QUIZ: Don't Ditch Your Relationship Too Soon!

Don't Ditch Your Relationship Too Soon!

Here's my advice to help you through the hurdles to a longer lasting love

A recent report confirms what I've suspected all along: if you muddle through the bad times of long-term love you’ll be happier people. Once you've been through thick and thin, forging a deep bond, you understand how good it is to face the world with your partner at your side.

Take my quick quiz to decide if you've got staying power or if you'll run at the first hurdle. Circle the answers that best match how you usually feel.

1/ if your partner springs a surprise guest on you you're likely to pull him aside and tell him off

Yes                   No

2/ you send him out with a shopping list and he gets a bit "creative" with what you asked for so you’d blow a fuse

Yes                   No

3/ the first sign of a row and you storm off to the bedroom, kitchen - anywhere but where he is

Yes                   No

4/ if you're unhappy with him he’s unlikely to get any sex

Yes                   No

5/ he fails to guess what’s bothering you so you get in a huff

Yes                   No

6/ when you've argued you turnover and go to sleep without making up

Yes                   No

7/ his little habits/quirks have grown into big annoyances in your mind

Yes                   No

8/ there's no contest - it's far more fulfilling to chat to a girlfriend then to him

Yes                   No

9/ you're right 99.9% of the time in any discussion, disagreement or row

Yes                   No

10/ you’ll cajole, whine, plead - anything to get whatever it is that you want from the colour of soft furnishings to where you go on holiday

Yes                   No

6+ No answers: You're a 'Stayer'!  

Luckily you may be avoiding the pitfalls of those who can’t stick at a relationship. You've got a great chance to benefit from long-term love. You’ve a good foundation so try these to enhance your staying power:

*Develop a "we, we, we" attitude rather than a "me, me, me" attitude. You're in it together for the good of your partnership. It's easy to slip into a selfish mode when, say, things get tough at work and all you can think about is your situation. Always aim to hang on to "we" thinking - and the solutions, choices and decisions that benefit you both.

*Be prepared to accept responsibility for less-than-good or neglectful behaviour towards your partner. No one can be a saint all the time and when you let things slip a heartfelt sorry will go a long way to healing the problem.

*Take time to listen to your partner rather than pay lip service to what they say. It's easy to get into the bad habit of nodding your head but not taking in what they are saying. Such neglect piles up, eroding your relationship.

*Likewise, be clear when you need to challenge your partner's behaviour or ask for something you need. Sit them down for a face to face chat; always emphasising the good things you share before you bring up any concerns.

*Freshen things up from time to time by trying something new together and generally having fun. We’re facing a very uncertain two or three years and more than ever you should cherish the happy moments that keep your relationship strong.

*Finally if you answered Yes to 3, 5, 7 and/or 9 see the advice below.

6+ Yes answers: You're a 'Runner'

Uh oh, you'll be running for the hills sooner rather than later particularly if your Yes answers included 3, 5, 7 and/or 9. You're likely to throw ‘wobblies’, give the cold shoulder and generally behave as if your relationship revolves around you. I've got news for you - there are two of you sharing it!

*Begin by learning to face difficulties with your partner. If you storm off at the first sign of trouble (Q 3) how will you ever fixed anything? Yes, sometimes people need to get away for a few moments and calm down. But then they go back and face things and sort them out.

*Remember he's not a mind reader (Q 5). Communication is not a guessing game! Even if you've been together 10 years you shouldn't expect that he knows what you’re thinking. Always spell things out - tactfully and calmly.

*There’s something about once-fanciable quirks/habits that time transforms into really annoying ones (Q 7). Stop yourself in your tracks if you find yourself thinking about the annoying little things he does - what about the ones you do? Whenever these things begin to grate quickly remind yourself of the things you do that might grate on him. Then it becomes a level playing field where you're less annoyed by these things.

*Do you believe that you’re right all the time and your way is best (Q 9)? This is a common pitfall of people who don't have staying power. It's time to see that there are always more than one way of looking at something. Who knows, sometimes his way may be quicker, easier or better. A word of warning - people who are always "right" rarely stay in relationships.

*Now check out the advice above to help you gain staying power.

Published in The Express Newspaper

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