Relationship Advice From Those in Long-Term Fulfilling Relationships

Relationship advice that’s both optimistic and insightful can be hard to come by. Whether you’re looking to give a little relationship wisdom or take it, the best advice comes from those who are in happy and healthy relationships themselves. That’s why SELF asked those in long-term, fulfilling (but not necessarily perfect) relationships (20 to 64 years in duration!) for their advice. Here are some of their top tips.Find out://

Don’t compare your relationship to others. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wishing you and your partner could be more like other couples in your social circle—but this is just a recipe for conflict. It’s also unfair to your current partner, who may become suspicious that you’re using them as a crutch.

Communication Mastery: A Guide to Building Stronger Connections

Communicate openly. Your partner is not a mind reader, and while they may have an idea of what you’re feeling and needing, it’s much healthier to express them directly to avoid confusion and misunderstandings. Plus, things change over time—what you need and want from your relationship may be very different a few months or even years down the road.

Be mindful of how often you drop your other responsibilities for your new relationship. In the beginning stages of a romance, it’s tempting to immediately drop other activities and cancel plans with friends in order to spend more time together—but this can make you feel resentful when your partner wants to do something else or is busy with work or family.