Love's not enough, but what's the recipe for a successful relationship? Is there such a thing, and if so, why isn't it part of our school education?
Love can move mountains, but a secure and long-lasting connection doesn't need to move anything. Yet, without love, there's no point in building anything.
Let's pretend we're making a delicious dish, to create a stronger sense of what makes one relationship better than the other.
Successful partnership and trust
The first ingredient of our long-lasting relationship is trust. And rightfully so.
Trust lets us feel secure because we know that our lover is there for us.
Furthermore, when someone has your trust, you know they will help you solve problems or make decisions. It's a burden because if you mess up, the whole relationship might collapse.
When we hear the word trust, we think of cheating, but it goes way beyond that. It means putting your life, passions, future, and finances in someone's hands.
Yet, though it sounds scary, without trust, there's no love. Love's an emotion, but faith is something that is always on the test.
After you feel that you can trust someone that you can truly commit to that person, and when you do, it's the real beginning of something great.
Insight is a powerful skill
You're aware that you and your partner are different. By accepting that you are two individuals, sharing a path means you have something to build a lifetime of happiness on.
Insight gives you the power to anticipate the consequences of your behavior. It's a powerful tool, skill, which will make you a better partner.
Pretty much each person can be insightful, but you have to want to dedicate your time and thoughts to the other person. The more you notice their likes, dislikes, reactions, the more you get to know them.
It's not something you can learn overnight, but the more you practice noticing your lover, the more you'll love them. Or, in a worst-case scenario, you'll realize they aren't the one for you.
The power of intimacy
Again, when we think of the word intimacy, we think about sexy lingerie and seduction. And that's just the tiniest piece of the whole concept.
Intimacy is a deep connection, which allows you to be honest, open, to be you. And yet, when you're in love, you feel the need for constant improvement.
An intimate relationship is something you both have to work to achieve. It's not hard when you're hearts are on the same path.
Talk to each other, and listen. Create a non-judgment, safe space and share your hopes and dreams, which you can do only if you trust your partner.
It's quite amusing how all five ingredients in the recipe For a successful relationship come together.
FYI, you can have intimacy and be in a sexless relationship. As much as we love to think that sex is the answer to everything, it's actually nothing more than our primal need, primal instinct.
You can't have a relationship without respect
The initial attraction, lust, even falling in love are short-term. Once you start noticing the person, their soul, behind all that, you'll get into more serious territory.
Loving someone means respecting their opinions, boundaries, and knowing how to show them that you appreciate them for everything they are and aren't.
Though respect is indeed earned, you have to be open to give and receive it.
Being in a healthy relationship means putting behind or openly talking about your insecurities, and the more you open up, the more loving emotions your partner will show you.
Or, again, in a less cheerful scenario, you'll break up, but it's always better to end something before you take more significant steps, like marriage, having kids, or buying a place together.
Self-love is the best kind of love
Of course, without self-love and self-respect, you cannot dedicate yourself honestly to the other person.
Be grateful for everything you have achieved so far, and remember that giving someone your heart doesn't mean you shouldn't do all that makes you happy.
Only when we learn what makes us lovable and trustworthy can we be part of a healthy partnership.
Without self-love, all other ingredients cannot exist.
It's a hard pill to swallow, but there's nothing selfish about putting yourself first.
And there you go, folks. Loving someone is not hard, but building a successful relationship takes emotional intelligence, compromises, and knowing when to talk and when to listen.