Stephen ( my SO and now husband to be very soon) and I have been in a happy, committed relationship for over 20 years now and I would say the key to our success is being best friends.
I love spending time with him. It's really quite that simply. He has never in 20 years years bored me. Annoyed and infuriated me yes. I have wanted to throw sharp objects at him , wanted to tie him to a chair whilst I beat him senseless with a pillow, but he has never bored me ! : )
We are two very different people which I think does keep the interest going but similar enough to have shared goals, ideals and philosophies which does help a lot. We react to the world in completely differents ways yet we do share a commonality of purpose. Our morals and ideologies are similar which is a must IMO but we are still different enough for us to learn about the other as we go along.
I know him like the back of my hand and yet in little ways which make all the difference he does suprise me still.
We are comfortable with each other and there is nobody else I could live with I think. I actually look forward to the evening when we can discuss what has gone on in both our lives, discuss current affairs, have a laugh over dinner, and there is nobody else I would rather travel with .
As far as I am concerned if you can't picture yourself happily travelling, being "stuck" with someone for 24 hours a day for weeks and weeks on end, in all kinds on unfamiliar places and situations then that persone is not the right one for you...
We have our different interests but on the whole we share pretty much everything. We even share our email accounts as well as bank accounts .
It never ceases to amaze me how sometimes your brain will make some bizarre connection to something which is completely unrelated and Stephen will have had exactly the same thought. It is uncanny.
We are best friends and there is nobody I trust more. I would trust him with my life ( though I don't trust him with the house-cleaning !) . I know he loves me and even during our darkest hours he was always there for me and did not let go simply because it got too hard.
He is loyal , kind and I find him dead sexy too which does not hurt.
He makes me laugh and I still want him after 20 years. I have never looked at another guy sexually since we have been together. Ever. And I really mean that.
We certainly have had our blazing rows and screaming at each other but I find that healthy. Everyone needs to let off steam and let's face it neither of us are perfect so arguments are bound to occur in most relationships.
We have gone through some serious traumas and come out of it stronger together because of it. I respect him and that is paramount. He still rocks my boat even when I want to "kill" him .... I cannot imagine life without him. The thought alone of him being ill or dead is enough to make me feel sick.
Respect, honesty, trust and friendship are paramount and all amount to love. Sexual attraction does not hurt either.
And the ability to laugh at yourself and each other when things go wrong as they will.
Never take yourself too seriously and leave arrogance, suspicion , jealousy , pettiness, and selfishness behind and you should do fine in my experience. The ability to listen is pretty useful though men can be a little deficient in that department even special guys like Stephen !