Periodically, you may hear about older couples who have been married for 60 years, 70 years or longer. However, you also may be aware that the divorce rate for Australian marriages today is about 40 percent, and it is closer to 50 percent in many other countries.

You may have wondered why some marriages are able to last for decades while so many others fail. The fact is that happy relationships often have three key components that failed relationships lack. For those who are interested in building lasting relationships, understanding what these components are can be useful.

Physical Chemistry
Many relationships that end in a breakup often state that they just fell out of love with their partner or that their partner was no longer sexually interested in them. The fact is that the level of attraction between two people is often very strong at the beginning of a relationship, and the attraction can deepen and grow as the emotional connection between them expands. While the electric jolt that you experienced early on in your relationship may fade away, it may be replaced by a deeper and more romantic feeling.

Lasting relationships are those where couples strive to keep the spark alive in their marriage, but most parties understand that the electrifying jolt that they experienced early in their relationship will evolve into something deeper.

Strong Friendship
Happy relationships are often those where both parties agree that the other person is their best friend. Lasting relationships may have a strong sexual component, but they also typically have a deeper emotional connection. Relationships that last a lifetime are those where both parties enjoy spending time together, and they make a regular effort to spend time together.

They do not see spending time together as a chore but rather as something that they enjoy doing. Couples often lead progressively busier lives as their careers advance and children are added to the relationship, but those who consider their partner to be their best friend and who treat them as a true friend are generally involved in relationships that can endure for a lifetime.

Healthy Communication
Lasting relationships also generally are those with excellent communication by both parties. Both members of the relationship should feel relaxed and comfortable in the relationship, and they should speak their minds in a healthy way. In happy relationships, both parties feel as though they are heard. While they may not always get everything that they want, they often work to compromise in a healthy way, and this is based on communication. An underlying component to communication and compromise is respect. Both parties respect each other, so there is no manipulation or verbal abuse.

If you feel as though your relationship is lacking in one or more of these areas, don’t fret. The fact is that some happy relationships exhibit these characteristics right from the start, but other relationships will evolve over time. You should take time to identify areas where your relationship may be weak and to work with your partner on strengthening them. This effort can help you to establish a lasting, happy relationship that will endure.