Roughly a month ago, I wrote a post about while love is unconditional, relationships should not be. In that post, I mentioned that I had taken some time to figure out and write down for myself what I consider NON-NEGOTIABLE from anyone that I have a relationship with. However, I truly feel like these things are universal and should apply to everyone’s relationship.
There are times where we feel like we hit the jackpot because we are receiving some of our superficial WANTS, but I believe that there are times in those situations when we can overlook the fact that we are lacking severely in what we NEED.
In my view, everybody deserves:
- A teammate: At the end of the day, your partner should be just that–a PARTNER. This person should stand up for you, have your back when you need it, and be willing to pitch in more than their share when you need them to, even when its something that they don’t really enjoy doing. Working together does not always mean working equally, and there will be times when one of you is doing the lions share of the work. However, if there is a greater goal to be achieved, this extra duty is not viewed as a burden but as a necessity, and each person will take their turn at the wheel.
- Emotional support: If you don’t feel comfortable telling your person when you have a bad day or when you screwed up or when you had your feelings hurt by a friend/family member/co-worker/whoever, then you are not getting the emotional piece of a relationship that, in all honesty, is what makes a relationship worthwhile. If you know without a doubt that you can lean on them when times get tough, you know you have someone special.
- Maturity: This is something that causes a lot of relationships to end abruptly in our younger years. Not being able to admit fault, holding grudges, and choosing our actions out of spite are all things that an emotionally immature person will choose to do over and over again, which creates a toxic environment for all involved. Once we are able to consistently choose our partner’s feelings over our own ego, we enter into a positive, constantly evolving, mutually beneficial union.
- Communication: This has been touted as the key for relationships since the beginning, with good reason. Being with someone who will take initiative to talk about what they are feeling rather than let it fester is critical to working on your partnership. Likewise, they need to be open to hearing your side of the story as well. Even talking about small, seemingly inconsequential, basic life things is fundamental to feeling close on a daily basis. Likewise, finding a way that you are comfortable communicating is crucial; for example, I can say what I need to say a whole lot better if I write it out beforehand versus trying to formulate my thoughts on the spot, which alleviates any chance of me misspeaking or stumbling over my words. Choosing your method of communication for maximum positive results is just as important as the communication itself. If your partner feels loved through gifts, all of the hugs in the world won’t take the place of a simply, timely, thoughtful token of your feelings.
- Responsibility: Any human being on this planet is only truly responsible for their own shiz. Therefore, it’s imperative that you find someone who has it together so you don’t feel like you have to haul their burden as well as your own. While the occasional lapse in judgement in one area or another is normal, you have to be able to recognize when someone tripped up yet is still moving forward versus them just being an all-around hot mess.
- Physical affection: This is something that varies from person to person. My second highest love language is physical touch, so I love to be touching my partner in some way if I am near them. On the other side of the coin, I have a friend who hates touch and is content to chill on opposite sides of the couch from her husband (HOW?!). Sex is also a big part of physical touch, and if you need to feel sexually close with your partner on the daily, it won’t work if you are trying to partner with someone who is cool with hitting it once a week. Regardless of how much people try to brush it off, sexual compatibility is a big thing, so if you aren’t jiving in the bedroom and can’t figure out a way to make both of you happy, it most likely isn’t going to work in the long run. Humans are physical creatures, and you need to find someone who meets you needs in this area, no matter how much or how little you require.
- Responsiveness: This is a sub-section of communication, but it’s just as important. You could have someone who has all of the heart-to-heart conversations, but if things aren’t changing when they need to, all of the communication skills in the world become a moot point. If a relationship is going to work, both partners need to be willing to change certain things in order to mesh together; now, this doesn’t mean to change who you are at your core, but if it makes her happy to put the plates in the dishwasher facing right instead of left, tweaking your loading pattern is a small price to pay for appreciation and your partner’s happiness. Ignoring the small things, even if they “aren’t a big deal, calm down,” can often spiral into your partner feeling unheard, which ultimately will affect the relationship on a deeper level.
- Appreciation: If we are in love with someone, we often do things that go above and beyond because we like to make sure that our partner is happy and fulfilled. However, the more these things are done for us, the more likely it is that we can take them for granted. Taking the time to say thank you for the big gestures as well as the small and mundane contributes volumes to our partner’s satisfaction. Remember, you are choosing each other every day, and your person deserves to be thanked for the hard work (and it IS hard work) it takes to meld together smoothly over the weeks, months, and years of your relationship.
- Intelligence: Just as we are given different physical appearances, none of us are given the same mental agility. Everyone deserves to have someone that they feel challenges them intellectually. If we are stagnant in any area of our lives, we are bound to feel discontent; just as a shark must keep swimming to stay alive, our thinking and processing must move forward in order to ensure our own mental life.
- Similar Goals: Everyone has different goals in life, and the point of having a partner is to have help and support in achieving those goals. If you are trying to reach the top of the mountain, and your partner wants to see how far it is to China through the earth’s core, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that that relationship was not meant to be. Even if your potential partner checks every other box on the list, having radically different life paths will eventually tear you apart. No one should have to compromise what they want out of life to please a partner; if you do, you’re with the wrong one.
Overall, relationships are a delicate balance of personalities, life circumstance, past experiences, and chemistry. However, as human beings, we all fundamentally deserve a solid base from which to build our own unique kingdoms for two. Just remember, whatever you demand from your partner you need to be willing to give. If you give these things and then get these things in return, there is nothing that you and your partner can’t achieve; two people working in tandem and focused on making each other happy creates a whirlwind of positivity and possibility, and those who put in the work to create this magic formula with their person are truly and undeniably the lucky ones.