Everyone has an opinion about what makes a marriage successful: Grandma does, that talkative bank teller does, your mom's bridge partner Phyllis definitely does ... With all of this well-meaning chatter, who actually has the best perspective?
How about a matchmaker that's successfully matched hundreds of relationships and dozens of marriages? Enter Nikki Lewis, one half of The BEVY, a New York City and Los Angeles-based matchmaking firm. Predicting the long-term success of relationships is all in day's work for Lewis, whose unique vantage point allows her to observe compatibility in action on a daily basis. When we recently had the chance to sit down and pick her brain, our minds naturally went to one question: What are they key ingredients for a successful marriage? According to Lewis, there are five.
"Most relationships are very passionate in the beginning, both physically and emotionally, but oftentimes this can fade over the years," Lewis says. "Passion can be revived with lots of work. Spontaneity is huge. Take sporadic romantic getaways, romantic walks, whatever it might be. Set aside alone time and date nights."
"Both parties are going to need to give up certain major aspects of their lives, or at least make changes to them. Have you decided to have children? Is someone going to take a step back from career to raise a family? You can't have your cake and eat it too. You oftentimes need to take time away from things you love, whether it's a hobby or career, to make time for your relationship or family," she says.
3. Honesty and Loyalty
"Well, doesn't this count as two ingredients?" we asked. According to Lewis, they're intrinsically intertwined. "Sometimes one little lie is the beginning of many little lies. The end result is a big fat lie. Don't fall into that trap because it will ultimately blow up in your face. Be honest from the get go. Honesty isn't always easy, but it is the only way to go, especially when it comes to being faithful to your partner. Loyalty means being completely committed to the other person. Cheating is never an option. As long as honesty is intact, loyalty should follow hand in hand."
"Curiosity is part of what led the two of you together. You were curious about each other. Don't lose your need to learn about each other. Your husband in three years won't be the same person he is today. Learn more about him every day, and don't lose the need and desire to do so," she suggests.
Finally, Lewis says you need to have "serious talks about what matters; serious talks about fundamental beliefs. If you don't share similar viewpoints on certain fundamentals, you should certainly know that before walking down the aisle!"