no idea what articles you’re referring to.

      It’s unfortunate that I can have 549 articles and when ONE says the word ‘secret’ in the title it is automatically associated with every other article on the internet with the same word.

      And absolutely, those psychologists are well educated and make thousands of dollars for their services! Unfortunately for me, I am just a guy with an opinion blog who writes articles for free. So, I really don’t know what that comparison has to do with anything.

      Thanks again for taking the time to visit my site and engage in discussion, though I do wish you didn’t have an anonymous profile, but I suppose that makes insulting others much easier.

      All the best,

      – James

      • Sofia on April 17, 2015 at 12:43 pm

        Dear James,

        I studied hard in college and continued my education so as to provide accurate advice that isn’t just the idle product of my imagination (or opinion if you care). In other words, I strive to “do no harm” to patients. So, why do I read these articles and blogs like yours? Answer: To be better prepared to help those who arrive in my office thinking they understand life, relationships and psychology from reading a few pop-psychology [top {pick your number} secret] articles written by clueless neophytes (with wild imaginations and lacking a position of learning).

        Really, you’ve never been to MSN.com? My given that, you really are ahead of our times! The first web browser wasn’t created until 1990 and you probably never used that one–as it had not a history feature and little content to browse. I filled in the required information on your web form, so if I am anonymous to you, it’s your own fault (however, if there was an option to identify myself to you, I wouldn’t because I get a scary feeling from your comments).

        -Sofia, MSN, Ph.D., LCT, LMFT (to list just a few)



    • summercold87 on April 20, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Intuition versus logic. Statistics versus love. Or is it statistics against love? I wonder, is love all a bunch a fluff? It must be.

      I wonder if through so much training, research, and certifications; you lose track of what it is you are actually trying to accomplish. Of all the potentially positive things you could say to Mr. Sama; such as listing some books that support his opinions or making suggestions or citing journal articles that he can read, you choose tactless criticism. What exactly is your research in? Boundaries in common decency? Diminishing the value of common experience?

  6. Miss Nae on April 15, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Thanks James for the tips. I find it interesting to read about relationships written from a male perspective. There are some of us who find value in your writing and hope that you will continue to write as it serves a purpose for some 😊

  7. […] This article originally appeared on JamesMSama.com. […]

  8. Matt on April 21, 2015 at 10:42 am

    I really like the secrets you listed in this post! Very insightful once again! It’s a good reminder that we never lose sight of what makes our significant other happy!

  9. Era on April 23, 2015 at 2:18 am

    This post is very helpful with my current relationship. Thanks for sharing your insight views James! I definitely like all your points. 🙂

  10. Nicole on April 24, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    How boring do you have to be to get so heated about an article like this lmao Sofia. Honestly, of all the articles similar to this I’ve seen throughout the internet, this one is the first I completely agree with. Good advice.

  11. Phoebe on April 25, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    The article was really helpful and insightful, not in the scientific or phsychological kind of way that the other commenter was on about, but in a more experienced and emotional sense. Which by the way, I believe is more effective than any other points science can define. Because, love is an emotion, not something to be studied but something to be cherished and felt.

  12. Missy on April 25, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    James, thank you for the tips! It is wonderfully written. ♥

  13. happybraces on April 27, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    This is a good article, James!
    Don’t mind Sofia’s comments. She is just a troll who probably has a lonely life (and maybe has no lovelife. I dunno. If she has one, I pity him/her).

    So… LET’S NOT FEED THE TROLL, GUYS!

    I mean, what’s the use of those titles anyway? Something to brag about in an argument just to prove a point?

    To Sofia, MSN, Ph.D., LCT, LMFT, ABCD, EFG, HIJK: Carry on with your dismal life.

  14. […] this premiere episode, we bring to you an enhanced and expanded audio version of 16 Secrets Of Couples With The Strongest Relationships. To listen, all you have to do is press the ‘play’ button below. Please enjoy and let […]

  15. Pen & Paper Lover on June 4, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Reblogged this on pen & paper and commented:
    What every couple should take note of everyday.

  16. […] Licensed material used with permission by Jamesmsama […]

  17. […] Licensed material used with permission by Jamesmsama […]

  18. […] Licensed material used with permission by Jamesmsama […]

  19. Jaketanakkarakter on July 4, 2015 at 1:51 am

    thank’s for the tips

  20. Nico Vargas on July 11, 2015 at 2:16 am

    James:
    Phenomenal content!

    Sofia:
    I suggest you pick up the book “How to win friends and influence people”…and have your patients read it and have a discussion about it.

    That book will teach you more than our traditional college education system.

    Keep up the blogs James.

  21. Justin on July 21, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    James,
    I think it’s cool that you didn’t take what Sophia said personally. The internet is full of people who say things that they would never say to somebody in person which is sad for those people, and I think it takes a lot of emotional maturity to be able to handle comments about something you obviously feel strongly about in the manner you did. The way you handled the negativity is very cool to see. Cheers dude, I’ll keep an eye out for more of your stuff.

  22. Girlie Balibrea on July 21, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Hello James,
    I’ve been blessed by reading your article.
    Just go on with it.

    God bless you,
    Girlie

  23. Ashley Brown on May 22, 2016 at 4:36 am

    James, you’re the coolest. I’ve been reading your stuff for a few years now. It’s really great quality and I’m sure it helps a lot of us ladies who need an emotionally intelligent male view to sort through our thought process and make sense of things. This Sophia troll is HILARIOUS by the way. I’ve been reading the comments to my boyfriend and we’re laughing pretty hard. Good stuff. Thanks for your awesome content!

  24. […] Licensed material used with permission by Jamesmsama […]

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