There are lots of great things about being in a long-term relationship: Research shows that happy couples, in many ways, have better health and overall wellbeing than their single or divorced peers.After all, a loving partner can offer companionship, comfort, and physical and emotional support when you need it.Instead, she says, try to focus more on the good things and less on the bad."To use a garden analogy, water what you want to grow; don't water the weeds." Letting your partner know what you love about themwhether it's physical, intellectual, or emotionalcan actually help you see him or her in a more positive light, says Solomon."A 30-second kiss gives us a warm, fuzzy, safe bonding feeling from that cuddle hormone, oxytocin," says Bonnie Eaker Weil, relationship counselor and author of Make Up, Don't Break Up."Partners can give this feeling to each other by practicing a hug and a kissa mini connectionin the morning before work and before bed at night."When you've been in a relationship for a long time, it's easy to focus on the negative, says Walshwhich can lead to nagging, hurt feelings, and dissatisfaction on both sides.If it's just a quick peck on the lips before and after work, make an effort to step up your game, says Walsh.
"It's important to discuss how much time you'll spend together, whether you want to have more sex than usual, and what you hope to accomplish in terms of your relationship," she says.
"The couples who last the longest tend to be the ones who create something together," says Walsh.
Often that something is children, she adds, but it can also be a business, a charity, or even a home-remodeling project.
"Otherwise, you won't give each other your full attention, and it's easy to become annoyed or feel disconnected."If work and family obligations have forced you and your partner to put your love life on the back burner, schedule some time off from your regular responsibilities.
Getting away may help you focus on each other (instead of distractions like the bathroom that needs repairs), but even a staycation or a long weekend at homeif you treat it rightcan be enough to refresh your bond.