How to be happy spending 10 years together…

Just for a moment, imagine that it is 10 years in the future and you have been in a great relationship for the past ten years.

You could be imagining a thousand happy events. A walk through the flowers in spring. Great sex. Marriage. A child. Breakfast in bed. A holiday in Canada … or Peru. Winning a round of bowling. Getting blasted at painball.

Couple happy in long-term relationship

But, as we select our future happy memories, what were the important factors that let us create those happy memories?

So what is important day-to-day in a long-term relationship?

the number one most important factor about a long-term relationship is the amount of time the two of you will spend together. Let us say for the sake of argument that you and your future partner spend 2,5 hours a day spending time together (not including sleeping). Over 10 years, that means spending approximately 9 000 hours together!

If you are going to spend 9 000 hours in the same room as someone else, what is going to be important to you?

What they look like? Their smell? Do you enjoy listening to them? Is touching them pleasurable?

Everyone has their own mix of what is important and today I don’t want to focus on the mix itself. Instead, I what to focus things you can expect your partner to change to increase your pleasure of being together.

In other words, if you go out on a date tonight, the person you meet up with will not be perfect. Ideally, she will meet your ideals and interests by about 60-90%.

So what things can you realistically expect to improve over time … and what things will you have to live with?

If we are honest with ourselves, most men are interested in how attractive the woman is. That is fair enough. You want to have someone you enjoy looking at every day. But how easily can a woman change her looks? To be honest, this can change fairly easily and quickly over time. A new hair cut, fresh clothes, and a diet to loose a few pounds/kilos. All of a suden, a wallflower has become the most attractive woman in the room. (This goes for us men too!)

What about a woman’s voice? In my late teens there was a girl in my brother’s class who had a wonderful voice. Every time she called, I was always happy to listen to her talk regardless of what she was actually talking about. But how easily can a woman change her voice? Not very easily is the answer.

Body odor is something that most people react subconsiously to and our ability to change our smell is limited. There will always be a natural part of our body odor which is genetic and we cannot change. Other parts depend on our diet, sex, hormones, etc. For example, a person’s smell will change significanlty if they move from a diet with high dairy content to one with spicy food for several months. Our personal body odor is also mixed with the soaps, deoderants, and perfumes which we use.

Touch is also something that another person can learn. It requires an open honesty, but can be a real game changer long term. Everything from holding hands, to kissing, hugging, and sex can become so much more if you are willing to put the effort in.

So what does this mean for you on your first date?

How she looks: Instead of rating her from 1-10 right away, it might be worth asking yourself does she have the potential to become attractive to you? Obviously, she is not going to grow taller/shorter than a pair of heels will let her, but everything else is pretty much open to change, if she is really that into you…

How she talks: Do you enjoy listening to her talk? If her voice is really anoying, this is probably not going to change. Be honest with yourself, can you live with this? If you enjoy listening to her and admire how she thinks, consider this a major plus!

How she smells: You are probably not going to find out how she smells coming straigt out of the shower with no perfume, on a first date. But, do you like the way she smells now? (A good time to find this out is with a quick a hug either when you first meet or while saying goodby…

How she touches: definitely a learnable skill that you can look forward to developing together…

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