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Soaking up all the wisdom you can from relationship therapists, researchers, matchmakers, and more.Here, we've distilled it down to the very best advice 15 experts have learned.As part of Committed, we're exploring partnerships ranging from a textbook marriage between high-school sweethearts to a gay couple creating a life together in the conservative deep South.has taught us anything, it's that relationships are messy.Partners should be especially sure that their values match before getting into marriage.Although other differences can be accommodated and tolerated, a difference in values is particularly problematic if the goal is long-lasting love.
When that exchange is mutually satisfying, then good feelings continue to flow.Relationships simply evolve into what they were always meant to be.It’s best not to try to make something that is meant to be seasonal or temporary into a lifelong relationship.When people feel recognized as special and appreciated, they're happier in that relationship and more motivated to make the relationship better and stronger. Make small gestures that show you're paying attention: Hug, kiss, hold hands, buy a small gift, send a card, fix a favorite dessert, put gas in the car, or tell your partner, 'You're sexy,' 'You're the best dad,' or simply say 'Thank you for being so wonderful.'"— Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., professor at Oakland University and author of "There’s no such thing as a failed romance.
Hang out with girlfriends until late in the evening, take a weekend trip to visit family, or just spend time 'doing you' for a while. D., assistant professor of communication, Texas State University"'You are my everything' is a lousy pop-song lyric and an even worse relationship plan. Create relationships outside The Relationship, or The Relationship isn't going to work anymore."— Matt Lundquist, LCSW, couples therapist"Sex isn't just about orgasms.