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Five guidelines for a strong relationship

Five guidelines for a strong relationship

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As humans, we strive for the affection of another, craving their touch and kind words. We all know how to receive these, yet we may not know how to reciprocate these actions. Most don't know what a healthy relationship looks like – let alone feels like. Here are five ways to show your partner how much they truly mean to you.

Unconditional love

Many people conflate the terms "unconditional" and "conditional," thinking they are one and the same, but they are not. Conditional love is based on our egos; if one loves you conditionally, they hold you accountable to their expectations of you. You must "win" their affections. This form of relationship is referred to as abusive, and should not be acceptable at any time.

Unconditional love is understanding, kind and respectful. When you love someone unconditionally, you are telling them that no matter what happens – be it money troubles or a simple misunderstanding – you will stand by them. The flaws they see in themselves, you see as well, but you accept them. You love them as they are, and try to only encourage one another in your everyday life.

Little gestures

Picture this: You walk through your door after a hard day of work. The whole day, you have been reminding yourself to do the dishes when you got home. But to your surprise, they're already done and put away. From across the hall you can hear your partner shouting that they already did the dishes. You must appreciate that they accomplished this for you, right?

You are not the only one who enjoys these little gestures. Go on and show them you care as well; send them a good morning text so they have something to look forward to when they wake up. Pick up their favorite movie on the way home for them. They will know how much you care for them.

Trust and faith

Trust is a key component in any healthy relationship, though it doesn't just happen straight away. Trust is something both parties must build on with each other rather than apart. It may take time if one of you has been hurt in the past and still fear history repeating itself. In order for you to have faith and trust in one another, you must distance yourself from anything or anyone that may cause distrust in your relationship. Distance yourself from anyone that may make your partner uncomfortable with you being around, such as exes or persons of the same gender as your partner. To form this trust, you must be willing to compromise and may have to bite your tongue now and again.

Forgiveness

While we might not all be as gracious as Eliza was to Hamilton, but mistakes do happen from time to time. A simple way of showing forgiveness is by not holding our partner to unrealistic expectations. Everyone must realize that no one is perfect in any way, and that we all are just simple human beings. We are undoubtedly appreciative when forgiven in our slip-ups, and we should be ready to extend forgiveness back without hesitation. Keep in mind, though, that not everyone can forgive right away. It may take time to forgive, just as it takes time to build trust.

Communication

In a relationship, communication is key. If you fail to communicate with your partner, there is a good chance that everything might just explode out of you at the most inappropriate time. Without communication, nothing can be accomplished in a relationship. Love will not be understood, trust will not be built and forgiveness will not be extended.

Communication can be expressed in simple ways, such as sending them a quick text to let them know you are going out with friends after work, or perhaps letting them know that an earlier act or comment upset you in some way. Fights can be avoided, though fighting every now and than is part of a healthy relationship. You must make an effort to understand each others' feelings towards an issue, even though you might not fully agree.

Love is not as it is portrayed in fairy tales. It will not show up on your doorstep out of the blue with a ring and a promise for forever. You must build each other from the ground up to achieve your happily ever after. Give them the sweet words that they have given you and show them you can love them just as much as they love you.

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