If you have come across this article, then it’s very likely that you were searching online for some answers. Maybe you have been Googling ‘healthy love’ or ‘ways to make my relationship work’ for a little while, and your explorations have lead you here.

Your presence here reading these words demonstrates your desire to make your relationship work.

The very fact you are open and willing to learn is a pre-requisite element to building a happy relationship with someone. But what other vital tools do you need to maintain a healthy relationship in the longer term?

Here are the 5 most powerful ways you need to know about:

1. Allow for mistakes. Not only is it important to be forgiving of your partner for human error - its also vital to let yourself off the hook, too. Focusing on what you have done wrong or where you have failed won’t help the health of your relationship. Keep your eyes on the positives to keep love alive.

2. Laugh as often as you can. Life can be intense and hard to deal with. Make as many opportunities to laugh and smile with your partner as possible. This will strengthen your bond, and it’ll make obstacles much smaller than they first seemed when they occur.

3. Take advice with a pinch of salt. Our friends and family want what’s best for us. But sometimes, their advice isn’t what we need. They can’t see the whole picture, and they aren’t relationship experts. Vent when you need to, but don’t absorb too much outside opinion. Learn to follow your own instincts.

4. Don’t speak too soon. In moments of anger or high emotion, it can be all too easy to speak in extremes. Many unnecessary break-ups have happened due to speaking hastily when things get tough. Learn to take your time when an issue occurs. Be forgiving where possible and only make statements that you really mean.

5. Embrace the journey. Love is not a moment of epiphany or the crossing off of an item from a life goals list. It is a daily practice of care, thought, and effort. It is the continual and consistent choice to love someone each morning that you wake. It is a pathway, not a destination. Enjoy and value every moment - even the hard ones.

Photo moment relationships in movies and on our newsfeeds don’t tell the full story of true love. The healthiest and happiest relationships often aren’t online for us to examine. They happen in quiet corners away from view, and within the private moments behind closed doors.

Let go of your contemporary desire for idealist perfection. Replace this behavior with a conscious choice to do all you can to nurture and nourish your relationship at every stage. Doing so could be the best decision you’ll ever make for your relationship.

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