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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

For Long Term Relationships: All You Need is More Than Love

Often, when people fall in love, their attitude is that, like the Beatles song, all they need is love.  Being in love and passionate for each other can take you along for a while--maybe even the first two years of a relationship.  Then, it soon becomes obvious that you need more than just love to have a successful relationship.


Being In Love and Passionate Can Take You Along For a While, But Soon You'll Need More
Here are a few other important factors, beyond love, that contribute to a happy relationship:

Respecting Each Other
If you love each other, but there are times, let's say when you're angry, that you speak and act disrespectfully to each other, after a while, love alone isn't going to carry you through.  Disrespect can take many forms:  a contemptuous look, name calling, cheating on your partner, lying, etc.  It's important that when disagreements come up, as they inevitably do in serious relationships, you both remember to be mutually respectful to one another.

Learning to Compromise
Falling in love and feeling passionate for one another is great, but relationships also call for compromise at times.  If you and your partner haven't learned the give-and-take that is part of any long-term relationship, more than likely, you'll soon be embroiled in arguments and power struggles where each of you is trying to get your way.  Both people need to know how to compromise so it's not just a one-way street with one person doing all the compromising.

Having Similar Core Values and Outlook on Life
When you fall in love, it might be due, in part, to a sexual attraction or you enjoy similar activities, but it's also important for the health of a long-term relationship that you have similar core values.  You don't  need to agree about everything, but for the things that are most important to each of you, it's important to have similar values.

Now, I know there are couples who have long-term relationships where they don't have similar core values.  But they're the exception rather than the rule.  For instance, if your religious faith is important to you and you know you will only be happy with a partner who shares the same faith, don't think that overlooking this in a partner will work or, worse still, that you'll convert him or her to your faith.  It can happen, but more often than not, it doesn't.

If you know you won't be happy unless you have children and your partner doesn't want kids, don't overlook this.  You might feel resentful in the future.  There are so many other examples of this, whether it involves attitudes about money, politics, families, etc.  So, be honest with yourself and your partner at the beginning of the relationship.

For Long Term Relationships:  All You Need is More Than Love
When you first fall in love, you might not want to think about respect, compromise or core values.  It's easy to get swept away on a tidal wave of love and think that "love will conquer all" and other cliches about love.
For Long Term Relationships, All You Need is More Than Love
And maybe you and your partner will be one of the exceptions that I've discussed, but chances are you won't be.  So, don't ignore some of the red flags that might come up early on about these issues if you want a long-term relationship.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.

I work with individuals and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212 726-1006.

photo credit: RobertPhotographics via photopin cc

photo credit: Vincent_AF via photopin cc











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