We asked a variety of couples at different stages in their relationships and marriages, to provide us with quotes on what makes their relationship work and the responses were not only lovely, but in some instances quite surprising.
For example, older people (aged 55+) considered sex to be one of the most important factors of a long and happy marriage; compared to just 10% of younger couples (aged 16-24).
Laughter and communication were two other key ingredients, along with working together to build trust and as well as respecting the other person’s independence or individuality.
Here are some of the stories, which touched our hearts:
“Thinking of yourselves as a team is important. To know you are on the same side and not against each other can change your mindset about certain things. I also think that flexibility and compromise is really important. With my husband being in the military, life is full of compromise, but I don’t hold that against him. ”
Naomi Whitton, 29 – married for 6 months.
“The key to a successful relationship is communication, small displays of affection and being equal partners. And when buying a ring – as much as they can afford… the more the merrier!”
Amy Belger, 23 – engaged since October 2014, wedding July 2016
“I’d say accepting nobody is perfect, although easier said than done, is crucial to long term success. Learning to love and accept those imperfections is vital in every healthy relationship. If you can laugh about it, even better. To me, Ian is imperfectly perfect.”
Laura Miller, 28 – engaged since October 2014
“Living in someone’s pocket won’t, in my eyes, make for a healthy relationship, although you are in a partnership – you were an individual before you met, so you should keep some of that individuality. That and saying I love you every day.”
Ian Morris, 33 – engaged since October 2014
“To begin with you must have similar values, interests and a real attraction towards that person. Then honesty and trust throughout is essential. But most of all you need to bring out the best in one and other.”
Tom Dunn, 25 – in a relationship
“Communication – He understands that my career is important to me and although we need to spend time together as a couple, we should also have time apart doing things we enjoy separately from one another.”
Julia Ogden, 40 – married for 14 years
“Don’t marry someone with the thought that you’re going to change them. Try to see the best in your other half, no matter what they do and always support them – especially if it’s a life-long passion or a way of improving themselves.”
John Baker, 37 – married for 5 ½ years
“Always make sure you make time in your lives to have fun together, no matter how busy life gets.”
Karen Dunn, 48 – married for 29 years