Maybe I've been watching too many episodes of 'The Jeremy Kyle Show', maybe I've seen too many failed relationships amongst family, friends and strangers, but this is my observation.
In this post I will discuss exactly what it takes to make a relationship work, based on what I've learned from my own and other people's successes and failures in the realm of dating and relationships.
THE BASIC FOUNDATIONS
For any building to stand up, it must be built on solid foundations, otherwise it will fall down. The same is true in relationships; you need strong foundations or you will fail. These are the 4 main foundations that are required for a successful relationship:
Let's have a look at these 4 principles in a little more detail....
Honesty should be self explanatory.
Trust is something that has to be earned, but usually being honest will lead to trust.
Respect means treating each other right, without nagging each other, without being controlling or trying to change the other person, without being abusive or putting each other down, without arguing, etc. Total respect has to be earned, but treating each other right should be a given.
Communication means being able to talk totally openly and honestly with your partner about anything, and being able to speak your mind and discuss your thoughts and feelings freely. Communication applies both in and out of the bedroom, by the way. One of the keys to a great sex life is to communicate your sexual needs to your partner. Also, communication helps prevent silly arguments; instead of arguing, talk things through openly in a mature manner.
If any one or more of these foundations is missing, the relationship will not last very long, it will eventually crumble to pieces, and end up causing you unnecessary stress, drama and heartache, and you're likely to go your separate ways full of bitterness and resentment towards each other.
ON TOP OF THESE 4 FOUNDATIONS, YOU ALSO NEED........
- Sexual chemistry
Sexual chemistry may seem like a very abstract concept, but really it means having that spark of sexual attraction between two people. Sexual chemistry absolutely MUST be present in a romantic or sexual relationship, otherwise what you're left with is basically a platonic friendship.
It's beyond the scope of this post to discuss sexual chemistry in any great detail, but it can certainly be amplified and 'revved up' using erotic/sexual/dirty talk, and also with certain use of body language and by having frank, open conversations about sex (hey, this might be a great topic for another blog post, dear reader!).
Compatibility means how well you 'click' as people, as well as how compatible you are sexually. You need to be on the same wavelength both in and out of the bedroom, basically.
RULES & BOUNDARIES
There's one more thing any successful relationship needs, and that is rules and boundaries. Now, to clarify, I do not mean you should have rules in order to control your partner or tell them what to do. That is not what I mean at all. What I mean is that you need to let your partner know, preferably from the beginning, what you expect from the relationship and what you can and cannot tolerate.
For example, some things I simply cannot tolerate in any romantic or sexual relationship are nagging or clinginess/neediness of any kind.
Having boundaries means if your partner stops showing you honesty, trust and respect, ( i.e. they overstep a boundary), you need to speak up about it and put a stop to it; basically show some backbone rather than allowing yourself to be walked all over. You partner will respect you more if you don't allow yourself to be a pushover.
A FURTHER THOUGHT
I also feel that many people in romantic or sexual relationships 'smother' each other too much by spending way too much time together or constantly contacting each other when they're not together in person. This often leads to boredom and routine and taking each other for granted, and the time together ends up less special. I think it's important to have a life outside of each so that the time you spend together means more. You need to give each other 'room to breathe'.
SETTING EVERYTHING UP FOR A SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING
When you're getting to know a potential new romantic or sexual partner, talk about all this. Talk about honesty, trust, respect and communication and how important these things are to you. Get everything out in the open and have a real and frankly honest conversation with your prospective new lover about what you want from them.
Be totally honest about whether you are looking for a monogamous or non monogamous, serious or non serious, short term or long term relationship. Talk about your rules and boundaries and what you expect from the relationship. By doing this, you will set everything up on the right footing and lay the foundations for a healthy and enjoyable time together.
Also, talk openly about your sexual needs with your partner. Don't try and be a mind reader.
Remember, it's easier to have a successful relationship if you set things up the right way from the start, rather than trying to fix a broken relationship later on down the line.
When you 'get' the principles I've discussed in this post, you will find you start having more fulfilling relationships and you can quickly and easily weed out those who are right for you vs those who are not.