Love, intimacy, trust, and loyalty are needed for a healthy relationship to thrive. There also needs to be mutual respect, emotional maturity, and honesty. Conflicts need to be resolved using empathy, good communication and compromise. Each person needs to keep their own independence and individuality and should take pride in their personal appearance. It is also important to be positive, playful and have fun!
I am a hopeless romantic, but experience has taught me that it takes more than just to love someone to make a relationship work. There is no rhyme or reason to why we fall in love, but we do know more about what keeps us feeling that way. Those that have developed qualities that are needed for a happy and healthy relationship are much more likely to keep the fire burning. As we get to know the individual we are dating, we learn more about them and if they have these golden attributes.
To love someone is to really care for someone and be enamoured by them. Love is to understand who someone is and cherish them for it. You never want them to come to any harm and always want the best for them.
Honesty strengthens a relationship and builds trust within it. Secrets and lies will be like the grim reaper hanging over your relationship, it will be doomed! Honesty builds trust and respect in a relationship.
You need to respect each other by accepting them and valuing them as they are. It also encompasses understanding their interests, opinions, values, and beliefs.
This is essential in all relationships; if you haven’t got trust then you haven’t got anything. Lack of trust will lead to suspicions, overthinking and so many questions your partner may feel as though they are on trial! This will of course lead to many arguments and the other person may feel trapped. If there is a lack of trust there will be a lack of contentment which may lead to one person feeling very insecure. This is not conducive to a healthy relationship.
There is nothing like knowing your partner has your back. It brings a sense of security and you never need to worry about where they are or who they are with if loyalty is one of their core moral values. Being loyal to you means they will always look out for you and they would never cheat on you; it goes hand in hand with trust.
Here I am referring to emotional maturity rather than being a grown up with a stable job. We all have a past, and some experiences can negatively impact the way we now behave. Having emotional maturity means that you can recognise the impact this has had and become less likely to let this negativity manifest in new relationships.
- Good communication & Understanding
You must have good, open communication for both people to understand each other. It is needed to express opinions and feelings, as well as moral values and expectations that they have. It is also needed for effective conflict resolution. Couples that are listening to each other can resolve any issue because they are working together as a team.
Empathy is needed in dating relationships so that you understand each other; intellectually and emotionally. When there is mutual understanding in a relationship, people become aware of the things they have in common but also recognise their differences and appreciate them. When empathy, good communication and respect for each other combine each person feels their thoughts, values and opinions are understood. Empathy is a particularly important quality for problem solving and conflict resolution within the relationship, as you will not always agree believe me! Demonstrating compassion will enable your partner to feel understood and cared which will also build intimacy.
Compromise is needed in all relationships to help them run smoothly. Never will two people agree all the time and their thoughts will not always align. In these circumstances there needs to be some give and take. If one person is always getting their own way, the other will be left feeling resentful and frustrated. On the other hand, if you are a pushover and give in all the time eventually your partner will lose respect for you not holding your own. The ability to problem solve empathetically will means less arguments and a happier relationship.
- Playing fair
When arguments arise, it is important not to start throwing around insults or bringing up past situations that have no relevance. Stick to the present disagreement and try to come up with a solution amicably. There is no harm in taking a break from the situation if the argument becomes too heated.
- Anger control
We all feel angry at times, especially when we are frustrated about something that has been said or done. What matters is how we deal with this anger; threatening or violent behaviour should not be tolerated. Other methods like going for a walk, deep breaths or counting to ten should be practiced.
- Self-love & Confidence
For someone else to love you, you must first love yourself. You should be kind to yourself and let go of any past mistakes. There is no point in punishing yourself as nobody is perfect. You should also love yourself by making the best of your appearance and don’t ‘let yourself go’. Keeping yourself looking good will boost your mental health as well as your physical health too. Self-love will also bring a confidence which will make you feel comfortable in your own skin.
- Passion & Intimacy
What is affectionately referred to as ‘the spark’ and ‘butterflies’ at the beginning of the relationship, which then turns into the ‘honeymoon period’ where love, affection and passion are immensely present. The passion can fade in a long-term relationship, but it needs the intimacy needs to be kept alive for both partners to feel fulfilled. Sexual and emotional intimacy creates the feeling of being loved and accepted.
- Individuality & independence
Do not suddenly give up your life as you know it just because you are dating someone new. Remember who you are; for example, if you always supported a sports team and watched them every week or you get a spray tan every week continue to do this! It is so important that you keep your sense of individuality; you do not need to spend all your free time together. They will also have interests of their own and it’s good to have your own space that way you will appreciate each other even more when you are together.
- Sense of humour
The ability to be able to laugh at something you’ve done or what your partner has done can turn a possible argument into a playful situation. A great relationship needs a good sense of humour, fun and lots of laughs.
At the core of your relationship should be a strong friendship. It means you will know each other well and you make allowances for them. Couples with a strong friendship are more likely to last long-term.
Life can be plagued with negativity and criticism, even from our partner. We all need to hear positive comments even as simple as ‘thank you’ and ‘you look great’. This will boost your connection and is particularly appreciated in couples who have past the honeymoon stage of their relationship.
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