Relationship advice experts know that online dating makes it easier for participants to sort through potential partners faster than with traditional dating, but when it comes to building a lasting relationship those same old rules apply. If you think you might be dating “the one,” and you want to avoid potential pitfalls that sabotage relationships and lead to heartache, Dr. Karen Sherman, psychologist, author, internet expert, and professor, has some great tips for fostering a successful relationship.
1. We all have grand ideas of what our mate should be, how life should be, and what we envision for ourselves The truth is that no one can ever live up to those fantasies. If we try to force them to, we soon end up heartbroken. Be reasonable and realistic about your expectations in your partner and in what your relationship can and cannot provide.
2. Successful relationships start with two people who have found contentment within themselves before getting involved in a relationship. Each partner should be able to give more emotionally to the other than they take. Otherwise, the relationship becomes one-sided and the ‘giver’ will become exhausted and give up.
3. Relationships take attention. Even if you have been committed to your partner for years, paying attention to the health of your relationship will keep it from withering on the vine. Be appreciative of your partner. Notice the little things. Dedicate time just for the two of you to rekindle the spark from those first few dates.
4. Every relationship has conflict now and again. You are both individuals with your own personalities and opinions, so it’s only natural that those opinions will diverge once and awhile. The key is learning how to resolve conflict without blame, holding grudges, or walking away. Working through the little bumps together will bring you closer in the long run.
5. Build your relationship on trust and respect. Without these, you are doomed from the start. If this person is going to be one of the most significant people in your life (and you in theirs) then you each deserve to be able to have unmitigated faith in the other and to be respected for your thoughts and talents.
6. No matter how much you have in common, you will always have differences that stem from personal history and family background. Although it sometimes feels this way, life doesn’t begin when you meet. Our histories make us who we are. Embrace those differences as a way of valuing what made your partner the person you fell in love with.
Did you find love online? Share your tips to building a long-lasting relationship.