When you've kissed all the frogs you intend to, and have found what you think is the right relationship for you, you'll need to do something to make sure your relationship lasts. Just as you have to water and fertilize flowers in your garden, relationships need to be nurtured in order to thrive.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be difficult. There are a number of small things you can do to keep your relationship on track.

1. Don't take your honey for granted.

Let him know you appreciate him (or her). When you are dating, you typically notice all the things that person does for you. You take the time to show your appreciation either through word or deed.

Unfortunately, later in the relationship, we may take each other for granted. At the very least, we may not take the time to let the other person know their efforts are appreciated. If you've ever been on the receiving end of people taking your efforts for granted, you know how irritating and frustrating this can be.

A little appreciation goes a long way. Say "thanks," or do something special in return. When each person in a couple is appreciating the other, the love tends to grow, and there is mutual understanding that both the person and relationship is valuable.

2. Take time to communicate on an ongoing basis.

Communication is the key to making a relationship last. But remember that communication doesn't only mean "talking." Real communication involves a lot of listening. It involves an attempt to understand the other person's point of view.

In any relationship, people don't always see eye to eye, even if they love each other. You will need to understand your partner's point of view, even if you don't agree with it.

3. Continue to date each other.

This involves spending time together enjoying each other's company like you did when you were just getting to know each other.

Sometimes people think this is contrived, but it is vitally important. When couples have been together for awhile, they get swept up in the demands of everyday life--kids, bills, and parallel activities (like watching TV).

One really good way to put romance and interest back into a relationship is to spend time together doing something different than the daily routine. Get dressed up. Go someplace special, someplace where you don't usually go. Challenge yourselves to find something unique and interesting to do. Make a regular date and don't let anything get in its way.

4. Dream together.

When a couple looks forward to something it changes their perspective on each other and on their life together. This can be something as small as planning that date together or planning a vacation. It can be something as big as planning what they are going to do when they retire. The act of planning for something in the future together allows you to recommit to each other and your future. When you are sharing a common vision, it is a chance to bond with each other.

5. When there is conflict (and there WILL be conflict), it isn't about "winning."

One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to WIN arguments in a relationship. If you are focused on winning, you aren't focused on making the relationship last.

Relationships involve communication, connection and compromise, all done consistently. When you do that, you have a better than average chance of making your love for the "right person" last.

(c) 2008 Linda S. Pucci, Ph.D.

Author's Bio: 

Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a psychologist, life coach, trainer and owner of Inner Resource Center, LLC. She has more than 30 years of experience helping people overcome obstacles and self-sabotage by using her solution focused approach. She specializes in helping her clients get rid of "emotional clutter"--those negative emotions and limiting beliefs that block their success and happiness. Linda is dedicated to helping people find the resources they need to transform their lives. For more information and free resources, go to http://www.InnerResourceCenter.com .