EXCERPT: “The act of falling in love? That was easy for you and your girlfriend. In what felt like instant chemistry, from the moment you laid eyes on her, the gig was up. Even if your love story took many twists and turns before you updated your Facebook statuses to be ‘official’ – when it comes to imagining your life with anyone else? You simply can’t. While you don’t doubt your connection, your ability to communicate or the love you share, the hard truth of being in a long-term, committed and monogamous relationship is that without rolling up your sleeves and putting in the hard work required to make it work, well, it just won’t. Though there might be times when you coast through the niceties and co-exist pleasantly together, a long-term relationship must be given constant, thoughtful attention to make the years pass happily. Here, experts share their best advice on how to ensure your love doesn’t suffer because you shy away from prioritizing the woman you’re lucky to have:

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1. The Benefits Of A Long-Term Relationship

And apart from any research conducted by science, there’s an overall sense of fulfillment and happiness that derives from knowing you have a partner in crime. Not only does the stability inspire you to be bolder with your own choices outside of love and relationships, but it inspires you to dedicate yourself in a more selfless way than you would if you were a bachelor. Relationship therapist in Los Angeles Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D. says in general, it’s a better idea to be in a withstanding relationship than to be alone. “The benefits of a long-term relationship are many. Feeling more happy and well-rounded; having a sense of emotional stability and security in which you know your partner’s got your back and is there for you; experiencing a meaningful, deep connection in which each partner can feel known and understood by the other; sharing a unique history together; helping each other and being more motivated to stay physically and emotionally healthy and more,” she explains. As a bonus? She also adds you’ll live longer if you’re paired up than if you aren’t.”

Read what Dr. Yvonne Thomas,  a relationship Therapist in Los Angeles, has to say on askmen.com’s “How To Maintain A Long-Term Relationship.”