By Felicia T. Simpson

No matter if you’re dating or married, I believe that every successful and long lasting relationship, should include the following tips:

Communication – I don’t care what the subject is, I’ve learned that you must communicate with your partner.  Don’t assume that your partner knows what you’re thinking.  Men and women speak different languages, so spend time throughout the day talking to your partner or they will find someone else who has a listening ear.  Don’t just talk at your partner, utilize those active listening skills you’ve learned around the third grade.  It doesn’t take much time or effort to schedule daily talks with your partner.

Date Nights – Schedule date nights with your partner.  Don’t ever stop dating your partner.  Dates don’t have to be expensive either.  My favorite date idea in the summer time are picnics in the park by water.  You can purchase a $5 footlong sandwich from Subway, bring a blanket, water and/or wine, turn on a music app on your phone and that’ll cost you about $25 total.  Plus, it’s another perfect way to just adore nature and communicate with your partner.  You have to get in the habit of taking your partner OUTSIDE of the house because Netflix and chilling gets old real, quick.  Don’t let work and the kids distract you from going on dates with your partner.  Close your eyes and try to remember, those first three dates you went on with your partner?  Remember how excited you felt?  Get that romance back by being in the habit of going out on dates, no excuses!

Money – I don’t know who I’m about to preach to but YOU NEED MONEY TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP!   You and your partner have to be comfortable talking about money with each other.   No matter what your relationship status is, or your role in the relationship is, both partners should be included in all financial decisions.  Love don’t pay the bills, buy the house, start the business, raise the kids, etc., YOU NEED MONEY, amen? AMEN!  

Trust – If you lack trust………STOP RIGHT HERE AND GO GET YOUR ENTIRE LIFE TOGETHER!  You CANNOT be in a healthy relationship of any kind if you lack trust.  That was a word right there!  I’ve dated so many men who lack trust and it’s so nerve wrecking.  Who wants to be in a relationship with someone and you’re consistently feeling like you’re filling out a survey every time you leave that person’s sight.  It’s a TURN-OFF!  Please, if you don’t trust your partner because of multiple infidelities in the past, exit stage to the left and go be free and bad by yo’ damn self.  If you don’t trust your partner because of something that happened to you in your past, GO GET THYSELF HEALED IMMEDIATELY!

Individual Hobbies/Friends – Last but not least, have your own life.  Don’t be one of those clingy partners.  Learn how to have your own individual hobbies or friends separate from your partner.  Learn how to miss each other.  I admire couples who work and play together, BUT I need my own space sometimes and as the saying goes, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”  I love when my partner goes off and does his own thing.  It gives me time to enjoy some “me time” or hang out with a friend and talk about “girl things.” Go shoot hoops with the fellas or start hosting mani’s and mimosa parties at your home.  Whatever you choose to do, stay within the boundaries set in your relationships.