Most of us strive to keep our relationships going as strong and for long as possible, so what’s the secret to making that happen? Turns out that the answer isn’t solely about frequent date nights and communication — which are both still important — but instead all starts with a solid foundation. We talked to relationship coach Tara Caffelle, who knows a thing or two about love, and we learned what lasting couples have most in common.
“Couples who are friends, who have a lasting friendship, who deeply care about each other as people, not just sexual partners to be married to, when they have this deeper basis, everybody benefits,” Tara said. “Their relationship lasts, it’s more enduring and durable and fulfilling for both of them.”
For two people who can switch between partner and friend, there’s a deeper level of intimacy and trust that holds you together.
Tara continued to explain that as a result, the children in their lives (their own or their nieces and nephews) also benefit and learn from this relationship model. When a relationship is built primarily on sex or the idea that partners can’t serve in multiple roles, it doesn’t have much to fall back on when things get tough. But for two people who can switch between spouse/partner and friend, there’s a deeper level of intimacy and trust that holds you together.
But that doesn’t mean your significant other has to be your best friend in order for you two to work. It’s unlikely that he or she shares every single interest of yours, and that’s where girl friends and guy friends come in — not to compete, but to supplement.
“We have different friends for different needs, but the base of it is that our spouse should be one of our dearest friends; we should be building our relationship on a strong friendship foundation,” she said. “And I would actually say that we need to have external best friends, as well, to keep it balanced and to keep ourselves well-rounded.”