We tend to idealize our romantic relations in that we place a lot of emphasis on love and physical attraction. But soon you realize that to be patient in a relationship is one of the most beautiful ways to show someone that you really care.

Yes, love is the bonding agent that connects and keeps people together. And sex is important too, although its significance varies dramatically from person to person. But if you asked a strong long-term couple, what's the secret that keeps their love burning for years, the concept of respect and patience is likely to come up.

If you want to be happy and make your significant other happy too, you have to learn how to have patience in a relationship.

1. Stop and Breath

The opposite of patience is not only intolerance, but also restlessness. If we constantly acted upon our hot emotions, the world, not only our relations, would go to hell. Deep breathing is an ancient technique that allows you to pull yourself together and detach emotionally from an annoying or exhausting situation. It also helps to concentrate on your true self deep within.

Looking from a scientific perspective, there's nothing mystical about it. Deep breaths in and long breaths out practiced for at least a minute effectively slows down your heart rate. In addition, it and cools your body off. An extra doze of oxygen that enters your brain clears out your thinking, freeing you from a momentary tunnel-vision rage or annoyance.

The more you practice this randomly throughout the day, the more natural it will seem to do it in a case of a conflict.

2. Stay Away from Their Tantrums

giving space

If the way your loved one copes with their stress leaves a lot to be desired, learn how to pull yourself away until the emotions cool off. Shouting and plate smashing can look passionate and thrilling in the movies, but in reality it usually takes from a couple a lot more than it gives.

The worst thing to do when your loved one is pulling an emotional outburst is to tell them they need to calm down and how to do that. Unless we're dealing with a serious mental issues here, the best thing to do is to leave them alone for awhile, before unnecessarily hurtful things are said and done. You can tell them all about the benefits of your recently learned breathing technique later.

3. Quit the Idea of Changing Them

If it's hard for you to stop being impatient in a relationship, it may signal some nasty expectations and assumptions you hold towards your loved one. You should want to be with the person that they actually are at this particular moment in life, not the way you imagine them to be after you mould, mend, and fix them.

Answer yourself in the most brutally honest way, if you really love and care about the person that you chose for a partner. If the vision of changing them into your dream girlfriend or dream boyfriend is your true determination, save both of you heaps of time by leaving this fantasy behind and moving on, whether alone or together.

4. Don't Take Them for Granted

talking over coffee

Everything in this world is fragile, temporary, fleeting. Sometimes we forget it, don't we? Especially in a long-term relationship, it's way too easy to forget that it may not last forever.

Passive aggressiveness and constant bickering is the bitterest poison in a relationship and a sign of giving up on each other. Openly learning patience in your relationship by taking real action to make the experience of being together as pleasant and exciting as you can is one of the most remarkable manifestations of true love and respect.

This means that you don't hide your personal struggles to deal with something that annoys you in another. On the contrary, you show it, you admit it as a weakness, and you express a real determination to change it in yourself and to come to a solution together.

5. Give Love, But Give Space Too

Go on and schedule a date night or a full day per week to spend together uninterruptedly. Even, or perhaps especially, if you live together, make an effort, plan something romantic and exciting, dress up, and go out into the world as a loving unity. Do this regularly – don't let the everyday hustle and bustle push what's really valuable to the background of your life.

However, I argue that spending quality time together and apart, especially in long-term couples, is equally important. It's, seriously, very easy to lose your own personal identity after spending too much time together.

And when this happens, you become angry, irritable, and destructive without even realizing its true cause. To be patient in love means to allow enough time and space for your partner and for yourself to grow as individuals too. Simultaneously, you work at finding the matching spots to mould these individuals into a happy couple.

You need to get into a mindset of being open to the inevitable and constant evolution of your relationship. And that, my friend, will drive you back into the territory of patience.

Written by Audra Bajori
Audra is a writer, an ethical vegan, a compulsive self-experimenter and health-hacker, who plans on living for at least 100 years. She's also a cinephile,...
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