Another Valentine’s Day has snuck upon us, and the spotlight is on love and romantic relationships. Whether you are smitten by today’s events or salty about it, there is one thing that we can all agree on: A relationship requires hard work and doesn’t always come easy.
It is truly a blessing if you find someone in life who you are compatible with. Believe it or not, love can potentially add years to your life and is good for your overall health. According to the Longevity Project, research suggests that those in loving and caring relationships have overall better cardiovascular health, less depression and substance abuse, and a stronger immune system.
So what exactly are the key ingredients that make up a healthy, lasting relationship? In honor of the 14th, I have whipped up a list of 14 key ingredients of a successful romantic relationship that I believe lead to marriage. Single? No worries! Now you will know what to look for in a relationship when the time presents itself; or perhaps you see a characteristic in this list and better understand why your past relationships have failed.
Without trust, there IS no relationship. If you find yourself questioning or not if you trust your partner, chances are that you don’t. Trust is essential for stability and emotional well-being. It is the backbone of a relationship; the glue that hold you two together. Period.
2.) Equal Commitment
I see a lot of relationships fail because there is an off-balance of commitment to each other. Both partners need to be equally committed to working on the relationship as a whole. Relationships are team efforts; thus if one partner is not 100% committed, he or she is not in it for the long run.
Think of when you and your partner are 70 years old when the initial lust and attraction is gone. Will you still be happy? A solid friendship is needed to stabilize a lasting relationship. Happy couples are not only romantic partners, they are best friends. They share their deepest fears with each other and are the shoulder to cry on when hard times are present. Think of a relationship as a sphere. The friendship represents the core of the sphere; the attraction and lust represents the outer shell.
4.) Clear Communication
Communication is the key to success in any relationship. Without clear communication, one does not know their partners needs or desires, leaving lingering questions and insecurities. In addition, conflicts need to be worked out with an open communication style instead of concealing the problem or unleashing anger. Know your partner’s communication style and work on it together as a couple.
5.) Same Humor Style
Everyone has a unique sense of humor. What I think is absolutely hilarious someone else may think is dumb. Obviously, having a good sense of humor is a great way to connect in a relationship. But delving into this a little deeper, finding someone who shares your specific sense of humor is a GREAT way to bond! In addition, having inside jokes just between the two of you is a fun way to stay connected.
Respect your significant others’ thoughts, opinions, body, family, values, and morals. And make sure YOU are respected as well. If there isn’t respect in a relationship, it is not healthy. You DESERVE to be respected, and someone who does not honor you is absolutely not worth it.
Call me old fashioned, but I truly believe that romantic couples are happier. Romanticism shows thoughtfulness, love, and caring. Planning fun dates, making sweet gestures, going out of your way to open the car door or make a cup of coffee in the morning shows your partner that you are thinking about them even when you two are not together at the time. Give love, show emotion, and be affectionate.
You know how they say, opposites attract? Well, this is a bunch of crock. It’s been proven in many studies that in fact, opposites do not attract and those who have more in common are more likely to be more attracted to each other. This should be a no brainer, right!
9.) Quality Time Together
Couples who are able to commit to spending quality time together have the most intimate relationships. As a person who endured a long-distance relationships for two years, I understand the importance of spending time together. Successful couples create time to connect together, even if they live extremely busy and hectic lives.
10.) Own Up to Your Mistakes
If you are wrong, admit it. Don’t be selfish; you are NOT always right. Own up to your mistakes . . . and forgive your partner when they make their own.
11.) Be Motivated About Something
It’s hard to be with someone who has no motivation to contribute anything to society. In addition to having relationship goals, it is important to have individual goals. This ingredient is all about the basics. Keep a job. Don’t sit on your bum all day. Be a productive member of society and show some passion about your individual interest.
Disagreements will happen in relationships, and they are 100% healthy. You will never agree on completely everything because you are two different individuals. It is normal and functional to argue from time to time, as long as it is expressed in a mature way. Disagreements are a natural way of keeping each other in line and expressing yourself! Stand up for yourself! And it is okay to agree to disagree on certain issues. You don’t have to be EXACTLY similar.
13.) Show Appreciation
Everyone needs to feel wanted and appreciated. It is a basic human need. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in our hectic lives and take our significant other for granted. Show some appreciation- whether it’s saying, “Thank you for always working so hard to support us,” at the end of the night, or texting “I love you,” at work.
14.) Keep Things Fun
Keeping things exciting is key to not getting bored in your relationships. I understand that the comfort zone is cozy, but try to go out of your comfort zone every once in a while with each other. Try new foods and explore new restaurants, travel, go to a theater, go dancing, anything! Strong couples switch it up and know the importance of letting loose every once in a while.
Already have these characteristics in your relationship? Good for you! You are on your way. Read this to ensure you are continuously strengthening your bond and growing more intimate as the time passes.
Do you have anything else you think is worthy to add to this list? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Happy Love Day!
Spread love and be loved,