Relationships aren't easy. They require maintenance to keep growing and running strong. Just like a car, a house, and many things in life.
  1. Communicate
    The number one reason relationships fail. Communication is not just talking. It's actively listening; hearing and understanding what your significant other has to say and communicating clearly and honestly back. Tell them when you like something or don't like something. Don't make them guess. Don't get angry at them when they say something you don't like. You both have to be comfortable enough to bring up a topic that may be hard to discuss.
  2. Listen
    Active listening: not just hearing what the other person says, but making an attempt to understand. Pay attention to small detail. Most of the time your significant other will bring up a topic or point something out that may be miscellaneous to you but it is actually important to them. Pay attention to that because that is their way of expressing to you something that matters to them. Brushing it off would result in them shutting down and avoiding attempts to open up about who they are.
  3. Give
    A relationship is about giving and not taking. Giving the best version of yourself to them. Give them parts of you by opening up and growing with them. Give by doing things that will make them happy and just that. Not because you feel obligated or they tell you to. Give by being honest and supportive. Give them what you can provide in order for them to be the best they can be.
  4. Take care of yourself
    Happiness comes from within. Focus on your career, plan out your future, make your bucket list come true, and take time for yourself. Your happiness should not solely rely on them. There are things about you that they love and if those aren't there anymore, what is left for them to love?
  5. Be honest
    Problems cannot be solved if they are never addressed. Honesty (along with communication) is what keeps a relationship growing and strong. Be honest with who you are, how you feel and what you want. Honesty allows for open communication and a decrease in future conflict. Never degrade your significant other for telling the truth.
  6. Mix it up
    New experiences lead to new ways to connect with one another. Go to that restaurant you guys always talk about. Conquer that fear you guys want to overcome. A new situation provides ample opportunity for obstacles that strengthen your communication and ways to reveal things you may not have known. And it can also make for interesting stories later on ;)
  7. Be realistic
    You need to be honest with yourself about where the relationship is going, what the relationship actually is, and what you are getting out of it. If what the relationship is and what you pretend it is are two different things, you are setting yourself up for failure.
  8. Respect
    No matter how angry you are or how hurt you may be, it is NEVER okay to say things out of spite or to degrade your significant other. Disagreements will happen. It doesn't mean you guys aren't perfect. It means you guys are people with two different upbringings that result in two different mindsets and that is not a bad thing. Disagreements should allow for your relationship to grow by communicating healthy. They should not cause you two to hurt one another. It's not about who is in the wrong.
  9. Be there
    Sometimes we just need someone to listen. Someone to hug us after a hard day. Other times, we need someone to help us get through. Whether it's being needed physically or mentally, be there. Let them know you care and that you are thinking about them. Show them you are listening and that you want to support them.
  10. Be verbal
    After being together awhile, you many not say how lovely they are or how much they mean to you as much as you did at the beginning. Not because they aren't that way anymore, but because you've become so comfortable in the relationship. A compliment goes a long way and so does appreciation. Let them know what they mean to you and don't just assume they know.
  11. Be their number one fan
    You should be encouraging and supporting them in becoming the best person they can be. Always. It's a constant process that will never end.
  12. Touch each other and look
    Touch does a lot for a relationship. Scientifically, many benefits are associated with touch such as a reduce in stress, a boost to the immune system, etc. Touch is a way to be intimate physically and emotionally. And same with looking. Look at your partner. Study their face and their body. Eye contact is a powerful thing that can be taken for granted.
  13. Work together
    We all encounter stress. It's a given. Communicate on how to handle stress. Recognize when your partner or you need space. Find each other's triggers and learn how to handle them.