Let’s talk romantic LOVE!
Not sure about you all, but love is beautiful. However, as we all know, it takes a lot of HARD work! As the saying goes, nothing worth having comes easy. And this is so true about love. Success in a relationship comes with many challenges as two different persons with relatively different experiences, personalities, and backgrounds must make an active choice to move forward together.
Conflicts, misunderstandings, and miscommunications are bound to happen in any relationship. Still, if we choose to see things from our partner’s perspective, it can help create and preserve a positive romantic partnership. So with that said, what are the keys to a successful, thriving romantic relationship? Here are some tips from a few of our Fourward friends.
Communicate Effectively with Your Significant Other
You’ll often read in relationship articles that one of the keys to a successful relationship is good communication. But it’s not just plain communication; we must purposefully communicate to bring our message across without the other person feeling attacked, unseen, undermined, unvalued, or pushed to a corner.
It is important to always be mindful of how our words affect the other person. Does our communication lift our partners up or bring them down? Often, the way we communicate is that we are hard on the person but soft on the issue when it should be the other way around.
Elisha Smith, who’s been in a relationship with Bryce Trim Berger for a year, shared that having strong communication works for them in strengthening their relationship. Elisha and Bryce come from different backgrounds, races, places they grew up in, and interests. With these differences in mind, Elisha and Bryce make sure they are both willing to learn more about each other. They try not to shy away from hard conversations and are intentionally purposeful in practicing respectful communication. “[…]And always nipping issues in the bud when they surface,” they both emphasize.
Many couples fall into the trap of just ignoring problems rather than talking about them. And as time goes by, this small issue grows bigger until such time that it can’t be resolved by talking. Couples fight about the initially small issue, and the argument lasts for days on end. And just like that, two people who used to be so in love with one another end up separating because of poor communication.
Lesslie Alonso, a wife and mother of two, stresses that it is good to have open communication without judgement. She says, “To have a great relationship, you want to be able to have open communication, be able to talk about anything and everything without judgement, be honest, and set your pride aside to move past conflicts.”
It’s not enough to communicate your thoughts and feelings to the other person. Keeping a strong and healthy relationship takes trust, honesty, and willingness to be vulnerable with your partner. And speaking of trust, that’s another component of a lasting relationship.
Trust is another fundamental element in making any relationship a healthy and happy one. It is essential and goes hand-in-hand with other vital components, like respect, honesty, and open communication, to make a lasting and successful relationship. Collette Watson, a loving wife, advises couples to trust each other to change and grow.
Trust is one of the cornerstones of relationships, and the lack thereof can ruin a partnership. Trusting your significant other shows respect and appreciation, and builds a foundation of confidence, and assurance–both vital elements for a lasting bond.
Trust is accomplished through truthfulness, open-heartedness, and transparency. A successful relationship requires that both persons lay everything out on the table and come clean. It needs partners to be open-hearted to be able to permit vulnerability in dealing with hard-to-talk-about issues. Trust requires you to be transparent enough to be emotionally in tune with what you or your partner says, hears, understands, and feels.
Lesslie Alonso accurately puts it by saying, “Trust is key; you have to be able to trust your partner without a doubt, which goes hand in hand with communication.” Your significant other is not just a person that you share feelings with. They are called your “partner” for a reason, and one of those reasons being that they are or should be the person you trust most in the whole world. Your partner is someone with whom you can bare your soul and be vulnerable without fear of being judged. That’s the secret to growing together with your partner.
The right relationship enhances our lives and helps us continuously grow both individually and as a couple. Like anything we love, we must commit ourselves to understanding, learning, and looking for ways of improving in a relationship.
Changes in a relationship are inevitable and good relationships strengthen and improve with time. Issues arise when we hold on to our usual ways that don’t work with our current circumstances. As Collette fittingly counsels, couples should evolve together, not apart, and welcome each new season of each other’s being.
Two individuals need to work together – set goals, work it out, and develop. A healthy relationship helps you evolve into a better, truer, and more wholesome version of yourself. It allows you to try and explore new opportunities and widen your horizon. A positive relationship presents help and support that enables you to work out and move closer in alignment with your personal goals.
The definition of a healthy relationship will differ depending on the couple. But one thing that is certain is that achieving a loving and healthy relationship requires time and effort. A caring and positive kind of relationship is not an instant thing. As Collette Watson says, change in a relationship is guaranteed, so it’s a waste of time trying to stagnate.
Both parties should be willing to learn about the other and understand how the other person has experienced the world around them, and how their experiences may interplay in the relationship. “Relationships are hard, but the love makes it all worth it,” explains Elisha.
For Lesslie, it’s learning to put your pride aside and treating your partner as your best friend. All relationships, in one way or another, fall victim to ineffective communication, but as long as couples are willing to learn and adjust, happiness can be found. And lastly, these words from Collette are very accurate, “Celebrate who you are and who you’ll be, as individuals and as a unit.”