I’ve been thinking quite a bit about relationships this week…
What is it that keeps some going strong while others start promising, only to end tragically?
We all know the couple whose breakup shocked us, and we also know the marriage that is still going strong despite everyone’s assumptions that it would end before the five-year wood anniversary.
So what gives? How is it that some people make it and others don’t?
It would be easy to give the standard answer and say it’s all about love. You either have it or you don’t.
But I disagree. LOVE has good intentions. I’ve seen people who love each other but can’t make it work.
Studying healthy relationships, toxic ones, and yes, even experimenting with the concept myself, I’ve realized there are…
5 key elements that lasting partnerships must have:
If you don’t respect the person you lie down next at night, it won’t last. Respect for their ideas, their dreams, and their goals. Respect for how they conduct themselves in life, and respect for the kind of person they are. The moment you feel disdain for your partner is the beginning of the end. It might take a long time to get there, but believe me, if you don’t have respect it’s a sure indicator you are on the road to break up.
2. Healthy Disagreement.
You WILL argue, that’s a given. You won’t agree sometimes on things- like politics, where to go to dinner, or how to discipline your children. But the way you handle yourself during these disagreements is telling to your relationship. Fighting fair is a must for strong relationships. So is talking it out.
Remember what your grandparents told you about never going to bed angry? It’s true. Even if it means you hash it out all night, that’s what you do. Get to the bottom of things. If you don’t, resentment starts building its wall, layer upon layer until one day, one of you forgets to load the dishwasher and the other packs bags and is out the door for good.
3. Emotional & Physical Connection.
Sex has to be a priority. Cuddling has to be a priority. Romance cannot die. The moment you let these fall to the back burner, is the moment you are short-changing your relationship. As much as we love our success, family, hobbies, ourselves…if you don’t constantly work on your intimate relationship with your partner and put them as the most important thing in your life, YOU WILL FAIL.
Success feels amazing but it doesn’t keep you warm at night, children grow up and find their own partners, hobbies and narcissistic pursuits are great at the time, but eventually it just gets empty. If we all worked as hard on our relationship as we did every other area in our lives, the divorce rate would be much lower…and we would all be much happier.
4. Support For Each Other.
We all need someone to have our back. Someone to support us regardless of whether or not we have victories on a great scale or fail epically. Knowing that a partner supports everything we do is key for all of the above, Respect, Healthy Disagreement, and Connection.
When you commit to a partnership, you commit to support. No matter the cause.
5. The Three F’s.
FEED him. FUCK him. Make him FEEL like a man.
I’ve taken a lot of shit for this one belief more than any other over the years. Despite dissenter’s arguments (always women) I firmly believe that in the confines of the relationship: A man is…the man and the woman is…the woman.
This has nothing to do with income or status. Don’t tell me this is the 21st century and my thinking is old school and puts women’s lib back 100 years.
This has everything to do with EVOLUTION. Men need to be taken care of, have their sexual needs met, and know they are in charge of their domain.
Try to manipulate this by emasculating your man, withholding sex, or always being in control and eventually your man will turn from you, in one way or another. Emotionally or physically you will lose him, many times to someone who will provide exactly what you would not.
Whether you are in a relationship currently or in pursuit of one, reminding yourself of the five elements above on a regular basis will ensure that your partnership remains healthy and strong forever. Despite the escalating divorce rate and fear of commitment, everyone walking this earth would be completely satisfied with one forever if done properly.
Do you have the commitment it takes to honor FOREVER?