Just because you and a partner feel so much in love right now doesn’t guarantee your relationship is going to last forever. I am not trying to discourage you, but feelings can change. You may feel very much in love at this moment, but there will be times that you will feel the exact opposite way towards your partner. Is love enough? I would love to say yes, but there are other keys to a successful relationship aside from simply feeling in love. To make your relationship succeed for long term, make sure it is characterized by the following.
Trust is the chain that binds a relationship together. It is the bedrock upon which a relationship stands. It is also the thread the holds together every aspect of your relationship. In short, trust is a must in every relationship. If love is the one that ignites romance between two people, it is trust that holds them together. Without trust, it is impossible for love to remain. Trust drives fears and insecurities out of the window to ensure that there is enough room for love to dwell in.
Intimacy is the emotional closeness you feel with your partner. When you’re newly in love, the degree of intimacy you feel seems to be one that you have never experienced before. For most couples, however, intimacy begins to fade several years after the relationship has started. This shouldn’t be the case. Intimacy is more than just a feeling, just as love is more than just mere emotions. Intimacy should be cultivated, and each of the person involved in the relationship should put on an effort to bring intimacy into greater heights. Sex is the first thing that comes to mind when intimacy is mentioned, but intimacy is more than just sexual intercourse. True intimacy is loving the other person according to his or her love language. To be intimate might mean taking your wife into a picnic, or maybe buying your husband front row tickets to his favorite basketball team’s next game.
Transparency in a relationship is crucial, because it leaves no room for doubt and distrust. When nothing is hidden in your relationship, there is no room for insecurities, but only for love and reassurance. When you and your partner openly reveal the details of your past, shame suddenly flies out the window. At the same time, however, there should be acceptance on each other’s part. When a partner opens up and the other shows no condemnation and judgment, the result is a deepening of the relationship.
Vulnerability is often seen by many as a weakness, but in a romantic relationship, it is a strength and a key to long-lasting connection. If you come to think of it, falling in love is the ultimate display of vulnerability, because it is a huge risk to take. Self-sufficiency in relationships is good, because it helps a couple weather life’s storms. For a relationship to stay strong, however, the other person must be vulnerable enough to have total dependence on his or her better half. In most marriages, it is the lack of vulnerability that kills intimacy, and is often one of the many causes of divorce. If you are afraid of being vulnerable, examine yourself and see whether there have been past hurts that are hindering you from admitting your need for your partner. Let go of those hurts by forgiving the people who have caused them and begin trusting again. Only then will you have the freedom to receive unhindered love from your partner.
It seems obvious, but no relationship can last without love. In fact, no true relationship could start without it. In order for a relationship to successfully last for a long time, however, love should be unconditional. How is unconditional love achieved, though? It begins with oneself. You must first have a strong sense of self-confidence and self-esteem in order to set the foundation of a long-lasting relationship. This does not mean that you should be free from any emotional difficulties, though, and don’t need any help or support. On the other hand, it means that you have an overall sense of love for yourself and that you generally feel good about yourself. In marriage, in particular, it is two people and not half that become one. Before you engage yourself in a romantic relationship, you need to understand that the other person will not complete you, but that you have to feel a sense of completeness first in order for the relationship to work and last long. Once you have achieved that, loving your partner unconditionally won’t be as difficult. The reason is that having understood that you are imperfect and yet have come to love yourself, you can now love another person even if you knew in the first place that that person would never be perfect and would never be able to complete you.
How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving