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The one? The ONE. The punctuations themselves say a lot about our thoughts when assessing our romantic relationships. We’re talking about endless hard work and dedication here, and these are surefire ways to make anything work, especially on something you hope will last a lifetime. A relationship built to last is made of sterner stuff. So, what keeps a couple going despite the imminent odds? What keeps the love alive even after going through a lot of fires? Here are some facts to ponder and help you evaluate your lifetime relationship.
There’s self and mutual respect.
Respect and love are interconnected and they’re manifestations of each other. When a relationship is founded on respect, it won’t be that hard to trust, to be confident in, to appreciate and to be grateful for your partner.
Respect is about giving your partner the most humane treatment, if not the best, right up front and behind their back. I don’t think you can look straight to each other’s eyes after badmouthing one another (say, following a heated argument) and face each other at the end of the day. It’s virtually impossible to redeem yourself and your partner when you realize what a bad move you just made.
Another facet of respect is not forcibly changing the other person to suit your preferences. While some things must change for the better, you and your partner should encourage one another to embrace your unique qualities and love yourself wholeheartedly.
You’re united individually.
Paradoxical, isn’t it? Truth be told, we’ll never be one persons. We’re wired to do things differently and reaching a consensus can be an uphill climb. We shouldn’t buy the men-and-women-belong-to-different-planets and leave it just that. Instead, we should make the best of both worlds.
One way or another, one has to lead the relationship – be it explicitly or subtly. There’s always the dominant one. However, when two minds and souls converge and work as one, you’d know that you’re in control. You face problems together, encouraging one another and being each other’s strong tower. You also back each other up in reaching for your dreams. Build your spouse up, not tear them down.
Your relationship nurtures you.
Juggling all our responsibilities beats us up and you have constraints to top it all off. It may sound so idealistic but if you love someone, you’d avoid adding to their burden at some point. If not, instead of retaliating, you resort to understanding because we know all too well how stress affects us.
Relationships aren’t designed to be detrimental. A serious relationship is all about dealing with adversities level-headedly and maturely, taking care of each other to best of your capacities and giving the needs of the other person. Furthermore, you’re on the right track when you voluntarily want to fine-tune those unpleasantries for the greater good, and so as your significant other. Although getting fed up is a totally different story and that needs to be worked on STAT.
You make time for it.
Let’s admit it, life gets in the way. However, you don’t let a day pass without letting the other person feel how much they mean to you. Simple gestures like words of affection, touching and kissing can light up a face that’s just been through a storm.
When a relationship – say marriage – is no longer a priority, it’s more than being just on the rocks. Marriage therapist Christine Wilkie told Huffington Post that numerous commitments compete for attention: work, kids and even separate social lives. Despite all that, she encourages that marriage should never end up on our “to-do” list.
You’re open to and for each other.
Most, if not all, relationship problems spring from miscommunication to no communication at all. Communication-related issues vary but most of the time it’s the unspoken expectations, grudges or the lack of empathy, said the experts to Essence. These often overlooked aspects of any relationship are crucial in strengthening it.
Counselors encourage couples to express what upsets them and intentionally address the issues together. Of course, there’s should be an enormous room for patience and understanding to come out of the “confrontations” unscathed.
You assume different roles.
Social constructs oftentimes limit us to being the husband and wife as the provider and homemaker, for instance. Social expectations, as well as ours, are high and can be grueling. However, if we embrace the often overlooked parts, we might have more fun learning about and appreciating one another.
You assume roles in different settings. In relationships, you’re not limited to being the lover or partner. It goes beyond that. You’re the friend, the comforter, the fangirl/boy, the cheerleader, cook, dishwasher, cleaner, nurse – the list goes on. Enjoying each other’s company is vital, especially when it’s a journey to forever. Doing things together is one way to get to know your partner aside from bickering over petty stuff. That way, you’ll start to look at your partner in a different light and fall in love over and over again.
You see yourselves growing old together.
Looks are deceiving – at most. You may be drooling right now then cry afterwards. For a relationship to last, it looks pass the attractiveness of your significant other. Good looks are a bonus, but it’s really the character that makes a person stay.
In business, character plays a major role in success. The same is true with romance. When you know you can rely on this person, you’re confident to entrust your heart and soul to this individual. How to find out your S.O.’s true color? Reputation is key. How the person treats others and you when no one is around speaks volumes about integrity.
Ready to Commit to your Lifetime Relationship?
Has your beloved met all the criteria? If yes, then congratulations! You just got yourself a great catch! If not, talking it out with your lovey-dovey might just turn your relationship around for the better. How you handle adversities together – big or small – contributes to fortifying your bond as lovers and lifetime partners-in-crime. Once you take the leap in committing to matrimony, do so confidently, wholeheartedly and courageously. Remember, you’ll be stuck with the person for the rest of your life, so make sure it’s worth the ride.
When did you know your ONE was THE ONE?
SHARE YOUR STORY IN THE COMMENTS!
Abigail Sabijon is a health and fitness enthusiast. Before pursuing her passion for writing, she’s been a university instructor, language-teaching trainer and counselor. She’s a millennial married to a Gen-Xer.