Relationships are tough. Everyone knows that. Even the best relationships have difficulty. I’ve always said that if you’re not arguing with your partner about something, then you’re not being honest. That doesn’t mean you should always be arguing. It just means that at some point, you’re going to disagree about something that each of you are passionate about.
A strong relationship is the foundation of a lasting relationship. No matter what you go through, if you’re strong together, you’ll make it through. I’m not talking about a good relationship. A good relationship is subjective because what’s good to me and what’s good to you may be entirely different. Let’s look at what are commonly considered the tenants of a strong relationship.
The first thing I think of when it comes to a strong relationship is trust. If you ask ten people what makes a strong relationship, chances are the first answer you’ll get is trust. Trust is obviously important. The tricky thing about trust is that it means different things to different people. Trust is not black and white. If I trust you, but am insecure in myself, that will create a troubling dynamic in our relationship. I’ve never seen a strong relationship that isn’t built on trust. That doesn’t mean that you may not have to work through some trust issues. If you can work through those issues and learn to trust each other, you can build the basis for a strong relationship.
Some would argue that just as important as trust is communication. Communication is key. If you cannot communicate about how you feel, you’ll only end up hurting yourself. Learning how to be open and honest with your partner will allow you to bring ease, trust, and authenticity to your relationship.
I’d argue that more important than trust and communication is acceptance. If you can be yourself around your partner and your partner can be themselves around you, you’re off to a good start. If you can be the real you and your partner will accept that, that’s one less hurdle you’ll have to work through. The real you is probably a bit neurotic, insecure, and uneasy. That’s okay if the person you’re with is willing to accept that. Your partner isn’t perfect either. They may be bad with money, controlling, and talk too much. If you guys can learn to work through these things together, you’ll be just fine.
Trust, communication, and acceptance are key to a strong relationship. They are not the only keys to a strong relationship, but it’s a good start. If you find yourself in a relationship where you’re struggling with these issues, it’s okay to work on things. One of the things I see couples struggle with most is just being willing to talk about the things they’re struggling though. If you are struggling with trust, talk to your partner about it and work through that. Which leads to the point of communication.
Don’t be afraid to communicate with people. A lot of times, we’re afraid to communicate about things because we’re afraid we won’t be accepted. Acceptance and authenticity go hand in hand. If you’re being your authentic self, then you’re being true to yourself. People want to love and be loved. When you can be true to yourself and your partner can do the same, you’re on the path to a strong relationship.
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