Need I say more? Love is always a delicate topic of discussion, regardless of time, place, circumstance, or reason. Everybody, myself included have a way of imagining love in all its beautiful glory. We give Love all its beautiful definitions while leaving out the bittersweet parts. The reason is that we all WANT, no NEED to believe in the dreamy idea of love. We depend on it like the very air we breathe. However, we all know love is not always enough to build a happy relationship. There are certain ways to have a model relationship you can be proud of with your partner and they include;
1) Mutual Respect
Respect is a very important aspect of every relationship. Know that your partner is into you for who you are- for your great sense of humor, your love of reality TV, etc. Does your partner listen when you say you're not comfortable doing something and then back off right away? Respect in a relationship means that each person values who the other is and understands- and would never challenge- the other person's boundaries.
You are talking with a guy from work and your boyfriend walks by. Does he completely lose his cool or keeps walking because he knows you'd never cheat on him? It's OKAY to get a little jealous sometimes- jealousy is a natural emotion, but how a person reacts when feeling jealous is what matters. There is no way you can have a healthy relationship if you don't trust each other.
This one goes hand-in-hand with trust because it is tough to trust someone when one of you is not being honest. Have you ever caught your girlfriend in a major lie? Like she told you she had to work on Friday night but it turned out she was at the movies with her friends? The next time she says she has to work, you will have a lot more trouble believing her and the trust will be on shaky ground or even be broken.
It is not just in bad times that your partner should support you. Some people are great when your world is falling apart but can't take being there when things are going right (and vice versa). In a healthy relationship, your significant other is there with a shoulder to cry on when your world seems to be falling apart, and also to celebrate with you when you make a headway in life!
Equality is another important aspect of a healthy relationship. As I have always insisted, a couple should try as much as possible to play on an even playground. Don't just forget your own happiness for that of your partner; you need to have a balanced give-and-take equation in your relationship. Do you take turns choosing which new movie to see? or what games to play?
As a couple, you need to hang out with your partner's friends as often as you hang out with yours. It's not like you have to keep a running count and make sure things are exactly even, but you would know if it isn't a fair balance. Things get bad really fast when a relationship turns into a power struggle, with one person fighting to get his or her way all the time.
6) Separate Identities
In a healthy relationship, everyone needs to make compromises but that doesn't mean you should feel like you are loosing out on being yourself. You should also maintain your individual identities. When you started going out, you both had your own lives (families, friends, interests, hobbies, etc) and that should not change after you began dating. Neither of you should have to pretend to like something you don't or give up seeing your friends, nor drop out of activities you love. And you also should feel free to keep developing new talents or interests, making new friends, and moving forward. A partner that is not willing to support your independence and your growth is not worth a second of your time.
7) Good Communication
Communication is probably the most important aspect of a relationship. A couple needs to talk, listen, talk, listen and talk again. They both should be willing to listen as well as communicate their needs with one another. You have probably heard lots of stuff about how men and women don't seem to speak the same language. We all know how many different meanings the little phrase "No, nothing's wrong" can have, depending on who is saying it. What is important is to ask if you are not sure what he or she means, and speak honestly/openly so that the miscommunication is avoided in the first place.
Never keep a feeling bottled up because you are afraid it's not what your partner wants to hear or because you worry about sounding silly. If you need some time to think something through before you are ready to talk about it, the right person will give you some space to do so if you ask for it.
Do not make assumptions in a relationship. if you do not understand what is being said or are unsure of where you stand, the best thing is to ask questions: Make your reservations known.
A relationship is unhealthy when it involves mean, disrespectful, controlling or abusive behaviour. Some people live in homes with parents who fight a lot or abuse each other- emotionally, verbally, mentally or physically. For some people who have grown up around this kind of behaviour, it can almost seem normal. Let me use this medium to assure you that it is not! Many of us learn from watching and imitating the people close to us. So, someone who has lived around violent or disrespectful behaviour may not have learned how to treat others with kindness and respect or how to expect the same treatment from people.