Few things are as intoxicating as having the kind of connection that heats up a room and sends sparks bouncing off the walls with the person you’re in a relationship with. Chemistry is great, but it can only get you so far. There are other things that hold even more importance in a relationship.
If you want your relationship to work and last for a long time, the first thing you need to do is get rid of the perfect picture you have in your head. Don’t go in with a script and try to mold your partner to fit it as you might only end up ruining a good thing.
Open and honest communication
The issues you keep silent about will end up eating your relationship from within. Instead of biting your tongue or ignoring problematic behavior, speak up. Be real about how you feel and remain open to hearing ways that you can improve. Communication will not only help you solve conflicts before they escalate, but it’ll also bring you closer together.
Acceptance of your partner’s flaws
In the beginning, it seems like the whole world revolves around your partner. In your eyes, they can do no wrong, but with time, you will realize that they have quirks which you may not like. Accept that as annoying as their flaws are, it’s part of what makes them who they are and learn to roll with it.
Clear boundaries and relationship terms
One thing that’s extremely important to me in a relationship is honesty. I hate lies and will not abide people who tell them. It’s a dealbreaker for me regardless of how attracted I am to a person. Define the things that are important to you as a person and in a relationship. If you don’t know what page your partner is on, the relationship will not work.
I know you want to spend every moment available with this person you like, but you need to take some time apart. Give them space to miss you a little bit or work on personal issues when needed. Being in a relationship doesn’t automatically transform you both into a single-celled organism.
Trust, trust, trust
You won’t get very far in a relationship without trust. No matter how much chemistry is between you, if you cannot trust the other person, then that’s a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, it’s something that can be built and continually strengthened, so get to work.
For the sake of your relationship, you should have some level of respect for your partner. Love is not an excuse to turn someone into a doormat or let yourself be used as one. Abuse and disrespect do not have a place in a healthy relationship.
Healthy servings of happiness
Nobody in the world has a relationship in which they’re happy all the time. No one is even happy all the time by themselves. Life isn’t always sunshine and roses, but you’re going to have to try and infuse happiness into your relationships. Bitterness, anger, resentment, and misery will ruin what you have if you give them enough room.
Willingness to compromise
Being in a relationship is all about giving and receiving. If one person is only giving while the other just takes and takes, something is bound to come crashing down. If you’re going to make things work, sacrifice and compromise is the way to go. I don’t always agree with what my boyfriend wants, but I’m more than open to finding a middle ground.
I’m just not the kind of person who needs to sleep, eat, breathe, be with my partner every time—and you shouldn’t be either. It’s very important to maintain your individuality and not lose yourself in the relationship whirlwind. Even if you love the same things, try to develop separate interests. Be self-reliant. Remember, nobody likes a needy adult.
Sure, you’re amazing on your own, but you will both need to learn to be great as a couple. Equality is the name of the game and partnership is how you win it. Figure out what you want for yourselves and out of the relationship, then work together to realize it.
A forgiving heart
The cold, disappointing fact of life is that everybody is prone to messing up. If you truly want to make your relationship work, you’re going to have to forgive your partner when they make mistakes. As the former crown princess of holding a grudge, I can tell you that it does serious damage to relationships.
Growing as a couple means figuring out the good and bad sides of yourself. You may discover that what you considered to be normal is actually problematic behavior. Being emotionally mature is facing your issues and doing away with unhealthy attributes that keep you from being the best partner you can be.
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