Q: I'm A gentleman in my late 50s and I've had numerous lovely relationships in my life, all with quite wonderful women, in their own way.
Yet each one has moved on, to other men and happy marriages, never however with me.
As I look at the remaining years I have left (and I hope there are many) I want so much to settle down with a woman and never date again.
Given how I've spent almost all of my adult life in relatively short relationships (2-3 years tops), how do I go about learning how to make love last, as this late stage in my life?
And what is the secret to settling down and staying "together forever" with just one person?
MORE LOVE ADVICE
A: You may be surprised to learn that the answer you seek isn't the one you maybe anticipate or hope for.
There has been a great deal of research conducted on relationships and their longevity and success: after all, many couples who commit to one another wish they had some reassurance they are making the right choice.
And those who struggle to maintain their long term relationships seek advice about how to be happy together.
The ingredient most people assume is critical is passion. They figure, if I'm no longer attracted to this person, then this person can't be right for me.
This may or may not have been an issue for you, but it is certainly true for many - women and men alike.
Actually, the number one ingredient to a happy, healthy long term relationship is: kindness.
Being kind to one another is the single most important and vital factor to a couple's ability to stay together, and more importantly, desire to stay coupled up.
It is those couples who demonstrate loving attention, responsiveness to one another's concerns and conversations, care for the other's well-being not just generally, but daily, and just plain nice regard and behavior to one another who live and love long term, happily.
Makes sense, doesn't it? That we seek to be around those who make us feel good.
Not just desired and crazy in love, but consistently good, respected, loved, appreciated, nice, day in and day out.
So next time you're on a date, yes be mindful of attraction, lust and passion, but also notice if they are kind.
And when you get into a relationship, be aware of your own patterns, remembering that actually, nice guys don't finish last: they last the longest.