Love is one of the most abused words in relationships today because people take advantage of others using it. The ” I love you” word is seen as a pass to use people because everyone needs love and so many are searching for it. Little wonder, when they find anything close to the definition of true love it doesn’t make them stick to their partners.
Some others see love as the only ingredient that is needed in a relationship. They think, once my partner loves me, every other thing will fall in place. This isn’t true as it takes a whole lot more than love to have and keep a healthy relationship. What then are the most important things in a relationship?
Without this, I think you will only end up being a bore and a pain in the neck of your partner. The way we allow others to treat us is a reflection of how we value ourselves and the moment people can sense it, it gives an open invitation to people that you can be used and treated badly without putting up a fight.
You would keep seeking reassurance and always wanting to be told that you are loved. It will be pretty difficult to love someone else if you don’t love yourself first. That is why we allow people to come into our lives and treat us the way they like.
We allow certain things to go on because we just want to be in a relationship that could be otherwise termed toxic but we stay in, with the feeling of “at least my mate loves me” even when the treatment you are receiving says otherwise.
You will find yourself seeking for love and approval, you will keep looking for someone to complete you, forgetting that you are whole in yourself. It’s possible you had a rough childhood or had some bad experiences as a teenager that has tainted your self-love but don’t let it cloud your self-worth.
How do you regain your self-love?
Look out for those qualities within and without that makes you unique. Embrace it. I know you are not perfect, no one is but there are attributes you have that no one else possesses. Now, you are in a relationship, don’t forget how to love yourself. It will make things easy for your mate, you won’t become insatiable.
This is one very vital ingredient in a relationship but stands out as what is important in a relationship with a man.
Both partners have to hold each other in high esteem. It means valuing your partner, treating them right, treating them the way you want to be treated, it means you value their opinion and you look forward to hearing them out always even when you disagree, you won’t use derogatory words because how they feel is important to you too.
You allow your partner to disagree and still arrive at a compromise. You don’t pressurize them into doing what you want instead you allow them to see reasons with you and then make their decisions.
Now you are wondering if all of these are respect, then what is disrespect? Disrespect is being self-centered, not caring about the needs and feelings of your partner.
I remember an experience I had with an ex-boyfriend. Things bloomed between us until I began to notice some level of disrespect in his attitude towards me. It started with simple attitudes of ignoring my calls. I would call severally and he would never return my calls.
Sometimes, when he happens to pick up my call, he will be discussing with someone in the background and talking with me also. It got to me badly and I knew he was tired of me.
I know there are times your mate will be unavailable but returning your calls shouldn’t be a big deal when they are less busy. If you also happen to call when they are busy, they should be polite enough to say “please, let me call you later” or “I’m in the middle of something really important, let’s catch up later”.
Being disrespectful involves pulling away or withdrawing when your mate doesn’t do what you want. That is why feelings, needs, and expectations should be communicated. Always check your actions by empathizing; I mean putting yourself in the shoes of your partner before doing anything.
Respect involves allowing your partner to be free to be themselves. Don’t try to dominate or manipulate them into doing what you want. Do you keep hurting your partner by repeating a kind of behavior that is displeasing to them or you insist on doing something only when they agree to your terms? That is pure disrespect.
When your partner expresses themselves, do you say they are overreacting or they are wrong to even express themselves? You are disrespectful.
Do you trade blames or get on the defensive mode instead of accepting your faults and working on them? You are disrespectful.
Respecting your mate means you see them as a part of you and you are willing to listen to them even when you don’t agree with whatever they want to say.
Valuing the feelings and needs of your partner is respect. It also boils down to keeping promises and not breaking your word, when you don’t follow through on commitments, it is disrespectful.
Let’s learn to nip disrespect in the bud or it could get out of hand. You are free to disagree but at least do it respectfully. It has to be mutual. This is one of the most important things in a relationship.
In a marriage or any other relationship you are involved in, forgiveness is one of the major repair tools you will need to learn and master. You and your partner are going to disagree sometimes and you will feel hurt in the process but what happens?
As long as you are in a relationship, you are bound to be hurt because no one is perfect, including you. I see people waiting around for Mr or Miss perfect but you know what? They don’t even exist. What you will always find is “Mr almost there” or “Miss pretty close”.
