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If you’re looking for a loving relationship that lasts, you’re in the right place! Today’s post will cover five essential relationship skills that will help you nurture a love that lasts a lifetime.

Commitment

This is one of the most important relationship skills a couple can have. Without commitment, even relationships where two people truly love one another won’t last.

Commitment requires two people to dedicate themselves not just to their present, but to their future.

Commitment is saying, “I know that life in general is uncertain, but I know I want to ride that uncertainty with you.”

Commitment can include implied promises like:

  • “I promise to focus on how we can grow together — not grow apart.”
  • “I promise that I’ll stand by you during tough times.”
  • “I promise that I’ll be faithful to you.” (if it’s a monogamous relationship for example)

For relationships that last, commitment is not seen as a trap. It’s not seen as something that limits you or your options. In fact, it expands them.

couple with relationship skills unpacking

When we commit to something, we stand for something we believe in: lasting love!

And we stand by the person who we want to experience it with. Commitment is a courageous act.

When someone commits to us, we feel encouraged. Even elated! It feels good to know that someone loves you so much that they want to love you forever. That knowledge gives us a sense of inner peace and security.

And that foundation encourages us to become bolder and more confident as individuals. Commitment brings out the best in us!

So when it comes to relationship skills, find someone who is as committed to you as you are to them.

Flexibility

No matter how good of a match two people are, relationships always require flexibility. This is because no two people are identical!

By virtue of being human, each of us is unique. And in a relationship, we’re bound to have different views and preferences from our partners sometimes. 

For example, my partner likes to watch TV in bed before going to sleep. I usually like to keep the TV off, and go straight to bed. So some nights we’ll have the TV on, and some nights we won’t! 

This difference in preference isn’t too important to us, and we like to “switch off” so each of us gets a little bit of what we want. We’re invested in our mutual well-being.

 Flexibility in relationships also means considering how your actions may impact your partner, and making adjustments if needed.

For example, let’s say you go out with your friends almost every weekend, and your SO is usually working. One weekend, your SO is free to hang out! Instead of hanging out with your friends that weekend, you might consider adjusting your plans and spending some time with your SO.

Relationships require us to balance our needs as individuals with the needs of the relationship.

Thankfully, in many cases these needs overlap! But when they don’t, sometimes it requires some flexibility on our part (and on our partner’s).

Trust

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment unless you trust enough.”

– Frank Crane

Of all the relationship skills, trust is one of the most talked about. We all know we need trust.

Trusting someone means believing they’re a good person. It means believing they have your best interests at heart. It means believing they won’t intentionally set out to hurt you.

Trust takes time to build, and it can be lost in an instant. That’s why it’s so important to put your trust in the right people. People who will not disappoint you, but who will actually exceed your expectations!

If you’ve been disappointed in dating or relationships in the past, trust might not come naturally. It might take work to learn how to trust again. That said, the alternative — to trust no one — is not an option that will bring happiness.

man lifting woman up into the air

By trusting someone, you run the risk of being wrong. But that risk is so worth the possibility that you’re right.

Because when you find someone you can truly trust, your relationship will be able to stand the test of time. 

On the flip side, having a partner who truly trusts you is everything. If a partner doesn’t trust you, they may experience feelings like sadness, anger, resentment, or even confusion. It’s a tough experience for both sides.

But if a partner truly trusts you, they’ll feel comforted, secure, and happy. And those feelings will circle back to you, too!

Mutual trust is a key cornerstone of all great relationships.

Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation is one of the less talked about relationship skills. When it comes to relationship skills, we often think of things like trust and communication.

But what you’ll find when you’re in a long term relationship is just how important emotional regulation is.

So what’s emotional regulation?

Emotional regulation means using your emotions in a way that will bring you closer to — not further away from — your goals. 

For example, if you allow uncomfortable emotions to overcome you when you’re upset, you may be tempted to “unleash” them and take things out on your partner.

While we shouldn’t deny our emotions by any means, allowing them to overpower us can cause relationship difficulties. Instead, by reflecting on why we feel certain emotions, and how to best move forward, we can approach our partners from a place of calm. 

Presuming we want lasting love with our partner, emotional regulation helps us to focus on the potential solutions rather than the problems. 

And by having a solution-oriented approach, both you and your partner will feel supported and like you’re “in this together.”  

Vulnerability

Vulnerability is one of the relationship skills I bet you saw coming! Even from the first moment we meet someone, vulnerability plays a part. 

Each time we reveal something about ourselves, we’re being vulnerable.

This vulnerability may not be as apparent on a first date, but it’s there!

And when you enter a long term relationship, the need for vulnerability grows.

We all have our internal struggles, and those tend to come to light in a long term relationship.

You’re spending a lot of time with your partner, they learn how to “read” you, and they get a good sense for when you feel at peace and when you don’t. 

And ultimately, it’ll require vulnerability to let your partner in on both the good and the bad.

No person is perfect, and we shouldn’t try to be! In fact, being vulnerable with your partner is an act that can bring you closer. 

man looking up at woman as they hug

By being vulnerable, we show our partner who we are, and if they decide to stay with us for the long haul, we feel safe, supported, and loved. 

Being vulnerable gives our partner the chance to show up for us and be vulnerable with us in return. That deepens a relationship. 

It makes you feel like you’re on a “team,” which you are! And that sense of teamwork is a hallmark of lasting love.

While the above relationship skills are all needed for lasting love, they aren’t the only ones. There are plenty of other relationship skills you can nurture to help make love go the distance.

And that’s a good thing! It’s proof that relationship success isn’t simply the product of fate or luck or chance.

Relationship success is built. It’s learned. 

And if you want lasting love, trust me: these relationship skills will help you find it. 🙂