October 05, 2013 / 6 Things Every Relationship Needs
Without these 6 things, your relationship could be in for some rocky times.
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You may know us as a source for dating advice geared towards how to get the girl in the first place, however, this is hardly our only focus. For many of us, finding a special person to spend the rest of our lives with is much more interesting than dating up a storm. In order to do that; however, it is important to understand that living with someone over the long term involves a lot more than love and infatuation. Here are 6 crucial components of a successful relationship.
1. You enjoy each others’ company when doing nothing
Most of the time spent in a relationship once you start living together is doing "nothing" together. Just being around each other needs to be enjoyable for a relationship to have staying power. If you are bored to death hanging out on the coach with your significant other, or you can’t see the enjoyment in doing little simple things together like cooking dinner or ordering in, or you can’t tolerate the little quirks in their behavior, it just isn’t going to work. This is also why I think it is a MUST to live with someone before marriage, regardless of the will of parents or whatnot. Do yourself a favor and INSIST on this point.
2. The sex is good, or at least acceptable
Look, there is no secret that things slow down when you are in a relationship with the same person. However, if things completely die it is a bad sign. While many people have "sexless" marriages, I do not believe this is healthy or realistic for most people. There has to be physical chemistry, even if it isn’t the same as it was during the first three months of the relationship. Recently, there have been some solutions to this problem including open relationships, multiple relationships, or the only model I believe is realistic for a large number of people, the "Don’t ask, Don’t Tell" relationship I will cover in a future article.
3. There is a balance of power
I alluded to this in our first relationship article. If one of you is the others’ servant, it is unlikely the relationship will be enjoyable for that person and unlikely it will last. While it may seem like a nice idea to have a servant as a wife, the resentment will be palpable in your everyday life and you will see that it isn’t as great as it may seem on paper.
4. Have compatible long term goals
Guys, I don’t care how hot she is, but if you have to live in NYC and it is her life dream to go to LA, it isn’t going to work unless you guys decide and agree on the same goal. I am a firm non-believer in long term relationship. They can work for some but on average, long distance does NOT work, especially a long distance relationship with no plan to meet in the future and commit to be with each other at a set point in time under the same roof. Distance is not the only thing that matters; if she doesn’t want kids and you want six, things are NOT going to work unless you resolve that issue. Make sure there is compatibility with long term goals.
5. You can handle adversity well together
Unfortunately, this is a really tough one to know early on because there usually isn’t much adversity. (No, he bought the wrong wine after I asked him ten times to buy this specific one is NOT adversity). Adversity and conflict sucks, but it is important that you handle the issue better together than alone.
6. You don’t fight
No, all couples do not fight. All couples ARGUE, but they do not all fight. If you are having screaming shouting matches or worse, you need to address that issue head on and early because a relationship with a lot of screaming fights or worse has no long term future if that state continues. Do not make excuses for your significant other or yourself like: "She/I’m a passionate person" etc. Having "bad" fights, with lots of screaming, shouting, throwing stuff, and sulking that lasts for days is not healthy and a recipe for relationship disaster.
There is way more to a successful relationship than these 6 things, but I firmly believe if you have issues in any one of these 6 components, you need to address them head on and early for the relationship to stand the test of time. Don’t come up with excuses or rationalization for behavior that will lead to an unsustainable relationship; address the issue.