What are the fundamentals of a successful relationship?
It is rightly said that romantic relationships are the spice of life. When we fall in love, we experience the world like we haven't before - always enthusiastic, with rose coloured glasses. However, it is after this initial phase wears off that the real difficulties begin, and it becomes harder to see your partner in the same light as you did before. While falling in love is easy, having a healthy relationship is equally difficult. Here are some prerequisites to keep in mind to foster a successful romantic relationship:
It is important to be intentional about what you want your relationship to be built on. If you start off by being truthful and honest with each other, it will pave the way for trust. Hiding things and keeping secrets in the fear of your partners response or because you are scared they may leave is not something you want to encourage. If this is how you feel, it is important to let them know, so that you both stand on the same page. Trust is also one of the most important aspects of your partnership because once it is broken, it breeds suspicion and insecurity which is hard to let go of. Therefore, it is essential to not only be able to trust your significant other but also become a trustworthy person yourself. If you want your partner to believe everything you say or do without question, Then you must make sure you are being equally trustworthy on your own, allowing them to feel secure around you. An important rule here would be to avoid doing things that you have a problem with if your partner did them. For example, if you would be uncomfortable with your partner speaking to someone over the phone when you are spending quality time together, don't do it yourself. This will not only help you to be more aware of your actions but also be more empathetic towards how your partner may feel.
People often get caught up between communicating their needs to their partner and accusing their partner of being unable to meet them in the first place. This can make your partner feel attacked and they may take a step back from you because they are feeling hurt, which defeats the whole purpose of conversation. Healthy communication refers to a dialogue free of blame. For instance, instead of saying “you never listen to me”, you can say “I believe I feel unheard in this relationship”. Shifting the context from “you” to “I” will open up space for conversation as it is a less absolute statement which will give your significant other the ground for opening up and putting their point of view forward, instead of completely dismissing them by saying they are wrong.
Having a strong sense of identity is a pivotal factor in a relationship. Unless people are happy and secure on their own, they will not be able to add any value to the relationship. It is a healthy practice to know who you are and what you like outside the relationship, or when your partner is not around. If you don’t, you will become clingy and often try to merge your interests with your significant other, thereby losing your sense of self and individuality. While having shared interests and hobbies is an important aspect of maintaining a long- term relationship, it is equally important to be able to take time out to do what you love and grow as an individual. Trying to be exactly like your partner can actually prove to be disadvantageous.
Relationships are all about meeting each other halfway. Differences of opinion are very common and the way you deal with them can have a lasting impact on your relationship. Rather than begrudging it and being stubborn about wanting to have things your way, changing your perspective on compromise as a way of giving your partner something that is important to them can make a world of difference. It is always important to ask yourself what is of the essence – having things work out the way you want or coming to a common ground and keeping your significant other happy as well. Of course, for things are deal- breakers for you and compromising is not an option, putting that forward and following it up with healthy communication is vital as well.
Last but definitely not the least, respect is one of the most fundamental factors in a successful relationship. Respect does not only entail regard for your partner as a human, but also positive regard for their time, space, interests and opinions. You will never find anyone in the world who is exactly like you, and diverse people show you different perspectives and help you grow. Disrespecting your partner for being different or having contrasting opinions and interests will only lead to conflict, and if continued, an end to the relationship. It is important to remember that your partner is a person in their own right and you are not entitled to make them fit into what you believe is correct. They have the freedom to have their own point of view, regardless of whether it aligns with yours or not and you don’t have to change that. Letting a person be as they are and allowing the relationship to flourish with the freedom to be who you both want to be is a sign of a healthy relationship.