If you want your relationship to last, get rid of your romantic notions. That harsh bit of advice comes from licensed marriage counselor Lisa Thomas. Now, she’s not saying you should stop bringing your sweetheart roses – or texting “I love you’s.” What she is saying is that the fantasy world we see in romantic comedies won’t sustain a real world relationship. But, there are some pretty unromantic things that will:

  • Negotiate a love contract. Stop thinking things will magically work out when you move in together. Cohabitation agreements have increased nearly 40% in the past 5 years. And they work – because negotiating difficult situations upfront, before they become a problem, can give your relationship a stronger footing. It’s like having an emergency kit in your car. So, hash out things like money, religion, and chores – and put it in writing. Want to see what one’s like? Try a site like 4relationshipcontract.com.

  • Stop gushing about each other. When you tell people every detail of your relationship, it weakens the trust between you and puts scrutiny on everything you do. Of course, there are times when you’ll want to get someone else’s perspective – but pick one person to confide in. Otherwise, your partner will always wonder who knows about your last fight – or that they leave the bathroom door open.
  • Spend time apart and schedule time together. Being apart makes you a more well-rounded, interesting person – and solidifies couples, because each person feels more secure about themselves. And scheduling time together makes it a priority – not a whim. It sends the message that the time you do spend together is important enough to count on.

What do you think? Would this work for your relationship? Is it a good idea to ditch the idea of "movie love?"

Lesson Expert

Betsy Chase

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