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5 Keys To A Strong And Lasting Relationship

Dating & Relationships / June 10, 2014

For those of you that are serious and determined about keeping your love boat afloat, here are some practical things you can start doing today. 5 Keys that will help to keep your marriage or relationship going strong for years to come.

 #1  Sleep Naked

I’m all about keeping it spicy and exciting in our marriage, but my hubby actually suggested this one.  He said he read about a study that showed that couples that sleep nude together have a much stronger chance at a lasting marriage.   At first, I thought “Mmm Hmm, a study huh?, he just wants more sex.”  So I decided to do some research on the subject before we put it into practice.  It turns out I was right!  He does want more sex… but so do I.  The problem is, I tend to think my way out of having a great night in bed, because my mind is normally flooded with everything that I had to do today or I begin thinking about all of the things I have to finish tomorrow.   So chances are,  that racing mind plus head to toe pajamas will likely equal no fun time for either of us.

So here’s what I discovered about sleeping in the buff.  The theory behind sleeping naked is, couples that sleep in the nude together are more likely to have MORE sex, better sleep, less stress and a stronger bond.  Our skin is our #1 sex organ.  According to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, skin-to-skin contact releases the “love hormone”, Oxytocin.  Oxytocin is the same hormone released during birth, breastfeeding and orgasm that triggers human bonding, love and caring behaviors.

Try it out tonight and see if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, one way or another.

#2  Talk

5 Keys To A Strong And Lasting RelationshipHearing the words “talk” and “communication” drilled into our heads over and over again by relationship experts and Dr. Phil, should make us start opening up to each other right? Wrong!  What some fail to realize is that talking and communicating isn’t always so easy to do.  Many of us have different ways of communicating  and most of us have to force ourselves to even work at it.

For example, when I first began dating my hubby back in 98′, I used to write him a lot of letters.  We did talk a lot, but it was easier for me to express my deeper feelings in writing verses telling him face-to-face sometimes.   I know this may sound weird to some, but I’m a writer and songwriter, so communicating by writing has always been second nature to me.   Now, this wasn’t the way that my man communicated with me, but he cared enough about me, that soon he began writing to me as well.  Even though we would see each other regularly, at times I would write him 3 or 4 page letters expressing how I felt about him or what some of my life desires were.

When we did talk, most of the time we would joke and laugh, but we had plenty of conversations about serious things like our futures, life in general, family, education, music, marriage and so much more.

Over time, our communication changed drastically.  I no longer need to write letters.  I say what I want and am very adamant about telling him how I feel and he does the same.  But all of this took some work over a long period of time.  It wasn’t something that turned on like a light.  It took hard work and years to master.   Now there isn’t anything that we can’t talk about.  There’s no subject that’s taboo.

If you want to know what your mate is feeling, ask.  If you want to know what they think about a particular subject, ask.  Talk about it.  Make sure you know if your man wants to have children someday or not.  Is your lady happy living in her current city or state? What are their goals?  What is their faith?  Do they even believe in God?  Does he ever want to get married someday?  Does she know how to cook?

No matter how you communicate, just make sure that it’s clear, understandable and received by the  other person.  Make sure the communication is a complete circle, meaning you get a response.  If you don’t learn how to effectively talk to your mate, you’re really setting yourself up for a breakdown or failure down the road.

#3  Laugh

Whatever you do, make sure to laugh often.  Humor is an important part of any relationship.  Our apartment has semi-thin walls. There have been many late nights when I know my neighbors just want to throw shoes at us for laughing so loud & hard.  I’m sure they’re asking themselves, “What the hell is so funny? Why are they always laughing?”

I can’t live without laughing.  Laughter is such a huge stress reliever.  It makes you forget about your problems or makes a tough situation more bearable.  When going through periods of fear or grief in a relationship, having someone around to make you laugh becomes priceless.  It makes you not think about the crappy job, the screaming kids or the bills rolling in.

Sometimes laughing about our sex life can even create  a spark in the bedroom.  My hubby’s M.O. is to start a conversation about something serious by cracking a joke.  He figured out years ago that it works, so he uses it to his advantage.  Smart Man!  So just imagine the jokes that come whenever we hit a dry spell.  Kevin Hart can’t even touch us when we’re on a roll.

Keep those funny movies and stories close by because you WILL need them.

#4  Date With A Purpose

Continuing to date each other is very important.  Remember, you’re committed, not dead.  Oh and I’m not talking about sex dates. If it ends with sex, that’s perfect!  I’m talking about strictly spending quality time with each other though, doing something that is enjoyable and beneficial for both.   Dinner and a movie, after a while, can tend to get a little boring and predictable , so introducing things into your dating life that sparks a deeper interest in your mate becomes crucial over time.

Here are a few ideas

  • If one or both of you are trying to live a more active and healthy lifestyle.  Try to switch things up a bit.  Try something new like maybe going on a fitness date.  Incorporate things like a new dance class, long walks, bike rides or anything that will require vigorous physical activity.  Show them you’re interested in their health & well-being too.
  • If you or your mate are constantly busy and need to reconnect, something as simple as a romantic living room floor picnic might help restore the bond. Fondue, wine and some soft jazz can work wonders.
  • If you spend a lot of time taking care of young children, you may find your mind is occupied with child-ish things.  Planning a date that is more adult themed and sophisticated may be necessary.   Wine tastings, Art Crawls or anything cultural can make you and your partner feel like grownups again.


