Relationships are not always plain sailing. They don’t always last, and sometimes it is a simple case of not being right for one another. In my experience, I have found that there are some factors that are so important within a relationship for me, and the absence of them can cause disruption. We should all be able to identify what holds importance to us before we invest into a relationship- if we want it to last.
This really is so important. Sometimes when I look at some of my family and friends who are in committed relationships, I wonder whether they even like each other as people. Sure, they live together, they may be married or have children, go on exotic holidays- but do they see beyond physical attraction? Do they laugh? Do they share their concerns and worries? Do they support each other as two friends would support each other? Having a genuine friendship with somebody, before you dive into a relationship with them, gives you chance to get to know them as they are- before they start sharing their life with you. People change in relationships, this side to them is different- you need to be able to get to know both sides to truly appreciate them. Be my lover, but be my best friend too, baby.
It is an unwritten rule that communication is essential when it comes to a relationship. I can only recognise now, in my mid (to late)-twenties, that listening to understand another person is so important. If you can express yourself to somebody, verbally, emotionally, physically- whatever it might be- and feel comfortable doing so, you are feeling safe. You are communicating your feelings and they are being heard, you are being listened to. The message has been received. We are human, we differ in our approaches to situations- some of us act on emotion, some of us withdraw, and that’s okay. However, for a relationship to grow and to overcome obstacles, it requires us to communicate how we feel. Talk- talk about the smaller things in life, but talk about the serious stuff, the stuff that can be controversial, have honest conversations…Talk about your feelings with each other. It is therapeutic to be able to talk with somebody else, who is sharing that story with you and understanding how you are feeling. If you can listen and talk to each other, with mutual understanding then you have something worth building on.
When you are going to spend a long period of time, maybe your whole life with somebody, intimacy goes a very long way. You need physical affection and you need to be able to feel close with somebody, it makes you feel good and you can share that feeling with somebody else. Life gets busy sometimes, work commitments, social events, gym classes, eating dinner- all of those basic aspects of life make us feel like we don’t have time for anything else. Having time that is solely for you both is needed, and if you feel like you have no time, you make the time. A healthy sex life is important, it strengthens your bond and connection to that person- everything from kissing to foreplay to having sex, and everything in between. Make each other feel good. Often!
There is no reason why two people should be together 24/7, and it is good to spend time apart, with other friends, but it is so important to be able to spend time together doing something that you both enjoy. Whether the shared interest is enjoying the same music, both being gamers, thrill seekers who love outdoor activities, two people who dance together, to two people who like to train together- it doesn’t matter, as long as there is something to share! From my personal experience, the only memorable relationships that I have, are with those who I connected with on different levels because of the shared interests that we had…In the long run, you are going to want to be with somebody who you can share your enjoyment for things with. Life can pass us by: work commitments, keeping a relationship alive, marriage, raising a family, socialising with friends, working out- we spend life going at that fast pace…But when life slows down, you are going to appreciate having somebody beside you who you can really get on a level with.
I really had to think about this. I spent my time thinking of various different things that I always search for in a relationship: honesty, loyalty, trust, respect, compassion and care- but that is love, all wrapped into one. If somebody is not honest with you, is not loyal to you, lies to you, disrespects you, does not show compassion towards you and does not care for you, then they simply do not truly love you. A relationship with genuine love for one another is special; especially in a world where the grass is always greener (apparently). Once one of those things disappears, you can be certain it will rock your relationship. Love the person for their entirety, including their flaws, sex will not suffice in the long run- although a lot of people think it will. A mutual love for one another, on all of the levels, naturally encourages a relationship to positively grow.
Not everybody that you will meet will be right for you. Spend time to evaluate what is important to you in a relationship, and invest in somebody who shares the same views. Take positives away from short relationships- they definitely have taught you something! Be committed to love each other in the most amazing times of your lives, but also the worst.