I’ve been thinking a lot about love and relationships lately. Maybe with Valetines Day around the corner and most celebrations beginning this week, love is on my mind. More than love, relationships with people you love, or deeply care for.
What makes a great relationship? And, what makes the relationship between two people endure? Not just marriages, but any relationship. Friends, siblings, parents…what makes them last, what makes them special, what makes them great?
I’ve spent a lot of time researching and learning about love, human interactions and relationships. It’s always been something that interests me, especially in regards to how human behavior impacts the experience and the relationship we have with others and what makes a relationship strong and endure.Even if we say we don’t need anyone, I think once you feel the power of a strong relationship, of love, you seek to make all of your relationships as strong.
So what is a strong relationship? How do we know when to walk away and when to fight harder? I feel like I know the answer but I also understand that I probably don’t know. In reading about love and relationships, listening to people that have had long standing, strong relationships with friends, their parents, siblings or partners, I’ve learned there are some consistencies.
1.) Do you think about the other person? I’ve determined that the people you think about most often, family members, friends, acquaintances, mean something to you. Don’t disregard that or fight those feelings. Even if a part of you wants to act like you don’t need them, fight that urge to be selfish or self righteous and continue to show that person that you care and want to be a significant part of their lives.
2.) Does this person inspire you to be kind and inclusive? Some people start to exclude others or become selective as they build new relationships. Never a good sign. The better a relationship, the more people you want to be around and share that experience with. Great partnerships, marriages and friendships should include and inspire others, not make people feel isolated or shut out.
3.) Are you able to be yourself? No matter what, you cannot have a great relationship with someone if you can’t fully be yourself. That doesn’t mean you share everything all the time, and speak every thought that comes to mind, but you’re comfortable and free to be the real you. The authentic you, good and the bad.
4.) Are you challenged to improve and grow? There are a few people in my life that will not let me make poor decisions, that give real advice even if it’s difficult. I cherish those people. Even if it’s hard to hear, to know that someone wants you to be your best self, and gives honest feedback that comes from a good place…that is an absolute blessing.
5.) Does your relationship inspire others? I know this might sound strange but people are always watching and when they see a sisterhood, friendship or marriage that is thriving, they take note. Although no two relationships are alike, there’s something about a good relationships that’s very inspiring to others.
6.) Do you want to be better? The best relationships inspire us to improve ourselves not just for you by for them. We should pay attention to the other persons likes and dislikes, know their expectations, and try to meet them. Pay attention, exceed their expectations. Make constant effort to be the friend, brother, sister, husband, wife that they want and need.
7.) Does it feel good? They way a person makes us feel is so important yet overlooked by so many. When you’re with someone you love, that truly loves you, time spent together should always feel magical. Sound childish? It isn’t. Whether it’s a significant other or a great friend you should leave every interaction feeling like you’ve made a great memory and excited for another. No matter what. Even if it’s an argument, you know you’ll move forward.
We need love and more importantly we need people to love, that’s the relationship, the action.
Happy Valentines Day!
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests.
It is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury.
It does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially.
But when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.