They say that opposites attract. So what happens to love faced with obstacles of dissimilar backgrounds, different belief systems or geographical distance? Does it signal impending doom of a lasting relationship? Major differences do have an impact on whether or not love will last, but the good news is there are things you can do to ensure you don’t fall victim to circumstance – no matter how intricate your situation.
Look at the differences
Conflicting beliefs need to be addressed, if only so lovers can better understand each other. And though no single difference can guarantee that a love won’t work, let’s face it, there are deal breakers (i.e. Do you want kids? Do you want to build a life in the city or country?). At some point or another, it’s important that you assess them.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you’re in love, things that you’ve always held dear (religion, lifestyle, political beliefs – whatever you care about) don’t really matter. Likewise, if long distance is cool for you now, but only for the short-term, that also needs to be addressed. Naturally it’s up to the two of you to decide what your non-negotiable key points are, but if you don’t discuss them, it’s not fair to harbor resentment later for the difference or disagreement.
Similarly, no relationship can transcend troubles without complete honesty – though it may not seem like it in the early throes of love, even the simplest of situations will eventually encounter the occasional rocky patch. For this reason (and a list of others too long to name) it’s vital that you tell your partner the truth about your feelings related to any potential conflicts, to avoid unnecessary hurt and unmet expectation in the future. This enables both partners to act from a place of honesty – and trust, even in the face of adversity.
Be a team
One last key component to overcoming obstacles and making love last – one that comes up far too infrequently in our individualistic culture – is that truly committed partners need to consider themselves a team. While they may not always agree and most certainly are not always right (individually or as part of a pair), they are each other’s advocates. In good times and bad, knowing deep down that you can always count on your lover for a shoulder to cry on or as a cheerleader for your victories is the glue that holds you together… And one real way to help ensure all those differences don’t really matter.
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