Space is key. He once said to me, "You know what, you're like a dog. If your partners keep you on a long lead, you'll always come back." Still bit offended about that one TBQH.
Having fun together will keep it fresh. You can be in your 60s but still loving life 2k18 together. Sometimes I catch my mum and dad dancing to The Cure when they think no one's watching, and my heart e-x-p-l-o-d-e-s.
Minor blips are ok. My parents are solid AF but they've had a few minor blips along the way. A rough patch doesn't mean the relationship is doomed and if you respect each other, you'll work on it.
True, legit love does exist. When your parents have been together since they were 16 and are still happy nearly 40 years later, it makes you realise that love is REAL.
Laughter is SO important. My mum thinks my dad is the funniest person on Earth, and laughs at EVERYTHING he says. Your SO should be your cheerleader, always bigging you up and making you feel hilarious.
You don't have to be the same type of people to make it work. You can be an antisocial weirdo (my dad) and a chatty everyone-loves-you-the-moment-they-meet-you type (my mum) and still totally understand each other.
It's the little things that make all the difference. Being the one to load the dishwasher every night because your SO hates doing it, bringing them a brew every morning, walking to the chip shop on a Saturday night to bring home dinner - that doesn't go unnoticed.
The sh*t life throws at you only makes you stronger. You may suffer the very real pain of illness or loss, but going through that together makes your relationship stronger.
Everyone shows love in their own way. My dad isn't the type to buy flowers, or drop L-bombs at every given opportunity. Some people show they care in other, less cheesy ways, and that's just as valuable.
"It's better to have loved and lost than never loved at all." I've heard this one every time I've been through a breakup.
You need to have your own interests. Being together 24/7 isn't healthy, so go off and ride your motorbike while your partner has a tea and cheese scone with her pal. You do you.
Never change who you are. If I had a pound for every time I've heard him say, "if they don't like it they can LUMP it." Find someone who loves you for you, and doesn't want you to be anyone other than your authentic self.
You WILL move on. Human beings are incredibly resilient and can survive a whole lot of crap.
"The first cut is the deepest." Yeah I know, imagine having a dad who quotes bloody Rod Stewart at you when you're going through heartbreak. But SRSLY, it's true.
Your partner should love you even when you're gross as hell. I've seen him holding the bucket for my mum to puke in while she sits on the loo with food poisoning (enough said) and he never moaned once.
No one will ever compare to him. When the human who gave you life is a living legend, no pesky man or woman child you date will ever compare.