Do you want it to last?

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No one would build a house without professional expertise. Why then do so many of us try to build
a relationship based on nothing but a feeling.
Here are some tips on building a solid, life-long and happy relationship. 

When building a house we would include so many skilled craftsmen in the process. How much more important is to get competent advice when you want to build a solid and stable, life-long relationship? This tenth and last section ends the series "Find the one" and introduces a new series on living together happily for the rest of your lives. It is called "Happy together"

If you have just found an ideal partner, or you are in the early stages of a new relationship, there are a couple of things you should take time to consider. The sooner you think these things over, the better. It is in the start of a relationship that you set the course for its future development.


A relationship must be built

No matter how much you would like it to, a relationship will not build itself. When the infatuation grows strong and you feel like you are on the top of the world, it is easy to let your feelings take the lead. But in building a lasting relationship, you will need to do the right things and make the right choices.

A relationship is like a garden, if you let it grow wild, it will not be all that beautiful! You will have to plant, cut, water and nurture it.

When you cast something, at first the cement is soft so you can mould it before it hardens and is set in the form you have given it. How you mould it in the first stage will determine its shape and this applies to relationships as well.


Build a spiritual relationship

Making out and having sex is not a good start for a relationship. “In a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust” is the advice God gives people who want to build a good relationship (1). When physical contact comes first, you are connected to each other physically before you have time to get to really know each other and find out whether you are suited to each other.

If it is the physical attachment that holds us together, we have little foundation to build on in the future. As Christians it is natural for us to start with God (2). It is wise to start praying together and having fellowship in the Holy Spirit. Sharing your relationship with God, and talking about all the things you experience with him will link you together in a good way (3). The earlier you start praying together, the easier it will be. To seek advice from your Creator is the best thing you can do!
 

Build a good friendship

Studies have shown that friendship is one of the most important ingredients in a happy relationship. Talking a lot and getting to know each other is important. If you communicate well, you have something to build on in all phases of life.

Two individuals of a different sex will go well together, but this demands a great deal from both parties. Understanding each other takes time and both of you must make your thoughts and feelings known through words and contribute to the relationship. Daily conversation about everyday things as well as giving encouraging words to each other are of utmost importance. Bodily contact can never make up for lacking a good dialogue with your partner.


Invest in the relationship

The law of sowing and reaping applies to all areas of life. A relationship where both parties give more than they take will end with surplus. We use many years of our lives to get an education, but little of this time is given towards learning about how to function well with other people. We must therefore, take responsibility for ourselves in this regard. Reading books about relationships and communication throughout our lives is a good investment. Learning from others that live in good relationships is extremely enriching.

Remember! No one is born as a good partner. We all have to learn how to be “the One”!
 

Involve other people

All couples should have at least one other couple with good experience that they can talk to from the very start. No one is so stupid as to build a house without professional expertise. How much more important is it to get competent advice when you want to build a solid and stable, life-long relationship?

Do not wait until you run into trouble to involve other people. Involving “professionals” in your relationship early on can help you avoid most of the problems that may lie ahead.

Many couples cut almost all contact with other friends when they hook up. That is not a very good idea! You do not have to be alone together hours on end every day to build a good relationship. It is important to continue building good friendships on both sides, and as a couple to spend time with other people.

  1. 1. Thessalonians 4:4-5 (NIV)
  2. “Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning” (Proverbs 1:7. The Message).
  3. Ephesians 5: 18-20. (A Norwegian translation reads: “Talk a lot with each other about the Lord.”)