Communication: I cannot stress enough how important communication is for life in general. Now I know it is a cliché for some but believe me when I say it is for a reason. Communicating with your partner is very important. This is how your partner is going to know how you feel and come up with ways to fix what is not right. When you speak up, your partner will get to know what you like and do not like. It is not just about making small talk but about understanding your partner’s point of view, offering support and letting your partner know that ‘you got them’.
Vulnerability: To be vulnerable is to express yourself and be your true self in front of your partner with zero pretense. It can be scary to fully express your thoughts, feelings, challenges, and weaknesses in with your partner for fear of being judged. But this is how true intimacy is achieved. For example, instead of telling your partner, ‘I do not think you love me’, tell them exactly how you feel. Quit thinking for your partner and express how you feel. It only hurts you when you keep it in.
Trust: Keeping your word is very important in a relationship. This makes your partner know that you truly care about them, support them and that you are genuine. Do what you said you would do when you said you would do it. But if you are unable to do it at the said time, please communicate in advance. Lack of trust in a relationship is one of the main reasons why relationships fall apart.
Commitment: This means you need to identify the problem/issue in the relationship, and consequently finding a solution instead of walking away. If you do, you are a coward. Sticking around to work things out makes your partner believe that ‘we are in this together’. Do not threaten to leave the relationship every time something bad happens or things are not going your way. Always work as a team and compromise.
Compromise: Things will not always be done your way. Sometimes you need to give up something you want in order to make your partner happy. This is always going to be there in a relationship due to the difference in opinion, approach and wish. But the outcome should be able to make both partners happy. I know this can be confusing but that is how it is.
Quality Time: Spending time with your partner is equally as important. If you have read the ‘5 love languages’ this is one of them. Identify activities that you and your partner can do together. E.g. watching movies, soccer, playing games, catching up over drinks, dancing, goofing around, laughing, etc.
Respect: Respect is earned and not demanded. People usually respect those who respect them as well as themselves. Please respect your partner and their opinions in every possible way. Please note, respect and fear are totally 2 different things. Respect your partner but do not fear them.
Boundaries: I know some of you believe that there are no boundaries in a relationship but they are very necessary and important. It is good to have them and to know that your partner will respect the set boundaries. But you should also note that your partner should not use these boundaries to control you. E.g. telling you not to hang out with your friends, sharing passwords, etc.
Love: Notice that I did not put love at the top of the list. Love too plays a role in building a strong relationship. Love your partner genuinely. You might not say it directly that you love them but your actions and intentions will tell your partner that you do. Love is that glue that keeps the relationship strong and solid.
I encourage you to actually say it, it doesn’t hurt. “I LOVE YOU”