Keeping a long term relationship alive

LOVE: People get bored with the same old routines.

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Love.

It’s a word that seems to pop up a gazillion times in nearly every Top 40 song. It’s been used to describe everything from cotton candy-flavored bubblegum to that guy I had a crush on in my Toastmasters class.

Let me tell you about that guy from my Toastmasters class. I remember showing up for my first day of class back in January of 2012 and noticing that I was one of only a few girls there. I scanned the room like a creeper, just like I always did when I was in a room full of guys, mentally checking off “no, no, no” repeatedly because none of them were hot. Eventually though, I saw a “YES!”

This guy was a total hottie. He was 22 years old, about 5’10”, and fairly thin but not scrawny. He had short, spiky brown hair, pale white skin, brown eyes and was wearing a gray T-shirt with a T-Rex riding a bike.

In the past, I had always gotten super nervous around guys like him, but this time was different. He was surprisingly easy to talk to and we hit it off right away. I asked for his phone number during class the next week — because I’m a huge believer in not being afraid to go after things I want — then went on my first date with him a few days later.

It’s now been more than a year and a half since I first ate nachos at Paradiso with that hottie from my Toastmasters class, and I’m still crazy in love with him. How did I do it?

More importantly, how can YOU do it? I hate being too mushy, so I’m not going to go into any more details about Mr. Hottie Toastmaster. I’d much rather explain how you can find your own Mr. or Miss Hottie Whatever.

I know every relationship is different, but after having observed a lot of couples over the years, as well as experiencing many of my own romantic highs and lows, I’ve realized there are a few key points needed to maintain a successful, long-term relationship.

Independence and Trust

Please, for the love of my laptop screen, do not be that couple who is constantly all over each other’s Facebook walls.

I can’t stand it when I creep on someone and nearly every status is worded like “Thanks for the flowers, Honey Sugar Kiss! I have the bestest boyfriend ever, I love you so much, babe!”

And don’t even get me started on couples who have matching profile photos, where they’re kissing each other on the lips. Ewww.

I post about my boyfriend on social media maybe once every two weeks, at the most. I am guilty of having a profile photo with him at the moment, but that’s only because I had a stalker for a while, and I thought that would get him to leave me alone. I think it’s working.

It’s not that I don’t love my boyfriend, I just love other things too, like my major and my job as The Dakota Student’s Multimedia Editor. I would much rather be known for my career resume than as some guy’s girlfriend.

Since I love my career and my major so much, I also spend a ton of time on it. That could be very difficult to balance if I had a guy constantly texting me, wondering where I’m at.

My boyfriend and I rarely ever text each other, unless it’s to make plans. I might go a few days without hearing from him because he loves his career and his major just as much as I love mine. We both understand that kicking ass in our respective fields requires time away from each other and we respect that.

Then when I do finally get to see him, it’s that much more exciting and we have that much more to talk about.

Stay hot

The first thing I noticed about my future boyfriend was that he was hot. A year and a half later, he looks exactly the same. Hot.

A lot of people I know work hard to look hot when they’re single, so they can attract a potential partner. Once they’ve found a partner they’re comfortable with, they stop putting in effort to look hot because they no longer believe it is necessary.

It is necessary though.

A common reason for why people cheat on their partners is because they’re no longer attracted to them. Their co-worker is still hot though, and everyone likes having sex with someone who’s hot.

The simplest way to prevent a cheating partner is to always put the same amount of effort into your appearance as you did when you were single. This doesn’t mean you have to look like a supermodel, but continue to dress up for date night. Continue to work out. Continue to shower frequently and not reek of rotten Doritos. Your partner will appreciate it.

Adventure time

Dating is fun. You get to meet a lot of new people and try a lot of new things.

Relationships are supposedly boring. You’re always with the same person, every time.

They don’t have to be boring though. Keep planning fun date night activities. Keep having kinky sex. Travel the world together. Whatever you do, do not be that couple who does nothing but watch movies in your sweatpants together.

This goes back to what I mentioned earlier about staying hot. People are more likely to cheat when they’re bored. Don’t be boring.

Although there are always other factors involved that can make or break a relationship, as long as you don’t get too clingy with your partner and do your best to stay hot and fun, you will probably have no problem creating your own personal fairy tale. Just don’t brag about it too much on Facebook.

Jaye Millspaugh is the multimedia editor for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]

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