No one wants a bad relationship. But what exactly makes a great relationship? Those butterflies
don't actually tell you that much. We all talk sweet and put our best foot forward when we're first attracted to someone. It may be all good...but what makes it GREAT?
Knowing What's Important to Me
Great relationships are made of two people who are really into each other. They love doing things together, talking, and just having fun. Partners find each other interesting. They love introducing each other to new things and to their friends and families.
Have you ever made a list of the qualities that are important to you? Sure, looks are nice, but what about personality, interests, goals, values, and the way they treat you and others? If you're a high energy, go-getter type with varied interests, will you be happy with a person with little ambition and few interests? Being choosy is good -- but be sure it's more than skin deep.
Great relationships should make you feel good, helping you be the person you want to be and achieve your goals. You should feel deep down that he or she cares as much about you as you do for him or her.
Building Blocks: How Great Relationships Happen
We've all seen couples that don't last -- or who lack the bare basics of what it takes. Have you seen a friend fall madly in love with a total loser? Or sometimes only one person in the relationship has all the feelings and makes all the effort. Some people take the jump into sex or a relationship without any positive building blocks. Well, great relationships aren't just luck. They develop from a good foundation.
Stop and think about the building blocks that make up a good foundation. In other words, what is important to see and experience in the first weeks or months? What elements do you need to have in place before going to the next level? What problems would surface if some of these building blocks were absent?
Great Relationships Don't Magically Appear
, while important, does not equal a great relationship. Great relationships develop and take time. Taking your time (3-6-9 Rule
) and getting to really know someone make it far less likely you'll find yourself in too deep, attached to someone who is all wrong for you. Pay attention to the 7 Principles of Great Relationships!
Great Relationships Don't Magically Last
Each partner needs to take responsibility for him or herself -- to grow, pursue interests, set goals and work towards them. You can't expect someone else to do your work. And how boring to have a helpless puppy dog as a partner! This means dealing with your stuff, too. Do you have issues or problematic behaviors from the past? Addressing them can pave the way for better relationships.
Great Relationships Require Communication Skills
There are key communication skills that every person, every couple, and even great friendships need. Without those skills, even the best relationship can unravel over time. After the honeymoon phase, we can start to take the other person for granted: irritations, differences, and problems of everyday life appear. Fighting is normal -- fighting fair, that is, and not hitting below the belt. But hurling insults, calling names, screaming, putting down the other, giving the silent treatment, ugly criticism, pushing, shoving, hitting, and threatening will take down any relationship.
Be sure you know the danger signs of an unhealthy or abusive relationship! Many good-hearted people have gotten into really bad situations because they saw all the great things in another person and ignored the warning signs.