If you’re of the opinion that relationships don’t last as long as they used to, then you may be on to something: a survey conducted in 2014 found that the average length of relationships was just 2 years and 9 months. Meanwhile, we are often told that relationships back in our parents days were different, stronger, and more likely to last.
And while everything back in your parent’s generation might not have been great (bellbottom pants?) there were definitely some things that were practiced in their time that helped to make relationships stronger that are no longer present nowadays.
Here are seven things you can learn from your parents in having a good relationship today.
- Get your parents approval – Yes, I know we’re living in 2016. The truth is, for relationships in past generations getting your parents approval was a critical first step in dating. Parents can often see potential issues and challenges that may arise in your relationship that you or even your peers may not be able to see thanks to their experience and ability to distance themselves from your personal situation.
- Stay through the rough times – one of the biggest things you can learn from your parents is how to stay in a relationship even through the tough times. It’s not that your parent’s relationship didn’t have their ups and downs or issues – it was their willingness stay in the relationship and focus on working things out that often caused relationships to stand the test of time.
- Understand each other’s roles – By understanding your own roles and those of your partner you will be able to communicate better and come to a clearer understanding of each other. In your parent’s generations, partners had specific, clearly defined roles that they adhered to. This does not mean that you need to stick to “traditional” roles, just that you and your partner should discuss and agree on what to expect of each other.
- Respect their family – Your parents would have understood the important place that family plays in any relationship and ensure that they are respected. Family, especially parents, can carry a high level of influence in the success (or demise) of a relationship. If there’s a lot of friction or negative feelings from your or your partners family about your relationship, things can quickly begin falling apart as they directly or indirectly influence how you or your partner feel about each other.
- Find someone with a common background – In your parents’ generation, relationships were often formed due to meeting another person with a common interest or background, such as going to the same school or living in the same area. With technology influencing relationships, people from literally any part of the globe and background can now meet and start relationships. While this does have benefits, there are also drawbacks. Relationships with people from significantly different backgrounds and interests tend to be shorter. By engaging in relationships with persons from a similar background, you will increase your chances of your relationship lasting longer.
- Be willing to compromise – Your parents, like many others of their generation, were far more willing to compromise in order to continue a long and healthy relationship. In times where relationships can quickly devolve into “my way or the highway” ultimatums, it may be beneficial to examine if there are ways in which you can compromise to improve your relationship.
- Engage in genuine relationships – In the past relationships were more likely to be founded in genuine love, understanding, and care for their partner. However, relationships today often are established on shakier ground – with reasons such as wanting to emotionally escape from another relationship or rebellion being motivating factors. When engaging in relationships, it is important to establish whether your reasons for engaging in a relationship are genuine or superficial.
What do you think about the differences between your parents’ generation and now? Share your opinions in the comments section below.