The secret to a lasting relationship

Many people will tell you that grand gestures and big plans are the way to win someone’s heart and spend the rest of your years happy together. These people are, unfortunately, incorrect. People feel loved through small acts.

Greta Hoffman

In fact, they can help your relationship last longer than grand gestures of love. The Health and Human Development department at Penn State asked 495 American adults in 60 different scenarios if they would feel loved. The results showed that the best way to say “I love you” is through acts of love. You don’t have to do big or expensive things to show that you care. Small actions done over and over add up over time.

Don’t forget how important small acts of kindness are, like letting your partner sleep a little longer while you get up and make the coffee, warming up the car on a cold morning, or sending a loving text message in the middle of a long day. All of these are small things that build love and trust. In addition, they show that you and your partner are emotionally in tune with each other.

Writing short love notes and hiding them around the house for your partner to find, is a great way of reminding your partner that you love them. They cost nothing and take little to no effort to write, but each time they surprise your partner it strengthens their feelings toward you.

When you ask for help and get it, saying “please” and “thank you” shows respect and love. When you hurt your partner’s feelings, say sorry and try to forgive. This will keep you from going to bed angry, but it will also help your relationship last. You can also show love by thanking your partner for a delicious meal or praising their skills around the house or the garden.

Avoid big events, think smaller.

Is everything on your list done by the end of the day? Or do you, like many of us, need another 24 hours to get everything done? You can help your partner by running an errand for them or helping them finish a project they’ve started. Since you’re a couple, your lives are tied together. When people do good things to help each other, they become dependent on each other in a way that makes for a good lasting relationship.

Rituals like going on walks together or relaxing with a glass of wine at the end of the day help people feel closer to each other. Writing each other love letters and leaving them in unique places helps keep the love alive. Put your time together first. Plan things to do together and show up. Don’t let work, chores, or other things keep you from spending time together. Be someone your partner can trust.

If you’ve been together for a long time, it means you will stay together. When you talk about your hopes and dreams for the future, it is more likely that you will stick together through the small bumps and blips that life throws at you. You show love and support for each other and your relationship by making plans for the future and keeping your feet on the ground with small acts of kindness in the present.

Small, regular gestures of love.

Don’t worry about the big, exciting scenes. Small acts of kindness done every day are what make relationships last.

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