I'm gonna start with a cliche: Relationships are like flowers that will not bloom unless taken care of, nurtured and loved.

Ok, now before you run off and stick your head into the toilet, let me explain myself. When we fall in love, we usually think that love is all that we'll need to be happy together. That love will withstand any obstacle hurled at us and that it will fight against all odds. Right?

WRONG. Love is only one small part that keeps relationships going. And other than love, what we need is a whole lot of understanding and effort. And we probably only realise this after we've had our very first big fight and find that forgiving and loving is harder than you think.

With this in mind, here are seven ways to make your relationship last:-

1. Keep the lines of communication open.
So, you've read this in possibly every relationship guide book, but we really cannot emphasize on the importance of communication enough! If you don't know how to express your feelings and/or have poor listening skills, learn to get better at both. If there's a key to happiness in every relationship, it will probably be communication, and not just love.

2. Don't sweep your fights under the rug and think they'll magically resolve themselves.
Learn to practice this: Before you go to bed each night, talk about what's bothering the both of you and try to avoid getting over-emotional. Put your arguments forth by trying to avoid throwing accusations and use words like "You never...", "You always..." Even if it's true. Resolve your arguments as soon as possible because if you don't, it'll end up getting worse and pretty soon, the argument will get so big, there's not even an option to solving it anymore.

3. Remember that you love your partner; therefore you want the best for him/her.
This might be hard to do, especially when you're in a heated argument. Take a few minutes to calm down, and realise that you may not be looking at your problems objectively to be able to judge correctly or fight fairly. Talk to your partner and never make assumptions. Because assumptions as they are, are only assumptions and most of the times, you may find that the assumptions you make are wrong and unjust.

4. Don't take your partner for granted.
This is something that people don't usually remember, especially when they've been in a long-term relationship. Why not tell your partner something that you appreciate everyday? Or thank him/her for something that he/she has done for you?

5. Your partner should never feel like your enemy.
If they do, something is wrong. Because you can never make an enemy out of someone you love. If you're feeling that much anger, perhaps it's time to do a little self-questioning as to why you're feeling that way. Get a third party to look at your relationship from a neutral perspective. It helps, in the long run.

6. Gauge your relationship.
Notice and don't ignore the warning signs if you're not talking, you're less affectionate, you're fighting all the time and you're not happy. The sooner you acknowledge you're having problems, the sooner you can begin to solve them.

7. Always remember that you have the power to change behaviours in your relationship through diferent tools of self-discovery.

And there you have it. It may look complicated and hard-to-do, but once you get the hang of it, it'll be worth it.