Have you ever wondered if there is some sort of formula that can help you have a successful relationship? And if there is how would you go about implementing it to make sure your relationship lasted? We have discovered 7 foundations for a successful relationship that psychologically impact you positively and equate to more fulfilling connections.
It’s a question i have asked myself many times, however after 24 years in 2 long term relationships and finding myself single again, i decided that perhaps it would be time to give this some real investigation, so that when the chance for another relationships came around i wouldn’t be repeating the same old unsuccessful patterns as i had done before. This is how i came up with the 7 foundations for a successful relationship, so far we are flourishing and long may it continue.
Breaking a relationship down into these 7 categories: Honesty, Responsibility, Loyalty, Truth, Support, Equality, Independence and Communication is the first part to seeing how relationships are structured. These are the foundations that have to be in place before we can move on to a really deep connection.
More than just ‘Love’
When i say ‘love’ i don’t mean the cliched version of love, i mean that the person you are in a relationship with, be it friend or lover means a lot to you. You care for them and want to protect them, they are important enough for you to want to spend time with and you want to and do make time for them in your life. You involve them in the things you love and see a long term place for them within that. How they feel is important to you and you make a concerted effort always in everything you do for each other. This has to be a 2 way thing, a relationship can only be successful if both parties are willing to put in the same effort. There is far more to love than just the act of making love or feeling love. There is also more to showing love than buying gifts or saying i love you. Love is a commitment as is a relationship and knowing its something that needs worked, will stand you in great stead for a longer lasting commitment.
You have to be willing to take responsibility for your part in any relationship. You are individuals, but you come together to make a new whole, so making sure you do your part to keep everything ticking over nicely is essential. There are always going to be areas which are your strengths, but as long as you try in all areas the other person will see and feel the effort you put in. Responsibility is playing your part in the relationship and being accountable for all parts of it, good and bad. Knowing what you are responsible for such as keeping boundaries and being respectful, but also not taking on too much responsibility, its needs to be equal. It’s also knowing what you are not responsible for such as the other persons happiness or poor actions.
If you cannot be honest with each other, then there is no point in continuing any relationship. Honesty = integrity and without this any relationship is doomed to fail. Honesty in what you want, the future you see unfolding between you both and how you feel is essential. Honesty in communication and even when you know something may hurt the other person having the integrity to be honest in a kind and loving manner.
Loyalty and honesty go hand in hand. Loyalty for me is having someones back even when you do not fully agree with them for example: on a night out your partner gets into a verbal brawl with another person, you feel that your partner is actually in the wrong however, you have their back despite this. It can also mean being faithful and not undermining them by having a relationship behind the other persons back be that in person or over the internet etc. Being upfront about your intimacy boundaries and compromising on what you will or won’t accept is vital. You need to both be on the same page here. Being loyal to the commitment you have both entered into is the real point.
Support can be given in all kinds of ways from financial to emotional. As a general rule it’s being there for the other person, even if its just an ear or holding space when they struggle. This is always going to lead to a deeper and more loving connection between you, its trusting the other person in there for you. You are always going to be the other persons safety net when they fall and whether or not you agree with their views or not you can voice this without disrespect in a loving manner.
There is 2 people in a relationship so being equal in all things is important. You should both be bringing 100% and you should be having an equal say in everything to maintain a successful relationship. There is always going to be an area where you are naturally stronger in than the other person and this is ok. As long as the other person is happy with this and you are taking into account their point of view or beliefs when making decisions or following through with actions.
For me communication can sometimes be hard, it’s not that i can’t communicate, its finding a time when i am ready to talk openly. It can be that i am uncomfortable with the subject and need help to open up or sometimes i am busy and need to ‘put a pin in it’ til later.
Communication is a balancing act between being open, but finding a time both are able to chat. There is always going to be a better time to talk and communicate problems, and your partner may not be ready to when you are. Its always good to be honest and ask if they can talk with you now or can you schedule it for later. This is always a good thing as sometimes we want to talk about things when we are triggered, hurt or angry and putting a pin in it til later often helps us work through the problem our self only to see it wasn’t actually a problem but a projection of something within our self.
Communicating positive things is important too, especially if you or your partner are ‘words of affirmation’ which is one of the 5 Love languages outlined by Dr Gary Chapman. This kind of person needs to hear words such as ‘i love you’ ‘you make me happy every time you call me’ or ‘when you play with the kids you always make their day’. There are also 4 other love languages which are Acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. Knowing which love language you and your partner are will help you to communicate your needs or wants more effectively.
The best, most long lasting relationships will have 2 people who understand that there needs to be an element of independence for each other. Without this you can become dependant on the other person and expect them to fulfil your every need. This is eventually going to take its toll on any relationship no matter how great it is. Having your own interests and friends outside of your relationship will help you to have much needed time apart. Its during time apart that we start to miss the other person and whether its a few hours or days, this will help you to really appreciate the time with them. Getting a good balance between independence and dependence is always going to be optimum. This is where communication will help, if you outline what your partner can give and what you can get from elsewhere, you will get the best of all worlds.
Striking a balance in all these 7 areas is going to lead to a great foundation for a long term successful relationships, they are areas that will consistently need working on, some will be your stronger points and some will be your partners strengths. If you find there is an area you are both poor in, work on this area together. Commitment to always putting in the work any relationship needs to thrive is going to pay in the long term and you both need to be open to doing this. Don’t take anything for granted, once you start this its a slippery slope for your relationship.
There is always going to be points however, where it does slip. This could be because we are busy or life is getting us down. Patience and good communication and knowing things will get better will help.
Have you got anything to add to these 7 foundations for a successful relationship? We would love to hear them.