According to an article at Psychologytoday.com, there are 7 Secrets to a Successful Relationship. According to PsychCentral.com there are 5 Secrets to a Successful Relationship, and according to LifeHack.com, there are 10 Keys to a Successful Relationship. I can’t help but wonder though, if there aren’t as many secrets to success in romantic relationships as there are people in a relationship – or who want to be.
Having displayed my skepticism of there being such simple answers to such a complex and timeless question, it does seem that we can grasp at least a few simple concepts that will serve to enhance and strengthen a long-term romantic relationship.
5 Keys to a Lasting Relationship
- Respect – While never mentioned explicitly in any of the articles listed above (amazingly), respect does seem to be at least implicit in the characteristics described. For me though, respect for your partner is the foundation of love. After all, if you can’t respect your partner you can’t truly value them as a human being, now can you? If you can’t value them, you literally cannot love them. Seems pretty simple to me.
- Shared values – Also foundational to a long-term relationship is the sharing of values between partners. If one partner hopes to someday own a home with a white picket fence and a few kids running around the house, while the other dreams of living in a downtown loft and going clubbing every night, you’re going to have problems. Figure out the Big Stuff first, before you make a lifetime commitment, and work on the little things that come up as needed.
- Be mindful – Just as you wish to have your points of view and feelings considered in all situations, you owe your partner the same consideration. Sure, it’s very Golden Rule-ish but, you know what, it’s also the respectful and loving thing to do.
- Be sharing – Never, ever fall into the trap of saying, “If you really loved me you’d know what I need”. That is childish and, frankly, a crappy trick to play on anyone you profess to care for. No one can read your mind so, share your thoughts and feelings and, when conflicts arise, be mature enough to talk them out like grownups.
- Be appreciative – Never take your partner for granted. When someone pays you the ultimate compliment of loving you, you owe them – yes you owe them – the respect, admiration, and gratitude they deserve for committing themselves and working toward building a life-long partnership with you.
So, as you can see, romantic relationships really are not all that tough to build and maintain, as long as you respect your partner, behave like a responsible adult, and treat them in the same way you hope to be treated.
What are your keys, or secrets, to a successful long-term relationship?