#5  Support

5 Keys To A Strong And Lasting Relationship

I no longer feed into the myth that relationships are about give and take.   I believe a strong relationship is always about give and give.  I give AND you give.  Neither of us take, we both receive.  I put in 100% and you put in 100%. There’s no “I put in half, you put in half”,  in my opinion.  I’d much rather be in a 200% relationship than a 100% one.  At least then, I know that I have gained something by being with you.  I’ve gained 100%.  Now that’s a better return on investment!

This was by no means an easy pill to swallow early on in our relationship though.  I was always listening to single friends and family who had no man telling me, “Girl, don’t you give nobody your all, you’ll end up with nothing.”  I was very much Miss Independent and had no intentions of doing anything that remotely resembled taking care of a man.  In fact I didn’t even like my man to carry my groceries for me.  I felt that I could do it myself, so I didn’t need his help.  I didn’t object to him taking out my trash though, but pretty much everything else was off-limits.  I soon learned that my attitude about help was very selfish.  I wasn’t allowing him to do what I believe he was made for and I wasn’t allowing myself to do what I was made for.  To be each other’s help.

Having a selfish attitude  is something that you have to put off, if you want to succeed in a long-term relationship.  It’s about pouring into someone else’s life, while they equally pour into yours.  Your partner’s goals should be important to you. Whether or not they succeed should be important to you.  Helping them to reach their potential (wherever possible) should also be your goal.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about doing everything to make someone else’s life great while yours suffers.  It is about caring about another person just as much as you care about yourself, if not more.   Now if you have problems caring about yourself or others, then that’s a major issue that needs to be dealt with professionally.  But assuming as a man or woman, you are mentally healthy, capable, strong, able-bodied and have a desire to have a lasting relationship, you have to start thinking more like a helper.  We are help meets.  In other words,  both minds should be focused on the fact that “I am here to help you prosper in life.

If you feel that your partner isn’t supporting you as much as you need, then don’t hesitate to Talk about it.  Tell them how you feel immediately.  If they genuinely care about your feelings, they will make every effort to meet your need.


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Candice S
Founder, Editor-in-Chief of Women's Lifestyle Blog, Naturally Stellar NaturallyStellar Candice is a passionate entrepreneur and business professional with a love for beauty, fashion, music, natural hair and great food. When she's not busy being a rock star mom, an awesome wife or catching up on her British dramas on Netflix, you can find her sharing something interesting on her blog.

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on June 11, 2014

I love, love, love this article! Though I would try #1 just because I want more sex too, I think it hit upon some important points that affect most relationships where sex/intimacy is either lacking or just not occurring enough! #’s 2 and 3 are things I LIVE by, and Preach, and push whenever possible! #4 is something my wife and I have tried to do, but you also bring up some great points about mixing things up, because dinner/movie does get boring after awhile! I’m on the hunt for new activities in my area now so that my wife and I can enjoy some quality time, while having fun doing something different! And #5…WOW! You really nailed it there! I hear that old adage all the time, about giving 50% each, and wonder why folks never understand, that means you’re only half in it!!! I’m all about trying to give my 100% and I think my wife is trying to give hers. I think there are some things I could do better, so I’m learning to really LISTEN to my wife’s needs. But like you said, we also need to TALK and communicate our needs, and maybe learn something new about our relationship that can help us grow even further! Thanks for this great post! LOVE IT!

    on June 11, 2014

    I’m so glad that you liked it. It’s so great to hear the fellas perspectives. Sounds like you and your wife are a great couple and all that hard work the 2 of you keep putting in is gonna keep paying off. Cha-ching!

on June 11, 2014

Hi Jay, I’m by no means an expert at relationships, but based on my experience I’ve learned that how we communicate is an individual thing. It’s not a men do it this way, women do it that way kind of thing IMO. The way I used to communicate, I’m sure isn’t how millions of other women do it. My partner and I had to learn each others ways and learn how to get our points across to the other in an effective way. There aren’t enough hours in a day or years in a lifetime to try and figure out the opposite sex.

But that’s the beautiful thing. I don’t believe we’re supposed to. Which is why I think long term relationships allow us the chance to get to know someone so deep that 1st in line under God, you understand them the most. That’s what creates the strong bond, respect & deeper love. You’ve spent the most time with them, you’ve talked to them the most, you’ve experienced things with them in a different way than outside friends, you get to know their bodies and know the real soul that other people tend to overlook. I do agree with you that we should learn more about our design though.

Now onto the nudity. I would recommend sleeping nude together as much as you can. I’m sure it may be hard to do it ALL the time, but the more the merrier!

on June 11, 2014

A very interesting read.

I love what you say about “give and give”. The “take” in the more traditional phrase always had me a little uncomfortable.

All 5 points are excellent ones. I think laughter is incredibly beneficial for a relationship. If you have a partner with whom you can laugh at almost anything with then its a wonderful sign for the future. As you say, it gets people through the dry spells, as well as the unexpected bumps in life.

    on June 12, 2014

    Thanks Edward. Yeah I don’t like “taking” things from people LOL. But I love it when they give me good things.

on June 14, 2014

Such a wise article. I have learned that you will never be happy in a relationship until you learn that your number one priority is giving to the other person! Relationships are all about pouring yourself out for the other person, and learning to be unselfish. Laughter is also very important. Excellent read!

on June 13, 2017

[…] are a few ideas I shared in an article I wrote for The Sexy Single Mommy a few years back. These are great examples of planning ahead and […]

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