Everyone wants their relationship to last, and these tips can help you do just that. Read here for 10 secrets to a happy and lasting relationship.

Let's face it, with a 1 in 3 divorce rate, Australian relationships need some work.

Sure, some couples may seem like they have it all together. But the truth is that most relationships go through both good and bad times.

There are a number of ways that you can ensure you have a lasting relationship though. Read on to learn how.

The Secrets to a Lasting Relationship

What makes some relationships fail, while others stand the test of time? What makes some relationships end in heartbreak, while others tell their grandchildren about the day they met?

It turns out that the most successful relationships have a few things in common. These are the secrets to a happy and lasting relationship:

1. Communication 

Good communication is about addressing issues and concerns respectfully. The bestselling book The Five Love Languages explains that we all have different "love languages".

If your partner's love language is "words of affirmation" but you respond to "physical touch", you'll need to think about what makes them feel loved (just as they'll need to do the same for you). 

If a couple is unable to find a way to honestly and openly communicate their feelings and needs, they don't have much of a chance.

Too often, couples avoid conflict until they have a fight. They then list all of their partner's faults.

The problem with this? When you don't address these issues at the time they occur, they end up bubbling below the surface. That means that you're continually focusing on those bad feelings - instead of thinking about why you love your partner.

2. Time

These days, people are busier than ever. And it can be easy to get wrapped up in work and other commitments. Before you know it, you're drifting apart and have no idea what's happening in your significant other's life.

Make time for each other. Schedule in a date night once a week. Take a romantic trip. Or simply take half an hour to cuddle and debrief at the end of each day. It's important to spend time hanging out together to keep the spark alive.

3. Respect

You know you're in a healthy relationship when you have a foundation of respect between each other. Friends and family can see it in every conversation and interaction between the two of you.

In a lasting relationship, respect is evident in the way a couple honours and accepts who the other person is. They take the other person seriously and always consider their wants and needs. 

4. Play

Adult life can often be about paying the bills and moving forward in your career. But lasting relationships also focus on play. This means taking the time to prioritise having fun together. 

Maybe this means starting a water fight by the pool, throwing down a challenge with a video game, or going to an amusement park. Whatever you like to do, make sure you're regularly enjoying yourselves together.

5. Compromise

Just like the song says, "Let it go." Couples in a lasting relationship know that compromise is just part of life. If something isn't crucially important to your happiness, but you know it's a big deal to your partner, be prepared to compromise. 

This doesn't mean that you give up your own happiness and needs. But successful relationships are about give and take.

6. Reliance

Strong couples know they can rely on each other no matter what happens. That means providing support for each other during life's trials and tribulations. 

Facing challenges together as a couple helps strengthen your bond, making your relationship even stronger in the future. 

This will often come naturally the longer you are together. But you can help forge this sense of reliance by showing that you're there for your partner. Be prepared whenever they need a listening ear. Show consideration for their feelings. And take their side above anyone else's. 

7. Trust

Couples who have a lasting relationship have total trust in each other. They're not worried about the threat of infidelity, and wouldn't dream of hurting their partner that way either. 

You won't catch one of these couples snooping through each other's phones or picking jealous fights. Instead, they have complete trust in the person they love.

If you're hoping for a happy and successful relationship, building trust is of the utmost importance. After all, it's unlikely that you can commit to spending a lifetime with someone you don't really trust.

8. Flirtation

We all want to feel attractive to our partners. But often we forget to tell our significant others how much we desire them. 

Remember back when you first got together? You probably couldn't keep your hands off each other. And while this kind of lust gradually turns into a more comfortable kind of love, you can still keep your relationship fresh.

Notice when your partner makes an effort. Let them know you appreciate how they dress up when you're going out. Leave them a sexy note on the mirror or send a cute text or snap throughout the day. 

Keeping the romance alive takes work, but a little flirtation will keep things interesting.

9. Appreciation

Even though you may love and appreciate your partner, it's easy to forget to show that appreciation. Taking time to appreciate all the things they do for you to make your life easier is key to a successful relationship.

People with a lasting relationship show their appreciation with thoughtful gifts, Thank You notes, and hugs. Make sure your significant other is appreciated for all they do and show them that you don't take them for granted. 

10. Love

Finally, couples who are in a lasting relationship truly love each other. They have no desire to be with anyone else and are committed to making the relationship work. When times get tough, they never think about ending the relationship and instead think of ways to get through those hard times.

At the heart of every happy, successful relationship is a deep, solid love. And if you and your partner love each other, you can work on everything else.

What do you think of these 10 secrets? Would you add any more? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

I would love to hear your comments or answer any questions you might have about this post.

Yours sincerely,   

Dr. Carissa Coulston, Clinical Psychologist

BSc(Hons), MPsychol(Clinical), PhD, MAPS