Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Elements Of A Relationship

We all know what we need and want out of a loving, healthy relationship. There may be a slight variance; however, there are some basic solid principles that stand up to create relationship guidelines. It has occurred to me, that perhaps the reason it is so difficult for people to find a long-term, meaningful and satisfying relationship is that we are asking for things that we cannot even give to ourselves. If we expect another person to follow these “guidelines” and fit into the mold of what we conceive of as a loving partner, shouldn’t we begin by having a fabulous relationship with ourselves?

Let’s look at five of the basic requirements of what should be in place for a relationship to take off and possibly lead to marriage. Honestly, respect, loyalty, physical attraction, and a fun loving enthusiastic personality. Let’s breakdown these five characteristics and see where it leads us.

Honesty: perhaps one of the most important elements of a trusting and loving relationship. If you are in a relationship with a person who does not possess a high standard of honesty, you will never be able to fully trust them. When in a relationship, we should be able to completely and unequivocally believe everything that our partner tells us. If a person lies, you mind as well be having a fake and meaningless conversation.

Are you even honest with yourself? When you’re out clothes shopping and you have acquired more than a handful of clothes, do you tell yourself that it’s alright to add the bill to your credit card and that you deserve to splurge, (despite that fact that your way over your head in debt)? Are you in out of relationships and in each instance you tell yourself that the other person was at complete fault, that you had absolutely no contributing factors for any of the breakups that you’ve endured? Do you sometimes find yourself yelling at a loved one and you tell yourself that you had every right to make them feel horrible? If any of these apply to you, you are not even honest with yourself. How can you expect the person of your next relationship to be honest to you?

Respect: a word that calls for attention. No one in their right mind would be happy if someone disrespected them. How many of you have spent a night of drinking with friends during the week, woke up the next day with a splitting headache and wanted to or did call into work sick? Did you then tell yourself that you are just fine, you do not drink too much and you have everything under control? When it’s late at night, you’re starving, and about to reach into the fridge for a snack, do you tell yourself that it’s not a big deal if you eat half that pint of ice cream, even though you are on a diet for health reasons? As you take a deep drag off of your cigarette, do you tell yourself that you’ll quit “someday” , that you’re just fine for now and cancer is something that you only need to think about in the future? If any of these apply to you then you do not have complete respect for yourself. And once again, how can you expect a person in a relationship to have show respect?

Loyalty: A key element in any relationship. If we don’t have loyalty from another person, we can not truly feel safe in the relationship. How many of you have worked for a company and declared your loyalty to that company and then gave your two-weeks-notice when a position opened up elsewhere that paid more money? How many of you have never cheated on another person? By this, cheating will be defined by kissing another, have a secret meeting for lunch or dinner, phone calls, or yes, even sex, while in a relationship with anyone. If any of these apply to you, you have not displayed loyalty. And now you are asking for it from someone else?

Physical attraction: A needed component of a healthy relationship. We have instilled in us certain needs that make us attracted or not attracted to another person. If we are in a relationship, we certainly want to feel a high attraction to the other person, which leads to a great sex life and a general feeling of compatibility. What is your perception of yourself? When you glance in a mirror, do you think about the wrinkles you see? When you’re getting dressed, do you try on ten different outfits because you feel that the first nine made you look fat? Do you grimace at the thought of parading around the beach in a bikini because you think that everyone in the world should look “model perfect”? No one can look like a model, except for models! Even then, if you knew the makeup, hair stylists and airbrushing that was involved you would understand that they do not even look like themselves in “real life”. If any of the above applies to you, you do not have a good self-image and/or you have low self-esteem. If you are not even attracted to yourself, do you think it’s fair to expect your partner in the relationship to be great looking and be attracted to you? They look at clues that you exude, ie: self-confidence and it helps gauge their opinions of your looks. Start appreciating the unique person that you are.

Lastly, a fun loving, enthusiastic personality. No one in a relationship wants to spend a large amount of time with someone who is boring, dull and unable be fun companions. Do you dread waking up in the morning because you hate your job? Alternatively, do you love your career and concentrate on it so much, leaving very little time for fun in your life? Do you run through your chores at home complaining about the never-ending mess on the floor, laundry that never seems to go away and dishes that seem to appear out of nowhere? Do you go through the food store as fast as possible, no smile on your face and a “get out of my way “expression? If you spend most of your life annoyed at things and you don’t take time out to appreciate life, how can you be a fun partner in a relationship and at the same time expect the other person to be one? Life’s is far from perfect, but to be someone’s “special” love, you need to slow the heck down and realize that having a bad outlook on life is going to get you nowhere.

Honesty, loyalty, respect, physical attraction, and a great personality: do you want these elements in a perspective relationship? If so, ask yourself a very important question. If you cannot have a good relationship with yourself, how can you expect to find one with another person?

Alisa Chagnon is webmaster and sole writer for Love Bulletin. www.lovebulletin.com . Strong and sound advice on dating, relationships, romance, marriage and breakups. Updated daily and weekly.

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