5 Things That are Just as Important as Love
Love can be all-consuming, obsessive, and blinding but is it enough? The answer is an overwhelming no. Most relationships don’t end because there is a lack of love, they end for reasons besides it.
If you’ve been in a relationship where love wasn’t the issue you know what I’m talking about. Love is just one ingredient that you need to have a long-lasting healthy relationship.
Here are things to look out for:
I’ve heard both sides of this coin, in that compatibility is the most important or that compatibility doesn’t really matter. Like with most things, it probably lies somewhere in the middle.
Compatibility runs a lot deeper than issues such as being punctual versus always being late, but let’s be honest for someone who values punctuality this is probably a dealbreaker. Compatibility can be the difference between something running smoothly or there being constant friction. If you and your partner want to live an enjoyable and harmonious life, you need to have compatibility.
If you find you and your partner are constantly at each other's throats but can’t seem to find a concrete reason for it, you’re probably incompatible. Sometimes you’ll meet someone who seems impossible to deal with, but trust me there’s someone who is compatible with them, it’s just not you.
Knowing how to have a productive argument should be taught in schools. Anyone who is a “let’s talk about it and fix it” type of arguer knows how frustrating it is to deal with an avoider. While the avoider is being constantly annoyed by the need to talk about everything. It just doesn’t mesh well.
Not to be confused with chemistry, which is also important.
No matter what, even if you are the two most level headed people ever, there are going to be times where you get on each other’s nerves. When this happens, you need to be able to treat each other with respect.
Even when you don’t agree with someone’s thought, action, emotion, or whatever it is, they still deserve your respect. The word deserve has gotten a bad rap, with some saying that we don’t ‘deserve’ anything and it's coming from a place of entitlement. But I think it’s okay to expect someone to reach you at your level for things that are important to you.
We can all be disrespectful, especially to our partner. A lot of behavior that leads to toxic relationships stems from disrespect. It’s a slippery slope, so it’s important to check in with your partner about expectations and boundaries.
It’s a simple question: do you actually like who they are?
I know it seems like an obvious yes? I love them so I must like them right. But surprisingly we kind of forget about this component once the love arrives. You need to like who they are separate from you; it can’t be just your relationship that makes them special.
What do you actually think of them?
If the words that come to mind when describing your partner are along the lines of insults such as boring, lazy, annoying, or frustrating. This is a good indicator that you don’t really like them. Everyone wants a partner that thinks they are amazing. So if you don’t feel that way about them you should let them go so they can find someone who does.
4. Shared values
Experts say that the 5 values you and your partner need to be on the same page about are time, money, family planning, work ethic, and trust.
What is something that is super important to you in relationships? Does your partner share it?
Communication is a common one, if you value open and direct communication, your partner needs to share that with you.
You should both be looking for the same thing when it comes to commitment, emotional connection, and lifestyle.
I was once in a relationship where I really valued being present in the moment and my partner was bored by it, that was a recipe for disaster.
A big question to ask when deciding whether a relationship is working is ‘are we working better together or better apart?’. Do you see the problems as ‘us vs. the problem’ or is there always blame passing.
A huge part of partnership is wanting to be on the same page. If you or your partner are constantly out of sync, you’re not going to feel like you’re operating as a unit.
Sometimes there will be relationships where you make each other’s life harder because either one person or both parties don’t want to work as a team. Relationships take compromise, and sacrifice, without these you are just two independent people sharing space. Being in a partnership can be an amazing thing that offers you security, love, and support but both people need to be fully in it.
Believe it or not, you don’t need to completely give up your independence but you do need to make room for someone else to take up space in your life. Maybe by tossing out some of your stubbornness? Just a suggestion.
Honorary mention — Taking accountability
You need to do it, they need to do it. Take accountability, learn from it, do better next time and move on. So much time is wasted on trying to be right, it’s not worth it.
Not everyone is meant to become the dynamic-duo with you, sometimes two good people don’t make a good pair. Finding your best match takes a lot of self-reflection on what you want and what you’re willing to give.