For some of us who are in a relationship, we yearn for one. Ask some who are in them and they have so much to grumble.
It all starts with simple chats be it over the cyberspace, through gatherings or at clubs. Sometimes friends introduce friends. First impression counts a lot for some of us. For others the feeling grows only after a few meetings or conversations.
We size the person up. Physical contact may have already taken place by this point in time. All in the name of love when it actually is lust. Platonic at best. Love at first sight it seems. Some of us would try to get to know the other party better. The character and personality of the person. Family background. Their likes and dislikes. We screen our men out.
Many fall in and out of relationships like changing clothes. That is not to say that there are none in long term ones. Some are in a monogamous relationship while others are in an open relationship. Then there are those in a relationship where there is a third party involved, the third party being either gender.
All said loud and clear to each other, sometimes attested in front of an audience, a union is formed. "I promise to be with you in good times and bad, in health and sickness. I will love you and honor you all days of my life, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in health and in sickness till death do us apart." Something like that but maybe in many more words and gestures. We promise each other everything including giving our grandmother away. The truth is some of us keep it but many others do not. Some never intended to keep it from the beginning.
Why are we attracted to each other? We have the physical criteria. Age, looks, height, ethnicity, etc. etc. The list goes on. Then there is the emotional state of mind which we are looking for. A mature thinking person, one who is lesser or about the same. Next are we looking for a fatherly figure, a brotherly figure, a sugar daddy etc. The list continues long and it gets so complicated that even a computer with the biggest memory cannot decipher what the mind and heart thinks and wants.
For a relationship to work, there must be some common grounds where both parties can stand. Even two twin brothers who share the same living environment from the day they were born do not have the same personality. What more two beings coming together and agreeing to share their lives together.
There must be respect and mutual understanding. Only if I give you the due respect can I expect the same in return. Respect means accepting the person for what he is. Respect the person by giving him time and space to grow. Respect his views and opinions accepting that they may differ from yours.
Honesty and trust. Being open and transparent. We bring along with us a whole load of baggage. We may or may not divulge. It does not matter what the past is. For it is from this day onwards that matters. From this day onwards, we must be honest with ourselves and with the one who are now part of us. To be open and be truthful. There must be trust. There is nothing you can do if your partner decides to cheat on you. He would have already schemed the whole thing up. So both party must be honest about what they want. Be open and transparent.
Expectations. Both parties come into being with expectations. It is important to manage our expectations. What we cannot change we must learn to accept. What we can tolerate we must. What we can change we should.
Communications and listening skills. We need to tell each other whatever is bothering us. No one can read another person's mind and we do not want the other to speculate do we? If you love the person, verbalize it. If you do not like what and how things are going, voice it out. When one party yells his mind off, the other must listen. Ponder over it and ask whether there could be any truth in what was said.
Over time when two minds and two souls decide to work it out with sincerity, a new set of principles and living rules are established on mutually acceptable terms.
A healthy relationship is one where two people encourage each other to reach their respective goals while sharing each others' hopes and dreams. It should be a source of inspiration, invigoration and hope. The key to a successful relationship is learning to love the person you have found, not finding the right person. Sustaining a relationship is not a passive or spontaneous action. It never happens. It needs to be nurtured and tendered. We have to make it happen day in, day out.