3 Common Qualities of Successful Relationships
Relationships are hard. There, it's been said, the white elephant can leave the room now and we can all breathe a sigh of relief; there's nothing wrong with admitting things aren't perfect 100% of the time. When we think of a successful union, white picket fence images arise, depicting a smiling couple, maybe a dog and a couple of kids, a nice house and a double lock up garage. You never fight and you spend every Sunday on the back deck, talking about current affairs and feeling in complete control of your life, your work and everything else. In reality, never-ending harmony isn't conducive to a healthy relationship, nor does a lack of surface discord automatically mean everything is great when your perfect neighbours return to their perfect home - that's your dream, not their existence. If continual domestic harmony bows out as an essential quality for a lasting romance and partnership, what can be considered important to make sure everything goes to plan, even when it doesn't? Nobody wants their heart broken, especially when it feels so full of love and potential.
Communicate and be Honest
Have you ever wondered how those eternally blissed out couples seem to keep everything together, finding time to share a smile or a joke, even when circumstances are soul destroying? More than likely (unless again, you aren't seeing the full picture) they are amazing communicators, taking each other into confidence constantly and using their feelings, concerns, insecurities and thoughts to bridge a line of cooperation, opposed to a wall of defence. Exploring your identity with your partner, why you're you, how things make you feel, WHY you've had a bad day, how certain behaviours affect you and everything in between in a logical, direct and sensitive way will allow you to form an understanding that will carry you through the bad times. Marriage isn't perfect until you work at it, and even then, it's glorious in its imperfection.
Compromise and Pick Your Wars with Care
Learning to bite the bullet and back off is essential to any relationship, not just romance. Compromising shows you're thinking about your partners interests, integrating their needs with their own and operating as a team. It does really suck sometimes, especially when you think you're right, you're quite certain they're wrong and you ALWAYS have to compromise your opinions or wants, but think before you say any of this out loud. So do they. Compromise is about two or more people coming to a decision together, for the benefit of everybody involved - you may have to swallow some ego to do so, but it's well worth it in the end.
Be Friends, Lovers and Business Partners
A long term relationship or marriage is not just a romantic wander down the lane of life - you will have to make pivotal decisions together, factoring in contingencies and variables, exploring finances and tailoring a budget, often negotiating terms, so the bite of the apple isn't too bitter. It can be positively blinding to try and coddle together a future plan if the person you picked isn't your friend, as well as your lover; we trust our friends, we lean on them and listen to their advice. A lover may know your body, but a true partner will finish your sentences.
Don't put your other half on a pedestal unless you're willing to join them up there, with a picnic basket and the latest anecdotes from the office.