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The 10 Things That Make a Relationship Work

When you receive your performance evaluation at your workplace, and it’s filled with praise, it’s undoubtedly a satisfying moment. However, as days pass, which specific aspect do you consider for improvement?

Often, it’s the negatives that occupy our thoughts, even when surrounded by positives. This tendency extends to our romantic relationships, where we are naturally inclined toward negativity, fixating on our partner’s faults and issues. This becomes more pronounced in relationships that have lost their initial spark, making it challenging to see beyond these problems. Our focus on the negative can even lead us to create problems that don’t exist.

However, this fixation on the negative is not only detrimental to our relationship perceptions but also causes us to miss out on appreciating the good moments. While addressing issues is crucial for relationship growth, it’s equally important to recognize and cherish your partner’s positive qualities and the strengths of your connection.

Exploring the Foundations of Strong Relationships

To change how you see things, begin by giving extra attention to the aspects of your relationship that offer stability, reliability, and a sense of ease. These tranquil, drama-free, and everyday elements are often overlooked, yet they provide a strong foundation.

Here, you’ll find a list of 10 essential components of healthy relationships that research highlights as vital for creating a fulfilling and enduring connection. It’s probable that many of these aspects already exist within your own relationship; the key is to pause and recognize them.

You can be yourself

In your relationship, both you and your partner embrace each other just as you are; there’s no attempt to alter one another. You can genuinely be yourself and express your true self without concerns about your partner’s judgment. This is valuable because studies indicate that couples who practice acceptance are often happier with their relationships.

You are BFFs

In many ways, your romantic partner serves as your closest confidant and vice versa. This is a positive development, as studies indicate that couples who prioritize their friendship tend to exhibit higher commitment levels and enjoy greater sexual satisfaction. Romantic partnerships that prioritize friendship place emphasis on emotional support, intimacy, affection, and the preservation of a robust connection. Additionally, they prioritize fulfilling needs associated with caregiving, security, and companionship.

You feel comfortable and close

Building a deep connection isn’t always easy, but you’ve overcome these challenges in your relationship. Sharing feelings, depending on each other, and being emotionally close now come naturally. Though vulnerability can be tough, it’s strengthened your trust in each other, bringing you closer. Emotional walls are down, and the fear of your partner leaving is no longer constant, providing comforting stability.

You’re more alike than different

Recent research shows that sharing common interests with your partner can boost relationship satisfaction. While differences may stand out, you actually have many things in common. For example, your partner may prefer superhero movies while you lean towards rom-coms. Yet, both of you enjoy being homebodies, cooking together, and snuggling up on the couch for TV shows. Here, you have fun debating character choices, poking fun at awkward dialogue, and guessing plot twists. Ultimately, your similarities outweigh your differences.

You feel like a team

Words hold meaning. When you communicate, do you frequently employ terms like “we,” “us,” and “our”? For instance, if someone inquires about your favorite binge-watch, do you respond with, “We’ve started watching Schitt’s Creek”? This use of “we” signifies a deep sense of cognitive closeness or shared identity within your relationship. Studies indicate that couples who exhibit this level of interconnectedness tend to experience higher levels of satisfaction and commitment.

They make you a better person

Your partner plays a role in refining and enhancing your identity. They don’t dictate change but rather support your personal growth choices. Together, you explore new and exciting experiences that contribute to your self-development. Relationship experts suggest that as you expand and evolve as an individual, your relationship also grows in a positive direction.

You share the power

While partners might have their respective areas of expertise (like one taking care of the lawn while the other focuses on interior decorating), decision-making, power, and influence are often shared in a relationship. When both partners have a voice, relationships tend to be more resilient, satisfying, and enduring. Not surprisingly, couples also find greater happiness when they perceive that the distribution of responsibilities in their relationship is equitable.

They’re fundamentally good

What do people seek in a life partner? Surprisingly, it’s rather straightforward: someone who embodies reliability, warmth, kindness, fairness, trustworthiness, and intelligence. Although not flashy and often overlooked when drafting a partner wish list, these qualities form the bedrock of a strong relationship. Research indicates that when partners possess agreeable and emotionally stable personalities, they generally find greater satisfaction in their relationship.

You trust each other

Dependability within a relationship hinges on trust. It extends beyond sharing phone passwords or granting access to bank accounts; it’s about believing that your partner consistently prioritizes your well-being and will be there when you need them. Research indicates that this creates a positive cycle: Trust fosters deeper commitment, which, in turn, reinforces trust.

You don’t have serious issues

Relationships have their fair share of issues, but there are issues, and then there are real PROBLEMS. It’s important to remember the problems and significant red flags that we don’t have to contend with. Serious issues like disrespect, infidelity, jealousy, and emotional or physical abuse can harm a relationship. Sometimes, the brightness in a relationship shines through the absence of darkness.

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