The digital explosion of recent years has thrown us into a world of hyper-consumption. Unfortunately, emotional relationships are not immune to these new societal norms. Deeply rooted in this new generation trend, the couple now seems threatened by an expiration date. So, in the face of this alarming fact, isn’t the real challenge of our century to find out how to make a love relationship last? According to the statistics, we are not breaking up more than in the past. No, what is changing is the duration of relationships. Couples tend to break up faster than ever before, within three years of meeting. This period of time corresponds to the state of love where desire reigns supreme in the relationship with one’s partner. This is the first stage of what is commonly known as the “couple phases”. To help us preserve our marital relationship, psychoanalysts and sexologists invite us to rely on the four pillars of the couple. The advice they give is full of common sense but requires real patience and willpower. They also encourage us not to ignore the divergence of expectations between men and women in this area. So is lasting love still possible? And if so, how can it be created and cultivated?
The Four Phases of the Couple to Overcome For a Long-Term Relationship
We are all different. However, when it comes to relationships, the steps to be taken are common to all stories. The strength of a couple lies in its ability to get through them.
1 The Fusion Phase
This is the beginning of the relationship, tinged with passion and desire. This is the famous “honeymoon” period when we tend to blindly idealise the other person. This phenomenon is mainly induced by a flood of hormones. Our bodies deceive us into seeing the other person as perfect for our happiness. Even small defects are seen as advantages. There is a feeling of complementarity, even fusion. This stage exacerbates the libido and is very stimulating sexually. One cannot imagine that the desire could ever dry up. In fact, it is the memory of this period that, later on, can make long-standing couples nostalgic.
2 The Power Struggle
Many couples never get past this stage, which fully puts the relationship to the test. This is the moment when the sails of illusion characteristic of the first phase are blown away. The first differences and arguments appear, leading to doubts and questioning. A new awareness is created and with it, the desire to rediscover one’s individuality, to express one’s own desires, pleasures and needs. This phase is delicate, especially if one of the partners is still in a fusion mechanism. From then on, the risk of a break-up is very high. However, this stage is crucial for the development of sexual desire within the couple. Its role is to bring to light the needs of each partner, the cement of a fulfilling love relationship.
In this respect, we invite you to consult our article.
3 La Phase D’engagement
At this stage, passionate love has been tinged with differentiation. This gives rise to a more authentic love. The partner accepts that the other is different and that the longevity of the couple depends on accepting this distinction. If one of the lovers tries to change the other, the relationship is doomed to failure. It is at this point that the tipping point is reached. For those who trust their partner, a healthy independence is established within the couple for the greater well-being of the relationship, which is well on the way to lasting.
4 The Positive Interdependence Phase
This stage is illustrated by couples who have been together for a long time. They are a model and prove that it is quite possible to live a long, happy and harmonious union. The trials of life, far from separating them, have often brought them closer together or led them to readjust their positions to protect their relationship. In general, these couples do not give in to the trivial irritations of daily life. They cultivate patience and a willingness to preserve their marital life while maintaining a certain amount of independence. Experts remind us of the importance of not forgetting ourselves in the relationship and of always thinking of ourselves while respecting the needs of the other.
The Four Pillars of the Love Relationship for a Long and Fulfilling Union
Lasting love is based on fundamental principles that are largely interconnected. There are four of them, known as the “pillars of the couple”. Respecting them is essential for a lasting love relationship.
1 Projects for Two
Joint projects bind a couple together. On the other hand, wanting them at the same time does not come naturally. They must be worked out according to the desires and needs of each person, especially if they are very demanding (getting married, having children, etc.). Let’s not forget that personal projects are also very important for the solidity of a couple. They bring freshness and novelty to life together. In this case, exchanges and transparency are essential to reassure the other. At the same time, the partner receives a signal of trust from the loved one who is not afraid to open up. It is therefore up to each of us to preserve our individuality while cultivating the other’s curiosity. The objective is to agree on common values that are essential for building solid projects together.
This is another fundamental and characteristic aspect of a lasting relationship. When trust is established, both partners are not afraid to say things clearly, but always with kindness so as not to hurt or upset. This is liberating, as long as you don’t want to change the other person and you set some limits for yourself.
If trusting your partner is essential, cultivating self-confidence is just as important to avoid succumbing to certain unfounded pitfalls.
Doing activities without your partner is also a sign of trust within the couple. This is perfectly desirable to maintain one’s secret garden and to bring a little oxygen to the relationship. If your partner is reluctant, do not hesitate to calmly exchange points of view so that everything goes smoothly.
The beginning of a relationship is often synonymous with desire, completeness and perfect happiness. With time, however, some shadows can appear. It is then time to invent some rituals and habits to prolong or rekindle the passion of the early days. This can involve various activities: planning a romantic dinner once a week, lighting candles every Friday evening, practising a sport together, going for walks together, organising weekends only with your partner, etc. These appointments should be regular and above all systematic in order to create a beautiful bubble of sharing and exchange. They reinforce intimacy and maintain passion over time.
Leaving room for the unexpected, for novelty and for creativity, especially in terms of sexuality, can also spice up the relationship and keep the flame alive. Be careful, however, not to limit the notion of passion to sexuality alone. Sexuality is no longer the barometer of a solid couple. When it comes to desire, there are no rules. The barometer is now individual, even if maintaining a satisfactory sexual activity remains essential.
