Is it love or is it lust? The decision to pursue a potential romantic relationship can get muddy at best. We can fall for someone because of their looks, charms, or a certain gesture. If a first date goes well, it can certainly boost our confidence in a relationship. Nonetheless, we often overlook the essentials of making a relationship work when we decide to be in a serious relationship with someone we are dating. However, it is possible to create a healthy relationship from the start and make it last or improve the current relationship to a deeper, more satisfying level. Even if you think the person you are dating is perfect when you first get together, keep the following traits in mind:
1) Respect: This is crucial in all relationships. Both parties have to respect each other as an individual; we have to respect the other’s wishes and decisions even when we don’t agree with them.
2) Honesty: This is obviously a non-negotiable quality in any relationship. If we can’t be honest with each other, the relationship is founded on the shaky foundation of assumptions and lies.
3) Trust: This is fundamental in an intimate relationships. Often, we can bring our own mistrust from our past terrible experiences and impose our suspicion on our new potential partner. That’s why it’s necessary to understand ourselves and take steps to heal our hearts before we get into another serious relationship.
4) Communication: This is a skill that we constantly need to improve on. No matter how strong our connection with our partner, neither of us can be a mind reader. We need to always improve our communication so we can talk about sensitive and challenging topics that will unavoidably come up sooner or later. Can we discuss about finances, children, health or heavy emotions without spiraling down into a heated argument? Communication is how we connect and how we continuously learn about each other.
5) Understanding: For an intimate relationship, this trait is essential. As I have mentioned in many previous posts, love can turn to be a burden without understanding. Only with understanding, we can love the other how they want and need to be loved and vice versa. Only with understanding, we can support others in the most effective and heartfelt way. Don’t we all wish for the same thing? To be seen and understood? It’s much more paramount in an intimate relationship.
6) Acceptance: We cannot change another person and we shouldn’t wish to change them. Just as we want to be loved for who we are, we also need to accept the other person as who they are, quirks, flaws and all. If we go into a relationship hoping “they will change and things will get better”, we’re setting ourselves up for a huge disappointment. So we have to really be honest with ourselves and with each other here, can we accept each other at our worst?
7) Loyalty: Whether we’re in a monogamous or a non-monogamous relationship, loyalty is important. It’s essential in any relationship but it’s much more significant in a romantic relationship. Disloyalty inevitably results in betrayal of trust and heartbrokenness. There’s a reason that cheating is universally condemned.
8) Sexual compatibility: For a romantic relationship, this is a sensitive topic. It’s not about how often we’re in the sheets, it’s not about how hot or passionate a session is. It’s about the compatibility, where both are satisfied or okay in the physical intimacy aspect of the relationship. Our needs and desires change as we mature and as our bodies get older, we need to spend time and efforts in matching our compatibility in the bedroom department. Of course, we need the other traits established such as trust, honesty, and communication to improve this last trait.
In conclusion, if our romantic relationship has all these traits, some non-negotiable from the start and some can be improved, then our romantic love is set for long, healthy and happy life. Want to know the basic fundamental of a fulfilling relationship? Jump on this short workshop, sip on your tea (or wine) and know without a doubt whether a relationship is worth staying.