Dating Experts Reveal Three Simple Secrets To Long-Lasting Love

From childhood, most of us were ingrained with the lofty idea of finding "the one." That would be the person who would not only make life complete but make it worth living. This was to our detriment; luckily, by the time we reached young adulthood, many of us realized that the "perfect" person just doesn't exist.

Relationships are hard and take work. More than that, if we are ever going to find long-lasting love, we first have to start with ourselves. It's not an easy notion to absorb that we have to love ourselves before we can ever fully love another (via Psychology Today). If we don't, we'll bring low self esteem into the relationship and may even accept less than we deserve in a partner. 

If you really want to find long-lasting love, it's possible with a little work and self-reflection (via Today). Here's some help from dating experts to get you started. 

Get in the right headspace

The first step in finding long-lasting love is to create a healthy mindset. That includes having a full and fulfilling life outside of your relationship.Your life partner should be a wonderful compliment to your life not a point of desperation that you feel you need in order to be happy (Cleveland Clinic). "All relationships are based on a philosophy that if it works for you, it works for me," says clinical psychologist Coda Derrig. "But taken to an extreme, it can be that without the relationship, people can't function very well, so the relationship becomes unhealthy."

Relationship expert, Matt Lundquist agrees (via Greatist). "'You are my everything' is a lousy pop-song lyric and an even worse relationship plan," says Lundquist. "No one can be 'everything' to anyone. Create relationships outside The Relationship, or The Relationship isn't going to work anymore."

A full life should include work, friends, outside interest and hobbies, relaxation, and fun. You should spend time each week doing things together and also apart from your partner.

Make sure you share similar life values

When you fall in love, you may have all the giddy butterflies, but it's also important to note that true love should make you feel calm, not anxious (via Cosmopolitan). It's in those early stages when everything is breathtaking that you can miss some red flags. If you have opposing life values, it's going to be a tough relationship.

Things such as your views on human connection, race, sexism, and human rights are critical to who a person is and how they operate in the world (via Psychologist Milica Markovic says "The more we agree on foundational values in a relationship, the smoother our approach to solving life challenges becomes.

If you don't agree on basic workings of the world, it's going to be very difficult to share a full life with your partner.

Sharing the same views on major life decisions, like whether or not you want to get married or have children, can also be make or break points (via The Source). Of course, compromises can be made regarding certain things but major life values and viewpoints are usually core to a person's beliefs. You should both be on the same page if you want to create a lasting loving life together.

Keep seeing and acknowledging your partner

In a long term relationship, it's easy to become passive and take your partner's love and commitment for granted. Through the hustle and bustle of life, you can kind of get used to the sweet or supportive things they say and do for you, but it's vital to remain appreciative.

Many relationships end because one partner feels taken advantage of or not prioritized (via Bustle). For many, this is a relationship dealbreaker. People get complacent figuring their partner will always be there but once resentment sets in, it's very difficult to undo.

Myles Cohen, dating and transformation coach says both partners need to appreciate and value the relationship, "If you can both commit to the mutual goal of seeing your relationship as a third entity which needs to be nurtured and protected, you're both able to zoom out and see the bigger picture."

You and your partner should both feel seen and heard. Of course, there will be times when the frustration and chaos of life sets in and we all aren't perfect at this at times, but long term, taking care of your partner and supporting them mentally and emotionally is a non-negotiable. It shows that they are important to you, and that sets the stage for a lifetime of long-lasting love.