4 Tips to Making Your Relationship Last

Ariane Marder, Glamour magazine

My sister Danielle and her husband Clay will be together twenty years next month. As long as I can remember, I've looked to my sister's relationship as a blueprint for what I've wanted for my own love life. It was always something to strive for-proof that there were good men out there, despite my particular gift for picking the wrong ones. When my single friends and I would get discouraged by stories of divorce or unhappy marriages, our go-to line was always, "Well, at least there's Clay and Danielle!" So, in honor of their two-decade anniversary, here are four relationship tips for making it last:

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1. Give Potential-Mr.-Right a shot even if you're not totally sold at first.

Danielle and Clay met in college and although legend has it that he knew he wanted to date her right away, it took Dan time to warm up. Actually, they didn't even hook up until the night before graduation! Just goes to show you that sometimes you need to take a chance on someone even if you aren't so certain.

2. Pick someone with whom you can laugh-a lot.

My sister is a very serious person, but when she feels comfortable, she is one of the funniest people I know. Recently, my sister's best friend from college (who is also married to her college sweetheart) said that she loved coming to dinner because Dan and Clay were always laughing and joking. Even Wyatt, my 5-year-old nephew wanted to know, "Why do you and Daddy laugh all the time? It hurts my ears."

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3. Choose a partner you like.

Most of you are probably face-palming over the obviousness of this, but soooo many times, people are so blinded by chemistry, sex and the desire to just be with someone, they forget to check to see if they actually like the person. Danielle and Clay truly enjoy each other's company and respect one another's ideals. Crucial for a happy long-term relationship.

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4. Compatibility isn't everything, but it's key.

This is the one piece of advice I always come back to. The fact of the matter is that if you're going to spend your life together, it helps if you enjoy some of the same things. My sister and her husband love to wile away an afternoon with a book (although with three kids, that's likely an anomaly these days). I love going out to eat and being an adventurous eater, so I tend to end up with boyfriends that are like-minded.This doesn't have to apply to every aspect of someone's life. Clay loves to Rollerblade (so 90's of him) and Danielle wouldn't be caught dead in a pair. Snob (KIDDING, Dan!).

Do you have a couple in your life that you look to for advice and inspiration? What tips have you gleaned?


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