John Lennon said that all you need is love. Love can make any relationship work. Many people have taken this idea to heart and done crazy things in the name of love. It doesn’t always work well. How do we know if it’s real love? We can end up in bad or abusive situations if this is the principle we are following. Trent Reznor acknowledges that sometimes love is not enough. So if love is not the most important building block of a relationship then what is?
When we come right down to it, there are three critical keys to any relationship. If you have these few things then everything else will follow. Respect, communication, and trust. Let’s say that once more, respect, communication, and trust.
1st Key to Any Relationship: Respect
So why is respect so important? Respect is defined as “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” In many relationships, particularly romantic ones, why would we want someone in our lives who don’t inspire this feeling in us? Chances are that if we do not respect people the people we are closest to, there are usually good reasons. These are typically the people who are more of a draining force on our lives. They usually are not people who are making things easier for us or adding something special to our lives.
Think of someone you’re close to that you respect. How do you act towards that person? When we respect people we have a higher tendency to be more considerate to them. We try to act in ways that will benefit them or have them view us favorably. Relationships with a solid core of mutual respect can form extremely close and fulfilling bonds.
When we look at romantic partners, this can become even more important. We can be more intimate with romantic partners in ways that we never are with other people. We tend to not only become vulnerable to them physically but emotionally as well. One of the key ingredients to a successful romantic partnership is mutual respect.
2nd Key to Any Relationship: Communication
Communicating clearly and effectively can be a fairly complicated process. There are so many influences on language from cultural differences to meaning and connotations formed from personal experience. Communication is also changed by our emotions, our tone, our attention span. On the best of days, it can be a complicated process.
A lot of fights can begin with a simple miscommunication. When we are close to someone, we can be more sensitive to the things they say. It can make it harder for trust to be in the relationship. The words used can also do significant damage to the trust we may have. Someone thinks someone meant something else and their feelings got hurt. In some cases that hurt can be really hard to undo.
How we communicate with our partner or don’t communicate with them, can make or break a relationship. It’s where most people run into serious problems with their partner. To communicate successfully, it takes practice and learning about how your partner communicates. Once you both have a good understanding about the communication styles, you can work together to improve how you talk to each other. This can make a world a difference in a fight and sometimes avoid a fight altogether. It is another crucial ingredient to successful relationships
3rd Key to Any Relationship: Trust
Trust varies quite considerably depending on the person and situation. We all operate with the basic trust for certain things. Most of us trust that we will wake up tomorrow. Most of us will trust that our friend will not carry out a secret plot to murder us next week. Trust becomes more of a concern when we start talking about our emotions and our heart. We don’t always trust people not to break our hearts, especially if they have been broken before.
Trust takes time to build and are totally crucial to healthy relationships. We need to be able to feel secure in our romantic partnership. What exactly this means for each person will vary a little bit. Most people want to know that their partner won’t take advantage of them, or cheat on them. If we have strong suspicions and a lack of trust, this can lead to some serious fights. It can also lead us to certain behaviors we would never have done before. People do crazy things in the name of love remember? That doesn’t make those things necessarily right.
The good news with trust is that if we have strong mutual respect and clear communication, it can come a lot easier for most people. If a relationship is suffering in trust, a good place to start in fixing it is to look at the first two keys to relationships.
Relationships Are All About the Building Blocks
Relationships can take a bit of work. It’s an ongoing process. These keys are kind of like building blocks that help us build healthy and strong relationships. When we have a strong foundation, it becomes easier to continue to build together. It takes two to tango and the success or failure of a relationship is not dependent on one person only. Everyone involved in a relationship should take time to learn more about the type of relationship they are in and what makes those relationships successful. Share this article with people in your life and get those conversations started!
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