Your partner will sometimes forget to assist with your to-do list, he will leave his closet scattered, she may react abnormally sometimes or even tell you she is tired most of the time, these and many more are the reasons why forgiveness is one of the most important things in a relationship.
Don’t view forgiveness as you being the victim or you being the reason for your hurt always or even being responsible for your partner’s behavior, no, far from it. Look at it from the standpoint of giving pardon even when the other person doesn’t realize they hurt you. It boils down to how you respond to issues and not the attitude of your mate.
This may sound simple but it takes strength especially when your partner keeps repeating their wrongdoings, but when you do, you are building your personality and not allowing it to bother you. You will notice your intimacy getting stronger.
Another reason to forgive is that you may be the offender tomorrow and you will need forgiveness just as much as you will need to give to your partner. Also learn to ask for forgiveness when wrong, don’t wait until it is pointed out to you.
The danger of unforgiveness is the build-up of resentment, bitterness and slowly you will find yourself losing connection. Don’t let it happen.
Asides everyday conversations which I believe most couples engage in, I believe there are other aspects of communication that seem to be a hard nut to crack and that is in the area of starting up conversations especially when hurt.
First, the way you present an issue to your partner already has a way of setting the tone of how the discussion will go.
It begins with looking for a time where you are both emotionally neutral and calm, then you present your case just the way it is( don’t assume your partner knows what the issue is). State how you feel by your partner’s actions. Don’t blame them but just be open and state your case.
If you go about the blame trade, your partner may become defensive. Try to get them to understand that you are open enough to share how you feel. To complete the cycle, listen for their feedback, don’t cut them off while they speak and where they do not agree with you, try to reach a compromise.
Being faithful doesn’t only stop at sharing your body with no one else but your spouse; it involves not sharing your emotional connection too.
6. Commitment And Loyalty
This involves being there against all odds. Being available, putting a lot of effort to make the relationship work, being sincere and being able to commit your resources to the relationship.
This is one of the most important things in a relationship. It is one vital part of building a healthy relationship. Imagine a house without a foundation or a building without scaffolds? That’s an example of a relationship without trust.
Trust refers to you having a settled feeling about your mate being reliable, you have confidence in their words and you feel safe with them. It also means you are both there for each other and whatever you say agrees with what you do.
Trust isn’t a one-sided affair, it has to be mutual. It means being consistent both in words and actions. Someone who loves you and is trustworthy won’t stand you up always. They won’t abscond on you when problems arise and won’t abuse you when there is a misunderstanding.
Trust prevails even in distant relationships when you know your partner would not behave abnormally. You know you don’t need to check who your partner is with or what they are up to. You are rest assured that your partner has your back always.
Trust doesn’t happen overnight. It has to be built over time with little drops of consistency here and there, ranging from being truthful even in little insignificant matters to being there in turbulent times.
Keeping what is a secret between you two and not telling on you by sharing vital information meant for only you but protecting you too. That’s trust.
This entails being truthful. Dishonesty can crumble relationships no matter how long it may have taken both partners to build. Being honest provides some level of security for your partner and they can stand to defend you even in your absence. Imagine feeding your partner with lies and they end up discovering the truth. How will it make them feel? Hurt, of course, and it will go against the true definition of love you have been trying to build over time.
9. Being Best Friends
This is the very core of great relationships and one of the most important things in a relationship.
Most couples overlook this but this means you are a haven for your partner. You are supportive in every way. Remember your partner will grow old someday, they will not always be attractive but when your friendship is solid, you will stand the test of time together.
Pointing out every good thing your mate does is a good way to get them to do more. An appreciative partner will always get more from their mate.
No one likes to be talked down or their weaknesses hammered always. We all want to be given thumbs up and kudos whenever we do something right. This is another rule that is one of the most important things in a relationship.
While you are pondering if your relationship is a healthy one, or how to make a relationship last a lifetime or even things to strive for in a relationship, do well to start from the relationship needs list above.
A quick recap on a vital truth we looked at, love is not enough to build a relationship and it is not the only thing that can make a good relationship.
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