How to Have a Lasting Relationship that Stays Romantic and Passionate

Healthy long-term relationships, however, are built on the ability to find fulfillment in and taking pleasure in making our romantic partner content. You cannot have a healthy relationship if you only think about satisfying your own short-term desires and preferences.

In committed long-term romantic relationships, you need to compromise. If, like most people, you are old-fashioned enough to become involved in this type of partnership with another person, you cannot continue all your old single-person habits: you cannot work all day and night, even if you are up for promotion or are looking for a new job. You cannot insist on continuing to meet up with your friends every Saturday morning for brunch or expect to continually frequent your favorite clubs and bars.

This raises the question: how much compromise is too much? Compromise can be accompanied by a loss of personal autonomy — that is, your ability to completely and fully identify with, and (upon reflection) be fully satisfied with the outcome of every decision you make.

 For example, if you hate action movies, you may not be fully satisfied with the outcome of your decision to join your partner in the cinema for a mindless action movie. But if your partner loves them, you will need to give in occasionally. If you are a big fan of subtitled French movies, then your partner should join you for a French movie night on other occasions.A 50/50 balance is good to aim at on average. For example, you may give 80 percent one week, and (hopefully) your partner will then give 80 percent back the next week. This type of arrangement will increase the chances that you can both maintain your personal autonomy within the boundaries of your relationship. You can learn to take pleasure in seeing your partner delighted and content.

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