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A guide to surviving your relationship

Congratulations! You're in a serious, caring and adult relationship. If you're new to the game, don't worry about losing that special someone. Instead, heed the following advice to hold on, negotiate a successful romantic relationship and make your connection stronger every day.

Good communication is really at the heart of every successful relationship, and can solve any problem from sexual health to stress management. We've heard this time and time again, but that's because it's true!

Here's how to maintain your relationship – and weather some rocky parts – through clear communication methods:

  1. Be open about your expectations. Don't be afraid to say what you want and find out what your partner wants as well. Are you headed in the same direction? Once people have been in a love relationship for awhile, they may start to develop new expectations, so it is important to continue to revisit this often.
  2. Share your needs. Your partner can't satisfy you if he or she doesn't know what you want! This is a common issue among long-term couples. One person might assume the other one knows what he or she wants, and then is disappointed when that need is not met.
  3. Learn how to compromise and negotiate. Nothing goes just one person's way! If you really love somebody, you will want them to be happy too, so don't hog the remote, make all the decisions or make your partner feel unimportant.
  4. Never expect your partner to change. You are in a relationship with this person because something attracted you to the whole package in the first place. This can be especially true for long distance relationships, when one partner expects the other to move or make major life changes to accommodate the relationship. If you are not willing to make these sacrifices yourself, ask yourself why your partner should be willing to do so instead.
  5. Accept flaws and differences. Nobody is perfect! The best you can do is ask you partner nicely to please put the toilet seat down or not to leave dirty dishes on the counter. It's the little things that often cause big fights because they get on our nerves and we let them annoy us for ages before we say anything. Express your frustration early on to avoid a blowout fight about nothing.
  6. Step into your partner's shoes. How does the situation look to him or her? Often, this can make people realize how silly they're being. Partners who are also coworkers can make particular use of this tool because they are spending a lot of time with each other, but are also in a work environment with others. Take a step back and look at the situation objectively, then evaluate your next move.
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