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Relationships are such strange things. Everyone wants different things from them. Some people go into a relationship because they want money, some companionship and others a cook. Deep down though, most people want to be happy. They want to have a good relationship with their partner. Although what can be considered a ‘good’ relationship varies from person to person, I think there are some qualities that any good relationship should have.
To that end, here are what I think are the 3 qualities of a good relationship:
After ‘compromise’, patience has got to be the most boring word ever in respect of relationships. When I was younger, I didn’t think patience was an important quality for a relationship. I thought things like excitement, passion and zest for life were more important. But, no. After a few relationships and then getting married, I’ve come to realise that patience is perhaps the most important quality any relationship can have. For a relationship to be successful, you need to deeply understand that the other person is very different from you and that no matter how much they love you or you love them, they will do things that annoy you. And when that happens, you need to take a deep breath and do what you think will make the situation better. Sometimes, that means saying something soothing (even when you’re boiling with anger) and sometimes, it means saying nothing at all and letting the silence introduce peace.
I’ll be honest 😉 here. I don’t think couples should tell each other every single thing about themselves, their history or even their daily lives. Apart from the fact that a little mystery can add excitement (that word again 🙂 ), keeping a few things to yourself is sometimes the grown-up thing to do. Let me give an example. If your father thinks your partner should find a ‘proper’ job instead of chasing his music career dream, that doesn’t mean you should tell your partner what your father said if he asks you about it. Doing so would be hurtful – not only to your partner but also to your father and even you.
Although I don’t believe in full disclosure in relationships, I do however believe that honesty is an important value to have in a relationship. So, how do you know when to be totally honest and when to be economical with the truth like Mark Twain said? The answer is to follow your instinct. If something tells you that this is a big point that should be revealed to your partner, then do be honest.
I have to mention a situation a friend told me about honesty in relationships because it’s relevant here. She said she knew a girl who dated a guy for a while and eventually, they got married. The couple never had sex while dating and after they got married, when they both got naked, the girl saw that her husband had herpes. Herpes is an STI and the man had not told her about it while they were dating. I’m not sure the relationship survived that issue. Health matters are the one thing that I believe everyone should be as honest as possible about when in serious relationships. If the health issue can hurt you or your partner, please tell them about it.
3 Good communication
I often say communication is key in any relationship. It really is the backbone of the partnership. As we aren’t mind-readers, it is important to let your partner know what you’re thinking and to also listen and understand when they tell you what’s on their mind. Don’t assume that because you’re in love and the other person knows you well, they will always know what you’re thinking. The reality is that they won’t. An amusing example of this from my own life has to do with air conditioning. Yes, air conditioning. I am really sensitive to cold but my husband likes AC like nothing else. He has told me several times that when I am cold, I should tell him so he can change the temperature of the AC but half the time, I don’t. Instead of me to open my mouth, I will curl myself up like a dying spider and sometimes create stories in my mind about how my husband doesn’t love me because he is forcing me to suffer in cold. Sometimes, he notices and scolds me for not speaking up and then he switches off the AC.
That kind of behaviour on my part does not serve either one of us and learning to communicate more is something I am working on. Love will not give anyone the ability to read minds. Bad communication will breed resentment and sadness in a relationship but good communication will bring openness and joy.
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Remember, if you would like to listen to the audio version of this post rather than read, click on the image below. (Clicking on the image will take you to a form you’ll need to fill to get the audio download.)