Ah, the pain in the love game. I’m sure many, if not most of you have a feeling what I’m referring to. And many of you have likely even experienced it. As we all know, or should know I should say, love, is not a game when your intentions are pure and when two people are looking for something meaningful and based on substance and a strong foundation. When it comes to love, many times it involves pain, just like anything else that takes effort and work. The more effort, the more work, and ahem, the more love that’s put into a relationship, the better that relationship will be. As well, it takes all of those things and more in order to make that love-filled relationship last. Having said that, all of the effort, hard work, and love in the world won’t make a great relationship that will last unless both people know how to do a few things. In this article, I wanted to share what those things are.
Both people need to know when to compromise, as well as just what they’re both willing to compromise on. You see, you can’t have everything exactly how you want it, and especially not when you hope to share your time and possibly even your life with another person. You have to take that other person’s wants, needs, feelings, desires, hopes, and goals into consideration. When you get into a new relationship, you go from having one opinion and all your focus and thoughts are of you, to thinking from more of a selfless and giving perspective, where there are two opinions, and of course, you might not always agree on things, which brings us back to compromise. You can’t compromise on things that are a big deal for you and neither should the other person. This is when and how you’ll truly know just how compatible you are together. Can you compromise on things and make things work or does everything feel like it’s a struggle?
2. Pick and Choose Your Battles.
Loving relationships involve picking and choosing your battles. Like I said before, you can’t have everything your way, you cant always win, although technically it’s never about winning or losing—you get my drift. You have to decide what’s genuinely important to you and worth having your way, and what you can let go, be giving, and compromise on—where things go your partner’s way.
Things should be fair in every relationship where you or your partner feels happy for the most part. You should never feel as if you’re in a one-sided relationship where one of you is always the giver, and the other person simply takes, and takes, and takes. You can’t make a big deal about every little thing. A healthy and loving relationship involves two people who are both predominantly easy-going and can handle not always having their way, and yet they can still be happy about it, especially knowing that their partner is happy at times for having things their way.
3. Get to Know Each Other on a Deeper Level.
In order to have a loving relationship, you should know your partner inside and out. Know their wants, their needs, their passions, and their dreams. Know your partner on a deeper level more than anyone else. Sound extreme? Well good, I’m O.K. with that. Is moderation the key to life? Well, not always. In time, and with enough effort and love, you can and should become best friends with your partner. You see, when two people have a relationship that’s passionate, selfless, giving, and where they’re both considerate of one another, they will naturally bond on a deeper level. But it also involves, you guessed it, number 4 and number 5.
4. Be Honest, Trustworthy, and Trusting.
The fourth thing to bring out the best love would be none other than being honest, trustworthy, and trusting. This one definitely takes the cake when it comes to one of the main foundation pillars of a healthy, happy, and loving relationship. Being honest is easy for those who are generally open about pretty much everything. But then again, not everyone is open about everything, at least not to the extent where utter truth plays a role.
Being honest is imperative if you want to be lovers and best friends. As well, honesty needs to be present always, not when it’s most convenient or easiest. Sometimes, the truth hurts, but it’s better to cut your losses short, speak your mind, and share with your partner how things really are, not how you create them to be. This means, no big lies, little lies, white lies, nada. An honest relationship is a good relationship. Besides, when you can’t be honest with one another, things will eventually deteriorate and fall apart where even the love may wither away in time.
5. Be Open Book.
Good and beautiful love involves open communication or as I like to call it, “being open book.” Both people need to be transparent and have an open book type of communication. Having great communication with one another is essential in order to feel close and comfortable. Whether you spend loads of time together and have very little space to yourself or even if you’re in a long distance relationship, communication is also an imperative factor in a loving relationship. It’s also part of becoming best friends, which as I already stated, is what will make your relationship stronger.
Talk, listen, share, and learn how to handle confrontation together where you can both remain poised during challenging times. Know how to calm each other down. Again, this takes work and effort in learning each other’s ways. It also takes time and patience. And remember, you can’t be angry and fuming at the same time because fire on fire doesn’t work. One of you must be water in hard times, and not labeled as such either, where you don’t take turns. But more so, where you can put one another at ease with whatever you feel with calm them down, in what works for them.
And you also can’t be crazy at the same time. And yes, to all of the therapists listening, I’m using the word crazy, so feel free to attack it if necessary, I won’t mind ignoring you. We all have our crazy moments, don’t even try to deny it, some more than others. But the trick is two things. One, pick a partner who’s crazy is just crazy enough where you vibe nicely together and can handle their craziness, and two, where things don’t get out of hand where they’re actually losing their mind and yours in the process. My point is, take turns being crazy. One person has to crank up the love, understanding, and calming vibe at times while the other is having “their moment.”
6. Be Supportive.
The sixth thing to make a loving relationship completely awesome is to be supportive of each other. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should support their bad habits or any negative things that they might want to do. This means that you should be each other’s rock, backbone, emotional support system, and like I said, each other’s best friend. Yes, that “ride or die” best friend. Be there for each other in good times and hard times. Sticking around when things are easy is easy. But sticking around when things are challenging or hard is what makes a strong relationship. Just like years, age, and experience brings wisdom, hard times in a relationship make it work, make it strong, and make it last. Be willing to fight through hard times and push forward, rather than give up, give into temptation or take the easy way out.
7. Closeness, Affection, and Intimacy.
Lucky number 7. Being that they say that there’s a seven-year itch, I’m stopping this article at number 7. A seven-year itch shouldn’t happen when you follow all of these suggestions. So the seventh thing I will highly suggest in order to make your love amazing is to focus enough on the closeness, affection, and intimacy in your relationship. Don’t get lazy, don’t make excuses—unless of course they’re genuine reasons—and don’t go to bed angry. Now, this all depends on whether you and your partner have decided to become intimate, whether you live together, are engaged, or are even married. So I definitely can’t speak to everyone here, therefore, take from this article whatever works for you.
In order to have a loving relationship, it needs LOVE. Therefore, intimacy and affection should both be based out of love. When you hold your partner’s hand, hug them, kiss them, or do intimate acts, they should all be based out of love for one another. And not that it needs to be said, well O.K. this actually completely needs to be said—affection and intimacy are not the same things. Affection can happen inside and outside of intimate acts like love-making etc. Affection is embracing your partner, holding hands, kissing, cuddling, and even being there for each other like giving them a good old pat on the back—yea, don’t judge.
Just like infants need affection to feel loved, and at times, to even survive, so do relationships. Feeling close and connected to your partner is everything, and although there are many types of connections—emotional, intellectual, musical, etc., affection and intimacy provide a tremendous amount of closeness as well. Hmm… did I mention how laughter can make a relationship loving? Let’s squeeze it into number 7—laughter will not only increase the chances and possibility of falling in love and becoming best friends, but it will also make both people feel an immense amount of closeness to one another.