What do you think matters most in a committed relationship? Perhaps you believe that, in order to be a part of a committed relationship, a deep sense of love and security must be found, or that the person you are with must be the one you believe is your soulmate, or, perhaps, you are looking for fun times and companionship with someone who brings light and spontaneity into your life. Maybe you are looking for all three.
Just as there are all types of things that people look for in a committed relationship, there are all types of committed relationships. But, the types of long term committed relationships I will be focusing on can be boiled-down into two categories: relationships that encourage, excite your passions and inspire enthusiasm; and the opposite type of relationships that restrict, suppress and depress. And, when it comes to the actual longevity of the relationship, a relationship maybe more about compromising oneself and feelings of obligation, than love.
Let’s go over some of the aspects which should be present in a healthy and nurturing committed relationship.
Pure love isn’t just restricted to the person with whom you are in a relationship. Many people experience pure love for others, such as, family, friends, or pets. To love someone purely is to wish for their happiness before your own.
From pure love comes the willingness to build more patience, understanding and connection. To act on your pure love, is to listen without judgement, to speak without pushing an agenda and to show a genuine interest in their happiness and well-being, beyond just how it relates to yourself.
Have love, feel love and show love for the special someone in your life. Speak this love verbally, physically and emotionally. Words matter. Actions matter. Your feelings matter too, don’t ignore them. Find a way to communicate your feelings, even if you need to write them down and convey them that way.
Compassion and Empathy
The willingness to see things from your partner’s point of view and understand their perspective is important in a committed relationship. Their viewpoint maybe different from your own, but you should strive to understand this viewpoint. Your partner has had their own background and life experiences affect the way they see the world and you should try to put yourself in their shoes when approaching a conflict. You may have to relinquish a bit of your pride, ego and righteousness to do so.
Gaining an understanding of your partner’s needs, wants and feelings can keep you, not just together, but truly close throughout the relationship. Compassion and empathy is what separates the truly amazing relationships from the mediocre relationships that often behave more like a business partnership. In a business partnership you make a compromise because you have to in order to keep working and you may not be happy about doing so. In an empathetic relationship, you make a compromise because you have an understanding of the other person’s point-of-view and are willing to meet halfway so that you can both be happier.
Everyone has times when they experience emotional turmoil. An individual will experience many moments of anxiety, anger, jealousy, feelings of inadequacy and other powerful negative emotions. But, having someone to encourage, listen to, and support you can bring the “life” back into your life.
The best way to help your partner through these hard times is to make sure that you have a strong and open line of communication. Communication is not just about talking or body language. Complete communication can be thought of as sharing.
Whether it be sharing thoughts, sharing physical contact, sharing emotions or sharing an experience, communication is rooting in sharing. Sharing a multitude of experiences with your partner is so key to a successful relationship; your efforts into finding experiences to share with your special someone will always result in a more stable and loving relationship, even if you don’t see the fruits of your labor immediately.
Identifying what shape your relationship has taken can be tricky. And, as a result, it is commonly pushed on to the back-burner and overlooked for too long.
You may have already clearly identified what you want your relationship to look like, but perhaps you haven’t talked about it with your partner. Or, you may feel like you don’t want to do any sort of labeling of your relationship. But, if you don’t identify at least some of the most important parts of your relationship with the other person, then you could be setting yourself up for a wake-up call when you come to realize that the relationship you thought you has, wasn’t the same thing your partner thought you had. When this happens, neither partner ends up with the relationship they hoped for.
I should point out that when in the process of identifying your relationship with someone, do not superimpose the things that you have identified or wish for. Let the other person build their own set of things they have identified about the relationship and then, and only then, discuss what each of you have discovered and hope for.
Discipline and Consistency
The antithesis of commitment often takes the form of temptation; you my find yourself letting your eyes and mind wonder, temporarily leaving promises behind, and forgetting to focus on what you’ve already decided is important to your relationship. Giving into the temptations, prioritizing your vices and letting the distractions over-take your time, leads to a gradual deterioration of your relationship.
Staying committed to something takes discipline. Infact, commitment itself is essentially a form of discipline. You have to focus on your relationship and not allow yourself to fall prey to the temptation to give up and stay to other things. Though, obviously, not to an obsessive amount. Focus on your input into the relationship and your commitment, don’t police your partner.
Humans are not infallible. No matter who you are, you will never be able to do what you want or what you think you should do a hundred percent of the time. This means is that you need to remind yourself to be present in the relationship and put in the effort.
Value your time with your partner in your relationship. Nothing is forever and as time goes by you find yourself wishing you had valued your relationship more or made it a higher priority.
I have yet to read or hear of anyone on their deathbed, that wish they had spent less time with their family or partners. What they seem to remember more than anything, is the special moments they shared with their loved ones. If you’re not laughing or smiling nearly everyday, then take some time to reevaluate and make sure you are prioritizing what is truly important to you.
Go “all in.” Pour yourself fully into that which you have committed to. And, when the grass on the other side looks greener, focus and tend to your own yard. The more you water, and weed your lawn, the more beautiful it will grow and the more appreciative you will become.