Building a Love That Lasts a Lifetime
We have all experienced relationships on some level. The problem is that many of us never discuss the dynamics of the relationships themselves. Romantic relationships can often be challenging to maintain simply due to a lack of knowledge of what's essential for their growth; we may not have learned how to operate in relationships in our families. We know things like hygiene, daily routines such as going to school or working, and how to survive but not always maintain a healthy relationship with our future partners.
It's essential to learn how to maintain and operate in relationships to be healthy and not harmful or detrimental to us. If parents don't show their children positive examples of love, respect, or accountability in a relationship, they may grow up without understanding what that should look like in their adult lives.
Here are seven essential keys to a healthy relationship. They include respect, accountability, safety, support, honesty, cooperation, and trust.
If these keys are missing the relationship can be less fulfilling and end prematurely. But, conversely, these things allow a healthy union to grow and flourish.
"Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you." -Walter Winchell
It is essential to hold our partner in the highest regard in a relationship. Disrespect is the fastest way to destroy the bond between yourself and your partner. When you're in a relationship, how you speak to your significant other matters. When possible, acknowledge your partner and talk to them as your equal. When there is no respect for others' time, space, belongings, feelings, and thoughts, they cannot feel valued.
Everyone's definition of disrespectful behavior or speech is different, so be sure to discuss what your partner deems as disrespect. Once you are aware of their line, don't cross it. A great time to talk about this is at the beginning of the relationship. It sets the groundwork for how you both should refer to and treat each other as your connection progresses.
Accountability breeds responsibility. -Stephen R. Covey
No one likes to admit when they are wrong, but the ability to hold yourself accountable is vital for a healthy relationship. Instead of giving your partner an indignant response when you are wrong, learn to apologize. If you feel like your significant other is treating you unjustly, knowing how to address your issues with your partner calmly and lovingly will make a world of difference.
An apology is not enough; you have to couple that with changed behavior. It's important to remember that you are both human, and we are flawed. Mistakes are inevitable because neither of you is perfect. Allow room in your relationship for both of you to grow.
Fall in love with someone who is both your safe place and your biggest adventure. -Bianca Sparacino
It is your job to protect one another from harm in a relationship. Damage does not always present in the physical form. Sometimes the injury can be mentally and emotionally. It is vital that your partner feels protected in every way. Create a warm and open environment where you and your partner can express your fears without abuse or ridicule.
It is also essential to cover your partner and keep them safe from the ridicule of other people outside of your relationship. Our duty to our relationship and our partner is to defend their honor and reputation from scrutiny and harsh criticism. No one should ever feel comfortable speaking negatively about your person in front of you. They should always know that you are there for them, even in their absence.
Preserve the sacredness of your relationship by limiting what you discuss with outside people. Do not give anyone ammunition to come against your union.
Anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you. -Misty Copeland
Boost your partner up. Proper support can come in many forms. Giving them kind words, being there for them in times of grief, and just being a friend. Though intangible, these are all examples of support. It would be best if you always encouraged your partner to be the best version of themselves and aim to reach their highest potential, personally or professionally. Assist your significant other however you can.
Support can also be monetary and tangible. If you want to assist financially and it doesn't violate your budget, boundaries, or principles, then help as much as you see fit. If your partner is doing their due diligence to be productive, your contribution can help them become their best self.
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. - Thomas Jefferson
Tell the truth and be transparent. Never lie to your partner about anything, as it will break your bond of trust. Don't hide or mask your feelings because holding onto negativity will only hurt you and create distance; what we don't say matters just as much as what we say. Instead, be your authentic self to ensure that your partner gets the most authentic version of you. It is impossible to maintain a facade. Eventually, your true self will emerge, which can surprise your partner later in the relationship. Be open enough to allow them to know the real you from the beginning.
Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. - Helen Keller
Make decisions together as much as possible. It's OK to let your partner make some unilateral decisions such as date nights, gifts, surprises or anything where it's the thought that counts. However, there are other times that what you both want has to be included. Maintaining balance in a relationship requires both people to consider the other when making decisions. Therefore, it has to be a collective effort. All significant life changes, such as your location, housing, and major purchases, must be decided together; this is what it means to be a collective.
Trust starts with truth and ends with truth. - Santosh Kalwar
If you cannot trust your partner to do any of the six things mentioned above, then it's highly likely that you also won't be able to trust them to be faithful to you. Beyond trust, as it pertains to infidelity, we also need to trust our partners with our inner selves. Trust that they will not use our shortcomings or past mistakes to hurt us. Trust that they always have our best interests at heart. Trust them with our finances, children, and whatever we hold dear. Broken trust can be challenging to repair and result in arguments and discord. It's the disappointment that comes with realizing we could not trust someone in an area of the relationship. Broken trust can make us not feel safe and secure with our partners.
In conclusion, it's important to value each of these seven keys with the same importance as they are all vital to the strength and longevity of our relationships. Without them there will not be a resolution to any of the issues that may arise, and the relationship will be unfulfilling and unsuccessful.