What Goes Into A Long-Term Relationship?


Commitment phobes, this way

Meryl Streep has been married to Don Gummer for 39 years. That feels like a very long time for most of us, not least because it's more than likely that the longest relationship we've ever had is with Netflix and Facebook. I'm currently at that age where if my friends aren't putting rings on it, then they've stopped dating for the thrill of it and are, instead, dating to find a partner.

My response to that is a very sincere: Whoa, buddy! The long-term is real and can feel very scary. How are you supposed to commit to another human being if you can't even commit to finishing a book, huh? Well, rule number one is that you've always got to have fun. 

"The couple that can laugh together has a better chance of staying together," Susan Winter says. The bestselling NYC-based author, relationship expert and dating coach says relationships are typically considered long-term after three years together. Once you begin to see your significant other as a life partner, then the long-term begins to manifest. Sometimes it takes a couple months for this realization to click, sometimes it takes years, and sometimes it never sets in because, hey, things just aren't going to work out. 

Sometimes, however, you know immediately a person you meet is going to play a major role in your life. "Having that gut reaction doesn’t guarantee they’ll be the love of our life," Winter says, "but it does guarantee that their participation in our life will be impactful." This could mean three years, eight, 10, or 50. The important thing is to keep an open and honest dialogue going between you and your partner (or partners) and know that moments of unhappiness do not a relationship break. Winter stresses that disappointing our partner and vice versa is going to happen, but "the ability to work through each disagreement is what keeps a relationship alive." 

If the idea of a long-term relationship terrifies you, consider what actually goes into one. Most of us have friendships that have lasted decades—what has kept those relationships going? According to Winter, it's humor, vulnerability, and a strong sense of one's own needs and interests. Commitment is daunting. It holds one accountable for something, which in the case of romance, is another person's well-being. (No biggie or anything!) But with enough understanding of what really makes flings way more than just that can one begin to see the possibility of the long-term—if that is, indeed, what an individual so chooses and desires.

Winter advises understanding what disagreements are worth having and what disagreements aren't worth the time. The bottom line is that it's essential to always have compassion and show some grace toward your partner because you both are human and humans screw up. "The more gracious you can be in discovering your partner’s faults," Winter says, "the more gracious they’ll be as they realize yours." It's not going to be a fairy tale romance all the time. All honeymoons end. But Winter revels in long-standing love's ability to weather the toughest of storms. "Long-term relationships experience every facet of falling in and out of love, and experiencing love and its finest as well as its worst," she says. Which makes keeping a sense of humor all the more important. Winter believes developing a lightness can help a long-term couple parse through which issues matter and which should be allowed to slide. Always, always, always shake up your routine and work to maintain a sense of curiosity and wonderment with your partner; you're exploring this tricky world together, after all. 

But perhaps the most vital part of a successful long-lasting relationship is you and your sense of well-being. "Loving someone doesn’t mean we give up our own life," Winter says. "The cost of doing so will rip our relationship from us." Doing things for yourself and spending time alone keeps you in check with yourself. Love can be all-consuming, yes, but losing yourself in a relationship can be detrimental to your future. Sure, it's nice to live that Jerry Maguire fantasy of finding someone that completes you, but you have to be more or less completely individual in order to go the distance with another. It's not so much about completion as it is about enhancing your completeness and having a support system for that. Because the longest relationship you're ever going to have is the one with yourself. Might as well make that one as fruitful as it can be.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.