How to build a long-lasting relationship is probably the one question that all human beings battle with.
Relationships, ancient as they are, carry the inherent flaw of human nature. And our nature is why we struggle to understand each other and to compromise.
Compatibility is great in a relationship. There are, however, certain irreducible minimums on what is attractive to humans.
Kindness is one such example. Regardless of who you are, humans automatically respond to kindness.
What makes a lasting relationship then?
Do you need to be different, or do you need to be ‘similar yet different’?
Buckle up as we explore the essential must-haves in a relationship.
15 Relationship Must-Haves
A kind soul can move you to your tears. And a kind soul makes for lasting relationships.
Kindness is an inherent trait that should not be compromised. When you are kind, you look at everyone around you from the eyes of love. You adopt a sense of servitude and treat your partner with autonomy.
Everyone deserves a little kindness!
It is repeated time and time again that a successful relationship needs great communication. Whether you live together, love each other, or have been married for ten years, failure to communicate effectively is the small hole that will sink the ship.
As soon as possible, don’t hesitate to start a DTR talk.
Transparency and vulnerability
Sometimes it is easy to shelter our loved ones from the world, from our frustrations and from the things we choose to perceive as our personal battles.
What we fail to realize in these instances is that our partners don’t always need us to be strong. The ability to be vulnerable with our partners is not cowardice – it shows true strength.
To be transparent with our partners relieves them from the mind trips they would have otherwise gone through, wondering what’s going on with us.
Respect is not old-fashioned. Regardless of how long you have known each other, you only go far when you realize that your loved one still needs to be respected. Date-times still need to be kept, the simple things they ask of us still need to be remembered and done.
There is beauty in a partnership that respects and values the opinions of both parties.
A triad of shared values
If you and your partner do not believe in the same core values, you have no business being together. While there is space for negative ends to attract, shared values are what will keep you together.
How do you perceive love?
What is your approach to solving arguments?
Do you believe in marriage?
Shared values allow lovers to refer to what they believe in, especially in conflict.
A circle of mutual friends
A girl is less likely to be worried about their man if she knows his company and vice versa. The not-knowing is fertile ground for worries, wild imaginations, and problems regarding trust.
Couples that hang together ultimately stay together.
Intimacy, romance, sexual spark
Sex as a tool of love and appreciation is not overrated. Most couples will point to their relationships going south when they stopped loving each other physically.
To be honest, things only work out when you and your partner are on the same page about your attitudes towards intimacy. If there is a disconnect, it will spill over into other aspects of the relationship resulting in frustration and even resentment. That’s how you find yourself fighting over petty things.
Being grateful for each other
Do you know who you treat and care for? Someone you appreciate. Couples that remind each other that they are grateful for each other are happier and ultimately stay together longer.
Acceptance and forgiveness
Everyone messes up when in a relationship. It could be anything from failing to help out with shared chores to a breach of trust. Whatever the case, you will have to do a lot of forgiving, so you better learn how to do it right.
Holding on to that one thing they did that one time will only drive you crazy and have you turning your beautiful relationship into a toxic mess.
Affirmation is a love language most people respond to. A quick “You look good today,” or a simple “I appreciate you,” are all affirmative statements that will make your partner happier. The more we get reminders that we are loved, the less we worry about our relationship.
Ability to commit
Commitment only comes second to love in the important ingredients of a relationship. Loving someone is easy. Commitment, however, is what defines a lasting union. Commitment is a choice you make every day.
“I will love and be faithful.”
“I will care for my partner.”
These daily reminders help you stay in line when your eyes stray.
The willingness to work through tough times
It is not always love and smiles in relationships, and there is nothing wrong with that. It just means you have to be invested enough in your partner to actually make it work. Whether it is internal struggles or you and your beau against the world, you have to be willing to fight for your love.
Being able to admit making mistakes (and to learn from them)
You need to realize that you are human, so a lot of fights you will have you at fault. You have to be willing to humble yourself and accept responsibility when you fall short as a partner. This makes it easier for your partner to forgive you so you can move on happier and stronger.
Having fun together
A couple that has fun together lasts long together! Seriously, having fun together outside typical date settings helps you build a strong bond of friendship. It is this that will see you through the really hard times.
Emotional support and validation
One of the main reasons we choose to get into relationships instead of staying alone forever is for emotional support. So, it is something you cannot afford to take lightly if you want to make things work.
Go out of your way to be your partner’s cheerleader, supporting and validating them in any way you can. And make sure you get the same from them.
None of us has mastered the art of lasting relationships. When asked, couples that have been together for long confess that they wake up every day and decide to love and commit to each other. So can you!
If you feel the spark walking away, chase it, go on dates, and seek therapy. Life is too short to give up on the things that make us happy.