Ten Secrets

What turns a new relationship into a long-term relationship? How do you keep the new relationship energy flowing? How do you break the short-term relationship syndrome? After years of matchmaking, counseling, and being active in the San Francisco Bay Area lesbian community, I have gathered quite a bit of information on what it takes to making long-term relationships work. Here is a quick list of 10 things you can do to turn that budding romance into the relationship of your dreams: 1 ? State your intentions up front. Let your partner know that you are committed to making the relationship work and that you are in it for the long haul. Stating your intentions at the beginning of the relationship can prevent mishaps down the road. And be truthful in those intentions, saying you want a long-term relationship when you are more interested in a fling is lying. 2 ? Power of Romance.

Remember the power of romance. You don't have to buy long stem roses and French champagne every night, even the small simple things so a long way. Stop and pick some wildflowers along the road, send a text kiss to her cell phone in the middle of the day just to say I'm thinking of you , make her feel like a priority in your life. If you day is frantically busy, remember to take 10 seconds to let her know she is the sunshine of your day. It's really not that hard. 3 ? 80/20 Rule: Listen more than Talk.

Take time to listen to your partner. Don't dismiss their feelings or concerns as invalid or not as important as yours. Try to listen 80% of the time and talk 20%.

It's not all about you, it is all about us. 4 ? Stay Attractive: Maintain Your Health/Appearance/Hygiene. If she is with you, there was something about you that was attractive to her. Keep it that way. Stay healthy.

If you were working out before the relationship, continue to do so once you are together. If you dressed funky and hip before you started dating, continue being a fashion plate in the relationship. And continue to maintain your personal hygiene. Nobody wants to date someone who doesn't shower or wash their hair as often as they used to just because now they feel they don't have because they are in a relationship. It is important now more than ever.

5 ? Get Over Your Past. Try to avoid bringing your baggage into a new relationship. Everyone has experiences from past relationships; it is how you deal with them that makes a difference in your future.

Leave the toxic experiences behind. If you truly can't, then see Tip #6. 6 ? Have a Good Therapist, Work on Yourself, Consider Couples Therapy. Check out the lay of the land. If you or your partner are carrying around leftover baggage then consider seeing a therapist. It isn't a sign of weakness, but more evidence that you are serious about making things work.

If there are deal-breakers in the relationship, talk them over with a therapist. Some of them might be able to be worked out. It is always better to seek counseling at the slightest inkling of a problem than past the point of no return. 7 ? Compatibility and Alignment: Attraction is a wonderful thing, but sometimes two people just aren't meant to be together long-term. Find out how compatible you are before you make long-term plans.

Align your spiritual beliefs, political views, plans for children, etc. BEFORE you commit. Do your lesbian types align? (butch, femme, etc.) 8 ? Make Your Relationship a Priority. Make time for your partner. Make time for your relationship.

Keep it front and center so it truly becomes a priority and not an after-thought. Nobody wants to feel like second fiddle whether it is to your job, your family or your friends. Make your woman feel like she is the most precious thing in the world to you, because she is! 9 ? Share Your Hobbies: Spend time together.

Sure everyone needs their alone time too, but strike a balance and keep the fun alive. Take a class together, go dancing, check out Outdoor Adventures for Women. There are various avenues for lesbian couples in the San Francisco Bay Area, take advantage of them. 10 ? Share Alone Time: Make sure you make time to be alone together, away from family and friends.

Make time for vacations, consider a Lesbian Cruise or weekend getaways to Napa, Big Sur, Tahoe, Palm Springs, etc. Copyright (c) 2007 Susan Adams.

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