A lasting relationship is like a marathon. Relationships that start off hot and heavy may not be able to go the distance, but those with a slow and steady burn can last for years. What makes the difference? Below are seven common threads found among long-lasting, healthy relationships. You’re Able to Laugh at Yourself and Each Other This is not laughing at one another with contempt or making fun of the other person, but rather not taking yourself too seriously. Sharing a laugh together about the quirks in yourself, your partner, and your relationship admits things that could be viewed as negatives in a lighthearted way. Shaking your head and laughing together about poor decisions in the past and admitting your own selfishness are good indicators of a lasting relationship. You Assume the Best About Each Other If your partner does something that seems unkind or insensitive, then you give them the benefit of the doubt. Instead of blaming them, you assume they had good intentions and weren’t purposely trying to hurt you. Share the way you feel and try to work together towards a solution in the future, or accept the person you chose as they are. You Find Ways to Show Your Love Daily Loving your partner every day can be a challenge. Letting your partner know you appreciate, value, and care for them is important to do in little ways each day. Making a cup of coffee in the morning or telling your partner you appreciate their hard work are great ways to express your love. Developing these caring habits makes your relationship more likely to continue long term. You Avoid Keeping Score In an ideal world, couples would do loving things for each other without expecting anything back; giving freely would be enough of a reward. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case as many times couples do things for the other person in order to get something in return. The problem is greater than a change in focus from giving to getting; with this attitude, couples are likely to bring out a scorecard during arguments of who does what. Instead of playing the scorekeeper and wishing your partner would make things fair, try communicating what you want. For example, if you both dislike washing the dishes, suggest alternating weeks instead of counting up the number of times you have washed dishes compared to your partner. You’re Both on the Same Page Sharing values in areas where it matters most makes your relationship more likely to last. In general, your likelihood of having a lifelong relationship increases the more similar you are in terms of the most important things in life, like money, religion, and whether or not to have children. Having a serious discussion about values early on in a relationship is a good idea since these views are unlikely to change much. You Face Problems Together Problems are a normal part of life, and couples who tackle them head on instead of trying to avoid them are more likely to have a lasting relationship. Viewing problems as opportunities to grow, develop your relationship, and strengthen your commitment is a way to create a stronger, more secure relationship. You Both Take Responsibility for Mistakes When each partner accepts responsibility for their part in creating challenging dynamics, it makes a big difference. Realizing and admitting when you are acting from an upset or defensive place instead of a calm and connected place helps build a lasting, committed relationship. Developing strong relationships takes time and effort, but it’s well worth the challenges. No matter where you are in your relationship, whether you are engaged or have been together for years, taking time to develop some of these healthy attitudes can help your relationship grow stronger. If you are in the midst wedding planning and are feeling overwhelmed, hiring a professional wedding planner can help you get back on track. They cut the stress of wedding planning, so that you can relax and focus on things that are more important, like your relationship. All wedding planning is stressful, but with a professional wedding planner, you can feel like a guest at your own wedding.