Getting Relationships Right

How does one enter into, and sustain a good solid life long relationship with anotherThe other in question may be anyone — friend, colleague, junior,boss, romantic partner, sibling, parent, child…the object is immaterial. If the answer to this question was known, perhaps more than half the world’s problems would be solved in a day.

When we enter into a relationship with another,(of course, some we are born with, while others we develop) what most of us are looking for, although individual variations will exist because of who we are, are a similar list of things. In my opinion, here are some things that are mandatory for a successful relationship. So, what do we need for a good relationship? This is my list

  1. Mutual Respect: without which no relationship can ever sustain or become meaningful
  2. Love: Which obviously is the foundation of any relationship
  3. Understanding and Maturity: without which we would behave pretty foolishly/unwisely, and cause the relationship to come to a quick end
  4. Sameness: The more things we have in common with the other, in terms of ideals, ethics, dreams, hobbies, outlook, common problems, financial or educational backgrounds etc. the more likely the relationship sustains
  5. Differences: Although sameness is important, differences are what add spice to the relationship. With sameness, the relationship becomes stable. With differences, it gets exciting, challenging and there is something new every day.
  6. Giving: Receiving, rather than giving, is a choice, most of us would opt for, naturally. And yet, a good relationship stagnates and deteriorates when both are takers. One, or both, alternately, have to be givers, for the river of friendship to remain full and flowing
  7. Patience/ Tolerance: There will be difficult days, there will be difficult periods, there will be times when your patience and tolerance are severely tested, there will be days when you feel like punching the other in the face….and if you have loads of patience and tolerance, it is a great boon to the relationship. Impatience and intolerance can wreck even the most solid bonds.
  8. Ability to hold space: Both partners must have the ability to hold open,non-judgmental space for the other. One of the most difficult things to find is a person who can be fully trusted, with whom we can vibe, one who gets us, and who can hold that space. We all need that space sometime or the other, and finding someone who can do that, or being one such person, can sustain the relationshop for long. When we can do that, it automatically also means there is trust, which is vital to a relationship.
  9. Honesty: This is stating the obvious, because the moment lies enter a relationship, and trust is shattered, and total demolition is not far away
  10. Vulnerability: If we appear strong or weak all the time, the other person either gets intimidated or drained. Vulnerability is vital, but if it is displayed alternatively by both people, the boat rocks less, and one can steady it, as the other shakes it.

There are obviously many more qualities that go to making a good relationship, but these ten are crucial, according to me. And both partners need to have them and need them maturity to balance each others opposites at the right time. If both scream or both go silent simultaneously, if both rock the boat or refuse to row, at the same time, the relationship becomes lukewarm…and eventually with time, turns cold.