There are many people who are cynical about love, especially when it comes to lifelong loyalty in a relationship. This is not surprising, given the statistics clearly show that divorce is more normal than ever before. Even when we enter into a relationship, the thought of how long it will last is often in the back of our minds.
That’s why these six crucial elements are a must for every relationship. Because, in the end, it turns out that love can have much more than we originally thought. Every relationship can eventually end, but these elements can give you an indication, in advance, as well as for those of you who have been in a relationship for years, about how harmonious your relationship is.
First of all, it is important that forgiveness is central to your relationship. How do you deal with conflicts, differences of opinion, and mistakes that will certainly be made? Daniel Wilde said: “Choosing a partner is choosing a set of problems”. Dealing properly with conflicts and forgiving each other for mistakes is crucial, in order to be able to continue together, again and again.
Secondly, relationships that revolve around experiencing adventures together have a strong character. Boredom can be a huge obstacle in your relationship, and especially as a married couple, as it is easy to get into a rut after a few years. Research shows that couples who experience the most intense love are the ones who undertake challenging new activities together. New experiences release dopamine and that gives you the same feeling as when you fell in love.
Next, intimacy is an element of great importance in a relationship. Relationship therapists emphasize time and again that it is much harder for people with an unhappy sex life to stay together. Intimacy is addictive: the more sex you have, the more you want it. The less you have, the less desire and, at the same time, your bond with your partner feels unsatisfying. This mainly has to do with bonding hormones, such as oxytocin, that are released. In men, up to five times as much is produced during sex.
In addition, trust in each other is an elementary building block for long-term happiness. This is mainly an indicator prior to a relationship. Is your partner reliable? Or does he structurally hide things, or even feelings, from you? Couples with a strong relationship have no secrets from each other. There is no need to persevere in this. So don’t put small secrets under a magnifying glass, but see the big picture: is he or she in one piece or does he or she constantly change his or her opinion?
The fifth element is a shared vision of the future, shared dreams and goals in life. In long healthy relationships, it is better to have as much similarity as possible. Future partners would do well to see if their values, norms and goals in life match, before taking further steps in their relationship. Discussing your opinion about family, children (and upbringing), career, household and place of residence is a good start.
Finally, mutual vulnerability is needed to get far with each other. That is exactly why people often find love scary. Research shows that the fear of vulnerability is the fear of rejection, that someone doesn’t like us if we’re not perfect. However, healthy relationships cannot exist without vulnerability. Knowing that someone loves you, no matter how you are, is one of the most fulfilling feelings. Vulnerability is also very attractive to honest people. Making yourself vulnerable increases your chances of being an honest partner!