Relationships are never easy. And the longer you stay in a relationship, the easier it is to drift into routine, killing the original romance.
Some say it is currently a tough time for romance - the National Statistics office figures showing that during recession divorce rates tend to rise.
However, many couples successfully go through lots of crises like illness, unemployment and health problems - coming out even stronger. They''re "Lasting couples" - so what''s their secret?
1. Lasting Couples know how to communicate
Lasting Couples donít just talk about electricity bills and the mundane practicalities of life. They''re interested in what is important to their partner - whether it be their day at work, their friends, their feelings or even a game they enjoy playing.
Quiet time is important too - if youíre feeling low or stressed after a tiring day at work you need to be truthful about this so that your partner doesnít take it personally when you don''t want to talk.
Lasting Couples are able to talk well together and to enjoy comfortable periods of silence.
2. Lasting Couples adapt to change
In a relationship, there are times when the boat starts rocking, but it is important to adapt to changes rather than jumping ship.
Itís not easy to see your partner suffer, or go through a crisis like losing a job or if you both end up in a tight financial situation.
Lasting Couples are strong and support one another in the tough times.
3. Lasting couples share a life routemap
At some point you need to have a frank discussion about what your partner feels about the really ''Big'' things: marriage, children/family, and careers. This is important so each of you knows what the other wants and expects.
It is rare to find a happy lasting couple that have radically different aspirations in these major issues.
4. Lasting Couples are kind to one another
Being kind is one of the most valuable secrets of a happy relationship. It sounds simple - but "Niceness" is often under-rated.
5. Lasting Couples don''t stop dating
No matter how long theyĎve been together, Lasting Couples still make some time for romance as it energises and rekindles their love.
Ignore this at your peril. It is easy to slip into the routine of a totally practical relationship when you are both stressed out with work, children and financial worries. In this case you may find yourself drifting apart emotionally and one of you could end up being tempted by some new person who shows interest and affection.
Making time for romantic dates - whether it is a walk on the beach, a lovely sunset, or a candle light dinner - is a great way of stopping your relationship going stale.
For five more attributes see our follow up article "Secrets of Lasting Couples: Part 2"