I saw this quote on a netflix envelope the other day. It did get me to thinking about what makes relationships work or not.
For me the things that are needed for a relationship to work are:
1. sense of humor
2. shared values
I think a sense of humor is key because if we can’t laugh with our partners then I am not sure what else there is. I believe part of being in a sustaining relationship is being able to be ourselves without censorship. If you aren’t able to be authentic in your relationship, than I would daresay it isn’t much of a relationship.
Shared values are important because values are where we set our goals from. If you have different values about money, for instance, then your goals regarding your savings etc are going to be in constant conflict. The same with raising children. Compromise is a key to relationships, but it is harder to compromise if you are compromising against your values.
Gratitude for me is the most important one. How often do you say “Thank you” to your partner? Do you notice the little things that they are doing for you? Are you grateful to have a partner in your life? To me the relationships that last are ones in which we are grateful to be in. That includes not taking the other person for granted. You can wear the sweatpants and be comfortable, but you also need to be engaged emotionally with your partner, and not just sitting on the couch and watching television with them.
What do you think the keys to successful relationships are?
Great comment madmak. I like you pointing out that saying thank you reminds you not to take your partner for granted.
I’m not sure I can improve on your top three; here are my rules of thumb for the way I try to behave in a relationship (which overlap with your three key items).
1. Tell your partner you love them. Often. we speak that little phrase to each other AT LEAST once a day, usually more than once.
2. Always remember to show appreciation (gratitude) for the things your partner does. Saying “thank you” not only shows them you don’t take them for granted, it reminds YOU not to do so.
3. Show affection to your partner, and NEVER withhold it when you’re angry (I learned this the hard way in past relationships). It’s amazing how hard it is to stay angry at someone when you’re holding them in your arms.