“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” ~ John F. Kennedy

Thoughts radiating from almost all new couples are, “Love will keep us together”. Unfortunately, the truth might be closer to, “Love has brought us together and I haven’t the foggiest idea as to what it takes to keep us together”.

Many single people believe that they can continue to live whatever lifestyle they wish once in a relationship and that their past decisions will not affect them. The truth is that lifestyle choices create patterns and habits, and these habits will not immediately disappear once you enter into a relationship.

Deciding to enter into a relationship with someone means sharing your life with another person, the good, the bad and the ugly. When merging your life with someone you can’t continue living as you did when you were single. You now have to have consideration for the other person. What they like and dislike and how they handle things.

For example finances are one of the main reasons couples break up. Singles who are accustomed to spending freely, buying whatever their hearts desire and running up debt, will tend to carry these habits into their relationship. With a partner you have to teach yourself that things can’t stay that way at least not until the bills have been paid.

Because merging two separate lives together into one can bring up all types of issues it’s best to do preventative maintenance.  Discuss ways you like to be shown affection, appreciation and love. Talk about finances, kids, family, religion and long term goals. You need to discuss as many of these things and more beforehand. There are all types of resources to assist with keeping relationships strong. Read books, do internet searches or one of my personal preferences is to go to counseling. (hush up men and get with the program!)

Counseling is best when there is no problem because no one is angry and communication is peaceful.  It can also help when you are angry but by that time usually one person has shut down and doesn’t care to listen or really fix things and getting help is more difficult.  Doing preventative maintenance can save you from having some problems in the long run and give you better chances at a longer lasting, healthy relationship.

We all hate to have failed relationships and broken hearts so take the time and do the work to try to prevent it. As with most things in life you tend to get out of it what you choose to put in it.