This is surely the most important pillar of the four. Communication in a couple is the basis. Talking to each other, listening to each other and hearing each other is essential if you hope to last. This requires learning to communicate better, without fear and with mutual respect. Exchanging emotions, needs, feelings, sorrows, worries but also joys, allows a better understanding of each other’s expectations. Conversely, the absence of discussion can lead to tension and misunderstandings, both of which are sources of conflict. Dialogue allows for a better understanding of each other’s functioning and improves the relationship between the two.
Some people will see domestic scenes as a form of communication that allows things to be put right. Be careful. Let’s not forget that words carry energy and can be received in a very violent way. Negative words are very damaging to the relationship, as they become embedded in the memory. We are capable of containing ourselves in front of a colleague at work or a neighbour. So why give the worst of yourself to the person you love the most? There is no logic in this behaviour. Household scenes should therefore be avoided as much as possible, in order to hope for a long and happy relationship.
Differences Between Men and Women: What You Need to Know to Keep the Flame Alive in Your Relationship
“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” is a book published in the United States in 1992 that has been a resounding success around the world. It describes the fundamental differences between men and women. The book, written by John Gray, outlines some typical behaviours that enable each sex to better understand how the other sex works.
The underlying advice for a lasting relationship is: give the other person what they need, not what you would like to receive yourself! Many couples fall into this trap. Yet men’s expectations are completely different from women’s, especially in love. Women’s essential need is to receive small attentions on a daily basis and to feel understood. Men, on the other hand, are more sensitive to the appreciation and trust of their partner.
To build a stable couple, both sexes must therefore meet the specific needs of their partner. Otherwise, all the efforts made to make the relationship last may have no effect other than to create frustration and misunderstandings.
Men and women live on completely different planets and have completely different views on life. Sometimes these are unconscious programmes. Men, for example, have a deep fear of abandonment. This is linked to the oedipal feeling forged in childhood. At the beginning of his life, the young boy is in love with his mother and remains very close to her. The little girl is also glued to her mother, but in love with her father. When the time comes for the mother to make her children independent by pushing them “out of the nest”, the little girl finds refuge with her father. The little boy feels cruelly abandoned by the woman he loves. This is a feeling, admittedly unconscious, but one that is ingrained in the minds of men as adults. This explains, in part, why some of them prefer to systematically flee for fear of being left by their spouses.
Ladies, don’t hesitate to compliment your partners and show them your confidence. You will be amply rewarded! Gentlemen, regain confidence, not in women, but in yourself first and foremost, and in the fact that you are not someone who is systematically abandoned.
Another important difference between the two sexes is that women and men work in cycles. Women function in cycles. Their lives are governed by the production and fluctuation of hormones. Their desires and needs change throughout their lives: before, during and after menstruation; before, during and after pregnancy; before, during and after menopause.
When she meets the man she has chosen to become the father of her children, the woman will tend to fully inhabit her relationship and to satisfy her lover. Pregnancy may lead her to invest in the relationship differently. But everything really changes when the child is born. This is what we call matrescence; the moment when the woman becomes a mother. This is often a difficult period for both parents. The woman experiences emotional fulfilment through contact with her baby. However, she also struggles with the invasiveness of this arrival, the management of time, the alienation of her body, etc. All of this can lead her to put off having a baby. All this can lead her to push the father away, who does not understand what is happening. The relationship can then become very fragile.
Rest assured, gentlemen, this does not mean that the situation will last forever. The advice is to be patient, understanding and supportive towards your partner. Your little attention will be welcome.
Ladies, keep in mind your partner’s fear of abandonment. Reassure him and encourage him in his role as a young father. It will also be up to you to reinvest in your sensuality and bring a little lightness into your new vision of sexuality.
What if Perseverance Was the Key to Lasting Love?
Going through life with a loved one is one of the most beautiful adventures there is. However, the trend in recent years has been towards shorter relationships. According to psychologists, couples used to stay together for many years and separations were made for “valid” reasons (domestic violence, etc.). Today, the most common reason for breaking up is boredom.
Be careful not to confuse boredom with routine. Routine is normal. In the age of artificial intelligence, it is also the price of the automation of tasks that frees up time.
So routine is not the problem. Some people even call it “the art of living essential to happiness”. In love, it can take the form of little rituals to keep the flame burning and the bond of love alive. Everyone is free to wrap it up in creativity.
Experts also warn of the confusion that reigns between a state of love, which generally lasts three years, and true love. Couples find it difficult to move towards a slower feeling.
They follow the frenetic pace of modern life and the acceleration generated by the digital boom. It is now rare to take the time to let love emerge. Everything has to go fast. Let’s remember that the early outpourings of love has nothing to do with pure and deep feelings.
By leaving the other person at the slightest obstacle, we miss the experience of perseverance and patience. Perseverance in love means being willing to explore the deep. Perhaps it is worth experiencing what emerges from an invested relationship other than on the surface? Love deserves to be given the latitude to settle and take its place within the couple.
It takes time to love—and willpower too.
As you can see, making your relationship last is a full-time job. It requires going through each of the stages together and respecting the founding rules of any stable relationship. Let’s also bear in mind that men’s needs are quite different from those of women. There is no point in copying your own functioning to satisfy your loved one. Above all, let us be sure that perseverance, patience and understanding will be precious allies in the construction of lasting love.