Establishing the foundations of a relationship is especially important in romantic relationships. Partners who prioritize the building blocks of their relationship are the ones most likely to last.
But what are the foundations of a relationship exactly?
Getting into a relationship is easy and can even happen without us being fully aware of its existence. But if we want something meaningful, permanent, and withstand any form of difficulty, both partners should be aware of the importance and actively contribute to strengthening the foundation of the relationship.
#1 Trust and honesty. Trust and honesty go hand in hand in a harmonious relationship. Without both, partners will spend lots of time second-guessing and questioning their partner’s every move and intention. This will eventually lead to conflict and insecurity.
But if a relationship is founded in trust and honesty, both partners will feel secure and comfortable in each other’s company. Giving them the freedom to be their own selves in the relationship. [Read: Can a relationship without trust last?]
#2 Open communication. Communication is a basic requirement of any form of partnership. It is much more important for a romantic relationship comprised of two individuals who have differing preferences, personalities, and opinions. A healthy relationship thrives on the ability of both partners to listen to their partner and clearly express what they are thinking or feeling.
It is the way for both partners to get the “pulse” of the relationship. In addition, open communication is not just about the ability to express and listen but also on both partner’s capacity to understand without being critical and sensitive to what’s being communicated. [Read: 14 little changes that really improve communication in a relationship]
#3 Respect. Before being friends and partners, both of you are two human beings that deserve the most basic form of respect. It is something easily forgotten when people get too comfortable in a romantic relationship.
Mutual respect is an essential linchpin in a relationship. Without it, all the other foundations of a relationship will not be fostered. Therefore, it is important to ground a relationship in respect and be mindful of their partner’s needs, personality, and opinions. [Read: Emotional maturity: 13 clues to know if someone has it]
#4 Knowing how to compromise. Compromise is one of the important foundations of a relationship. Without compromise, a relationship will just be a big game of chicken between two stubborn people. Conflict will erode the relationship. There will be no progress if both partners don’t know how to concede and compromise whenever they have differing opinions or decisions.
Learning compromise requires both partners to agree on a balanced outcome and to know if their stubbornness in sticking to what they want is a good price for the success of their relationship. [Read: How to compromise in a relationship without feeling like you lost something]
#5 Teamwork. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. Relationships can only work if both partners exert equal effort in making the relationship work. Without teamwork, one partner will be left to carry the burden of the relationship on their own.
Teamwork combines both their strengths and uses their individual differences to complement the weaknesses of their partner, giving way for a relationship that will endure any challenge.
#6 Commitment. Commitment is the desire to stick around despite knowing that one’s partner is imperfect and there will be challenges that will put the relationship to the test. It is the ultimate form of devotion that even transcends the human concept of loyalty.
Commitment is knowing that the reason to stay is more important than the reason why you got together. If one thinks about it, one partner will feel more secure if they know that there will be another person who will stay by their side despite knowing there will be difficulties.
#7 Empathy and understanding. Empathy, or the ability to feel what other people are feeling, is another foundation of a relationship. This is closely related to understanding which is the ability to extend patience and suspend one’s own feelings to give way to the needs of another person. A relationship with both will foster a safe space for both partners.
They count on the other to put aside their selfish impulses in times of need. In such an environment, both partners will be likely to stick together. [Read: 16 common relationship tips that ruin your love life]
#8 Shared values. If respect is the linchpin of a relationship, shared values serve as the anchor. Values, as one of the foundations of a relationship, are deeply rooted in a person’s life. If two people share a similarity in this aspect, all their actions and decisions will be guided in a single direction. In short, a relationship where both partners share values will be harmonious and less likely have conflict.
#9 Knowing each other’s boundaries. Knowing your partner’s boundaries is an aspect of respect. It requires both partners to be aware that the other person is an individual with their own preferences, personality, philosophy, needs, and limitations. Being sensitive to these is a sign of respect. And it fosters an intimate bond that will go beyond the confines of a romantic relationship. [Read: 15 rules to set healthy boundaries in a relationship]
#10 Appreciation. Can you imagine a relationship where both partners don’t show any form of appreciation? Appreciation is the thing that reinforces us to keep on loving, supporting, and staying by our partner. Without it, a partner will wonder why they should stay in the relationship in the first place.
Appreciation reaffirms and solidifies the relationship. Both partners know that their love is mutual and felt.
#11 Intimacy. Intimacy is the amalgamation of both body and soul. It is a point where both of your boundaries as individuals dissolve. You reach a point of understanding that no other person has. Intimacy can be expressed in both physical and emotional ways and are both fundamental in the existence of a relationship.
#12 Continuous effort. As the older folks say, a relationship will always be a work in progress. Continuous effort by both partners is required for it to be successful. No relationship is easy. And there will be moments where we must give up our pride and compromise. The moment where both partners stop giving out effort for their relationship is the point where the relationship loses its significance. [Read: The hidden signs of a one-sided relationship we all choose to ignore]
#13 Sacrifice. Giving up something for the sake of your significant other is the greatest gesture of love that one can possibly show. And that is the very nature of sacrifice. We make big and small sacrifices for our partner during the course of the relationship. Our willingness to make those sacrifices will make the difference in whether the relationship will last or not.
As mentioned, no relationship is ever easy and concessions must be made. The ability to make sacrifices is fundamental to the existence of the relationship.
[Read: These committed relationship rules will make your romance last a lifetime]
A couple that takes into account the important foundations of a relationship and builds toward their future together will move towards a lasting relationship.
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