After every break up there is this moment of self reflection, trying to find my learning curve on the past relationship and where it went wrong. But also on what I need in a relationship.
Over the years I have come up with a list of fundamental things that for me are necessary to make a relationship worth while. Today I’d like to share that list with you.
A relationship should be a source of joy. A safe zone where you can grow and handle stressors of every day life
It should be a safe zone for both, and both should equally support the other in that. Sometimes you are the one to dip in a little more, other days your partner. But both should flourish and be happy.
A lot of people stay in unhealthy relationships or less dramatic: stay in relationships where they do not flourish and that give them a lot of stress and sadness.
Relationships are like drinking wine, if you do not like the taste, you start adding water, when you add too much water, you end op drinking less wine and the taste of wine might vanish over the months or even years.
So what is it that makes a relationship happy and healthy and what is it that is missing in so many relationships around the world and also in the Philippines?
1. Commitment and honesty
Both partners should be equally committed to the relationship. Both partners should want it. If one partner is pulling the cart and the other one lives with one foot out the door, the relationship is never going to be a safe heaven. There will always be doubt and uncertainty. The same with abusive behavior and addictions.
There may be love or chemistry, but that will not be enough to grow a healthy relationship
Honesty is a part of that. Talk about your doubts, your fears, your joys, but also your whereabouts and do not keep secrets from each other.
Do not demand openness but create an atmosphere of openness. You accomplish that through communication and respect.
2. Communication and respect
When partners fail to communicate there will be no growth, and trust may become a fragile issue. In a relationship you need to be able to speak your mind about anything. And the other partner needs to respect what you are saying. Even if they disagree.
Partners can never bully on the spoken words or opinions and or use it against each other. That certainly is no sign of respect.
Communication done in an atmosphere of safety and trust is a powerful tool to a happy relationship
But communication and respect stand alone if there is no empathy and understanding.
3. Empathy and understanding
When there is no understanding and empathy, the relationship is not a real relationship. Than it is just 2 people hooking up for the sake of not being alone.
The base of a good relationship is about caring for each others needs, wishing the other all well and happy, sound and safe.
In order to do so, the 2 above mentioned aspects should be there as well.
It is not a matter of mastering one of these 5 items in the list, it needs all five.
For without commitment there can be no respect and communication does not work without empathy and most important, number 4 will be only physical is you do not apply all 5.
Intimacy for most people means sex. And specially in the Philippines the emphasis on sex is way too strong in a (beginning) relationship.
Most relationships I witnessed miss out on the communication, honesty and empathy.
They commit alright, forever and ever, but without any intimacy of the mind.
Many partners in the Philippines can not name one aspect that moves their partner
Maybe after a lifetime together they can, but not as in a work in progress, more because of living together under the same roof for so long.
Intimacy is the art of sharing about your dreams, your hopes, and fears, your childhood experiences and why you are the person you are today. And where you want to be in say, 5 years from now. For example: it is not about how many kids you want, but why you want them, or do not want them.
Intimacy helps people understand each other better, and to grow and develop, become better people. Combined with empathy and respect, communication and commitment it will create an environment of support and safety for personal development.
Intimacy will grow applying communication, empathy and commitment, it all intwines. And adding fun to the relationship you create the base for openness and openness is the gateway to a healthy relationship
Fun is very important, The above are rather heavy subjects and take a lot of adjustment. But fun is the easy part. Go on dates, even is you are 20 years together. Be innovative and create a happy environment for your partner.
Make jokes, do sweet surprise moments and laugh…..for laughter is the best medicine. Make fun inside the bed and outside. Make sex fun, skip routine and break barriers in mutual agreement and enjoy each other both mind and body, personality and forthcoming.
Grow a healthy relationship that lasts for years:
When you know that coming home is fun, and when you know there is a partner waiting for you that will support you no matter what and will understand you like no one else int he world does, that is safety, that is pleasure, that is a healthy relationship.
That is the kind of relationship that will help you through the good times and the bead times. it will make you grow, become a better person and become great partners.
Those that only have to look at each other for understanding and knowing whats going on in their minds.
If you need help in your relationship or have any questions about your situation or the articles on Leaving Holland, please do not hesitate to contact me for my (paid) coaching services.