"How to make a relationship last forever, I think is maybe impossible since 'forever' is a very long time. This obviously depends on your religious belief and what you think happens regarding life after death.
One example is my relationship with a best friend and a person who was my 'best man' at our wedding. That relationship started at what was Grand View College at the time - 1953. Not only were we friends while at Grand View, but we continued to be as we both attended Drake University to receive our Bachelor's Degree. That continued when we subsequently enrolled in the Grand View Seminary and became ordained pastors. Unfortunately my friend, Ev, passed on a few years ago, so physically we no longer enjoy each other’s company.
Here comes the religious belief part. Shortly before his passing on, he gave me a Grand View watch. I have worn that watch from the day he gave it to me to today. Every morning when I put it on, it reminds me of our friendship. Is he aware of that? I don't know, but I kind of like to think it is a continuation of our relationship.
Now there is another relationship. Come this June 6, my wife, Carol Ann and I will have been married 60 years. Is that forever? Or did it only seem like forever? No that has not been the case! Of course we have had our "differences of opinion" but the fact it has lasted this long is a good thing. Once again as with the case with Ev, Carol Ann and I started out with quite a few things in common. You see, she was a fFarmer's Daughter' (also a beautiful blonde) from Nebraska and attended a one room country grade school and then high school in a quite small farming town as did I. We both had all kinds of relatives with whom we would share joys and sorrows as well special festivals and holidays. At Grand View, we 'country hicks' learned classmates from even huge cities like Des Moines could be good friends.
But what I think contributes to those friends becoming 'Friends Forever' is getting together from time to time and sharing fun and growing experiences. Our current relationship with friends from Grand View days has been maintained by being with them at various Grand View gatherings throughout the year."
- Harald Sorensen '55
"By the time we reach our college years we’ve likely learned many of the necessary behavioral traits leading to long term relationship development. Perhaps merely by witnessing the actions of our parents. Traits such as love, love making, effective conflict resolution, trust, listening skills, goal sharing, understanding emotions and the like generally come to us pretty quickly. But what about beyond these. What can be challenging and fun is to step beyond these basics. We have enjoyed a courtship lasting 55 years (3 years dating followed by 52 years of wedded bliss). It all began on the Grand View campus. Our date nights didn’t end at GVU. Since then we have endeavored to do something special together on a regular basis, enjoying common interests together and pursuing mutual goals, passions and dreams. One of the keys to our relationship has been the sharing of our experiences, enjoyments and memories with friends. Since the 1960’s our most cherished and memorable travels, reunions and communications have been with dozens of very close GVU alumni. Yes......it all started at GVU. Hopefully it is for you also. Thanks Grand View for all you have done for us!!"
- Al Sneeden '65 and Camille Snedden '66
"How to make a relationship last forever - I think being selfless with the individual you are in a relationship with (whether a significant other, friend, coworker) is super important. Understanding their needs and thinking of them is key while still taking good care of yourself in order to be a great friend/spouse/etc. I think finding a balance is really important. Another huge factor is solid communication - discussing everything with one another that affects you. For a spouse, for example - talking about finances, stressors, life decisions, etc. None of those things should ever be kept inside or handled alone."
- Jordan (Henkenius '13) Evans, Human Resources, TMC Transportation, (GV Major: Health Promotion)
"Bear in mind that we met at the Freshman Mixer at Grand View, had our first “date” on October 18, 1958 and are zoning in on 58 years of marriage. So, some thoughts. One thought is very Grundvigian. Continue to learn your entire life. New horizons will open for you. A second thought is be flexible. Roll with the punches. A third thought is a couple should have SHARED CORE VALUES. One couple’s list of core values may be different than another couple’s list. Each core value may have several sub-sets within it. The list may expand or even contract over the years. In a healthy relationship people grow and change together. What’s on our list? Religion, Education, Family, Money Management, Societal Consciousness, Use of Leisure Time Obviously each partner will bring different strengths and skills into a relationship. Those should be respected by each partner."
- Dan Mikel '60 and Alice Mikel '60
"To make a relationship last "forever" is dependent on many things. And while you may want to focus on the other person you're hoping to have a relationship with, you truly can only focus on yourself, at least at first. I've found my mindset, attitude, and behaviors to greatly impact my relationships.
Mindset- do your best to keep a positive mindset, be grateful for everything, and focus on the abundance mindset opposed to the scarcity mentality.
Attitude- we all have our own unique attitudes, the good and the bad. Take ownership of your attitude and if you're in a mood, own it. Be upfront with others and confide in them that you are indeed human, are in a mood, and my need some time alone or time to talk.
Behaviors- while behaviors can become routine, be aware of how you are behaving. Strive to live your best life each day and think of little ways to show the ones you love, that you love and respect them. Also, having conversations about how you want to be shown love/respect and how you like to show love/respect can be quite helpful.
It's definitely not a one-time thing but an every day, every moment kind of thing. Especially if you're working on improving aspects of your life, it'll take a while to create lasting change in your neural pathways to solidify the way you want to be. But stick with the gratitude, awareness, and respect and it should be a good start to forever."
- Emily (Hurm '11) Kappelman, Acupuncturist, Acupuncture Wellness Center and Allergy Clinic of Iowa (GV Major: Health Promotion)
"The technology of today is very helpful...email and Facebook. I email my college roommate at least once a month. Prior to that, we were old-fashioned and sent birthday and Christmas cards. We send out nearly 100 Christmas cards which few people do today. If there were folk school gatherings, we tried to attend. Contact with our college (now university) and hearing what they are doing is very exciting. Of course, I met my husband there."
- Carol Ann Sorenson '59