There are many people who say that relationships are difficult. Of course, they’re often right; it’s not easy to be with another person for any length of time and not start running into problems. Still, relationships don’t have to be as hard as some make them out to be. Here are 10 things that are essential to the success of any relationship. By observing these 10 things, you’ll give yourself a better chance in the long run with your partner.
You aren’t going to get very far in your relationship if you and your partner aren’t compatible together. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to share every single interest or have the same personality traits, and it also doesn’t work as a substitute for love. Still, if two people don’t get along, it will show. You need to emphasise compatibility for your relationship to work.
The exact definition of love has been hotly debated by many people. Everyone has their own idea of what love looks like, and nobody’s right or wrong; it’s an entirely personal process. You know if you’re in love with your partner or not. It’s also important to listen to – if not entirely take on board – the advice of others. Sometimes, your friends know better than you what is love and what is simply attachment.
Your relationship probably won’t survive if you don’t trust your partner. This doesn’t just go for jealousy, which is a toxic element in any relationship. Trust also extends to financial decisions, personal discussions, and everything else in the relationship. If you don’t trust one another, you don’t have basic respect, and that’s a serious problem. Talk to your partner if you find you’re not trusting them.
If you lie to your partner frequently, you’ll find that many of the other essential ingredients of your relationship – trust, love, et cetera – will erode. Being honest with your partner about your feelings is crucial. Honesty engenders constructive discussions, especially if you’re not in the kind of relationship in which regular and inconsequential arguments occur (and you very much shouldn’t be).
Coming to rely too much on your partner means you might start to lose a sense of who you were before the relationship and who you are as an individual. While a certain degree of dependence is natural – financial, emotional, and otherwise – you should be able to exist outside the relationship unit as well. When you get into a relationship with another person, you don’t symbiotically join with them.
As personal skills go, being able to make others laugh is a very important one, especially if it’s the one you love. Not everyone is witty and smart with their quips, but true humour and laughter doesn’t just come from a pointed barb or a clever turn of phrase; it comes from the heart. Being able to laugh at your partner’s jokes, however terrible, is a sure sign of love.
It’s not a true relationship if the other person wouldn’t be there for you through thick and thin. A real partner stays with you however tough the going gets. Of course, it’s not always going to be easy, and there are sometimes going to be real tests of how much you love one another. Still, through illness and wellness, if your partner loves you – and you love your partner – then everything will work out.
Sometimes, your partner is going to do something that annoys you. That’s completely normal. Whether it’s hypochondria, loud snoring, or certain political opinions, your partner isn’t perfect, and neither are you. A real relationship comes from your ability to move past those minor points and see each other for who you really are. If you can’t do this, it’s time to have an honest discussion about where the relationship is going.
Surprising your partner with those little things – a small gift that reminds them of you, or a particular memory – is key to keeping a relationship feeling fresh for many years. You don’t have to spend huge amounts of money to be romantic; all you need is to remember what your partner loves, and what they love about you, and use that as an idea for introducing more romance into your lives together.
You and your partner should definitely not be at one another’s throats all the time. If you are, this is a sign of a bad relationship and it’s time to get out. If you can’t resolve relationship conflicts peacefully, then you need to sit down and talk about why that might be. Enlist the help of a counselor if you feel you need to. Peace is crucial to any relationship; you and your partner need to feel safe around one another, after all.