Attitudes toward LGBT marriage across the United States and globally have evolved tremendously in the past few decades. With more countries recognizing that love is love, members of the LGBT community are getting the chance to make a lifetime commitment to their soulmates. Marriage still requires work, though, to make sure that the eternal flame you hold for one another continues to shine brightly. Here are the keys to a long-lasting marriage.

Keep open lines of communication.

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It’s important to keep transparency and an open line of communication. Any happy couple will tell you that the key to a lifelong commitment is talking to each other without lying, accusing, blaming, or dismissing. There should be no stonewalling and no passive-aggressive behavior. However, this is a two-way street when it comes to communication for a healthy relationship.

If you feel there’s a hurdle that is blocking your conversations, don’t hesitate to look into LGBT marriage counseling to see where the snag in communication lies. You and your spouse may feel better addressing issues in a safe space. Therapy is a great option to make sure you are properly addressing each of your mental health situations. If you feel the need for individual therapy, don’t hesitate to take that time.

Do something special on occasion.

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An LGBTQ couple is no different from any other couple in that you want to show your spouse your love for them in a meaningful way. If you and your partner are coming up on a milestone in your relationship, you want gifts with a personal touch that is the perfect way to show your love for one another. When looking into 4th anniversary gifts, you can take inspiration from your wedding day. Have a photo from that special day blown up and framed to be a part of your home decor.

Romantic gift ideas can be something as small as a little token of appreciation, like a floral arrangement, to a grandiose gesture, like jewelry or a getaway to a destination that you’ve always wanted to go to. Remember, a meaningful gift goes a long way. Whether you want to go with a traditional gift theme or explore in a creative way, make sure that your gift suits your partner’s personality.

Understand the little things and be accepting.

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Regardless of sexual identity, same-sex couples and heterosexual couples have plenty in common, including adapting for love. Showing compassion and understanding is key when it comes to things about your spouse that you may have had to adjust to over time. For example, if your partner snores at night, you may have to adjust your sleeping pattern. However, it’s not something you should fault your partner for. People in happy marriages accept their own faults as well as those of their partners. They know that no one is perfect, so they take their partner for who they are.

Maintain self-care and your own well-being.

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As members of the LGBTQIA community, our self-care and self-love are just as important as those of a straight person or couple. It’s important for a healthy same-sex marriage that you each take time for yourselves. Having empathy for some alone time is what makes the best couples work, as it builds a level of trust so that even when you’re not together, you’re their main focus.

Having friends within the LGBTQ community offers an outlet for understanding, as those friendships know what it’s like to have same-sex partnerships. This understanding offers a sense of peace for a more fulfilling life. In fact, having that me-time keeps the fire burning for intimacy and more romanticism, creating a strong bond of togetherness that can last a lifetime.