What are the ingredients of a healthy relationship? There are so many answers to this question because different individuals have different ideals they deem important in a union. These ideals are shaped by their past, their expectations, their personality and even their plans for the future. But, despite these variations, a few values are necessary as they form the foundation of every healthy relationship. Here are three of my faves:
Value 1 – Good Communication
Simply put, communication is getting one’s message across in a way that your partner understands. This is an age old problem in many relationships because men and women are inherently wired differently. Yet, the aim is to get along and in most cases, ‘til death. Communication is important because it creates well needed transparency between partners so they can better understand and appreciate each other while they grow together. As individuals, we are constantly learning about ourselves and changing; this can put a strain on our partners who has to rediscover us ever so often. One way to stay on track is to make time for frank and open conversations as this improves connections. Make it a habit to get closer to your partner by also listening. Without doing this, you may become strangers and that’s a deal breaker under any circumstance.
Value 2 – Mutual Respect
Good communication often leads to mutual respect between partners. But, before you can respect someone else, you must respect self. Knowing who you are, accepting who you are and knowing what not to accept from others is a good start. However, in a relationship, respect may vary with situation. Sometimes it is as simple as being mannerly and courteous towards your partners. Another time respect means giving your partner space to fail and still show love because you know that a part of their journey is learning from their mistake. The role of a partner is not to mete out harsh criticism but to encourage each other while you become your best self. Many individuals fail to show respect because they hang on to fantasies. In reality, you have to be opened to others failing as humans often do, and then try to understand the reason for their action. By respecting each other you exercise patience, understanding and forgiveness.
Value 3 – Intimacy
With good communication and mutual respect, you will create a safe space for your relationship. Within this safe space, intimacy is easy because you will not be scared of being vulnerable with your partner. You are excited about each other and the newness you will discover together. Life takes on new meaning because the little things make so much difference. You renew your commitment to your partner by choosing him/her every day. You are grateful you found someone who ‘gets’ you. Intimacy is about sending that text message that makes her smile or playing that song he likes to hear. It is about knowing and accepting each other’s weaknesses and strengths. It is about being a friend in the tough times and on the flip side, being gentle with your touch.
Did your values make the list? Let me know what you think….