I’ve not had good experiences in my life over the years to be frank when it comes to relationships. I was in a marriage that was incredibly painful and mentally cruel. A few relationships that were, what I’d call plodding, not really getting anywhere. It could be me, it may be, or I probably have just never clicked with the right person. I’m in a good place now. I live alone. I enjoy making decisions based on my own choices and values, and I no longer feel guilty for it. That I feel will always be me , but then again if I met someone that inspired me , I may have to reconsider my reasoning.
Anyway, I was thinking about the skills that are needed to give a relationship true meaning and a feeling of contentment, for each of the people involved. I thought about the way the different aspects didn’t work in my past marriage, and the alternatives that would work. I actually took quite a while over it, meditating and mulling over, and yes, I feel OK with my list. So here goes…
- Communication…And lots of it! When I look back to my past I realise how little there was of meaningful communication. Words that build up and not tear down. So many times communication fails because bitterness creeps in, which for my case, was a lack of respect for the man I lived with. I got to the point where I became resentful, through a feeling of a lack of love and attention. But to be able to really talk and discuss your problems and everyday stuff must be wonderful. To me the most important part of a relationship is knowing that the person you live with is your best friend, and you want them to be happy, so open communication is a key. It’s being comfortable enough to discuss your basic needs to each other, goals and dreams. And humour has to be a top priority.
- Respect..The ability to appreciate a partners differences and views, even if you have opinions that you feel strongly about. It’s a showing of appreciation for their need to see friends and have their own outside interests away from the relationship. It’s debilitating when a partner is disrespectful to your needs and shows animosity towards your family or friends.
- Affection… Everyone I’ve ever spoken to loves affection, men as much as women. When the honeymoon faze is over the touchy feely aspect can drop like a lead balloon. That seems a bit extreme, but it can and does happen. I love affection, and it’s so important to give your partner lots of it, or else they will feel unloved. Well I did anyway. Massages, head strokes, cuddles and kisses; it makes for a healthy relationship I feel.
- Sex…Important as a gin and tonic (trust me to use an alcoholic drink to describe!) This is a personal thing I know for a lot of people, and everyone’s views are important. Relationships without sex can work, sometimes they have to, yet it is important to acknowledge that you are both on the same wavelength when it comes to sex. Passion is the prime example of a good connection. I think so anyway… And I suppose when all these things are added together, the affection, the love and the sex… everything bounces off each other quite famously..pardon the pun!
- Love… To be in love, a wonderful thing. You cannot help who you fall in love with, it happens, it’s a click, a fall, as the word implies, into an emotional state of contentment, happiness and stability. I don’t think it’s a feeling that can be described in words, rather a range of emotions that can affect the senses. A powerful rush of happiness and empathy for your partner, because you just want them to feel happy. It is a motivating force for good, it builds up the other person and enables them to have a proper sense of worth, which can in successful relationships last a very long time. However, as we all know, love can die. A lack of respect, affection and dis-interest over time can kill love. I’ve been there, I’ve felt it. Anyone can say the words ‘I love you’, but they are words. If the love is true and pure, it will be a motivator to show care and compassion for the best interests of your partner.
- Conflict….Relationships are a two way street, and a partner that approaches situations in an immature way is a disaster waiting to happen. Have you ever been ‘sent to Coventry?’. A saying in England that describes the reactions to a person that has done something to upset or irritate you. By sending someone to Coventry, it means that you refuse to talk to them. This has happened to me many times. The partner, in their immaturity would refuse to speak for days on end. How unhealthy is that? This also stems back to the communication at the beginning of this list. There will be arguments and disagreements, but having a respect for each other means that you can hold your tongue and have a measure of control. ‘Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me’, (a 19th century children’s rhyme, to create a sense of resilience for a person on the receiving end of verbal abuse). Words can and do hurt, especially if they are said in a personal way. A healthy relationship resolves conflict maturely, quite simple.
Anyway, these are some of the things I feel make for a good relationship. Everyone has different views, ideas, personal circumstances and goals that affect their own thinking with this, which I appreciate. There’s no right or wrong answers. However, upon much reflection, I feel that to be kind, caring, loving and affectionate goes a long way when trying to have a meaningful and happy relationship. What do you think?Follow...!