Whether we like it or not, Valentine Day celebration has evolved into a celebration of romantic love that is celebrated by many couples. Let us look at what it takes to build a great relationship.
- Emotional maturity.
Love relationships are not for people who are emotionally immature. For you to build a great love relationship, you need to have emotional maturity. You are emotionally mature when you can control your temper and your words; when you do not blow your top at the least offence. You are emotionally mature when you can choose your battles carefully. Some things are no big deals and you should let them slide. When you make mountains out of molehills, your partner will get to the point when he or she does not take your emotional needs seriously any more.
You are emotionally mature when you don't freak out easily. You are emotionally mature when you don't only think in terms of your needs but of the needs of the other person as well. You are emotionally mature when you can put your partner's needs ahead of your own. You are emotionally mature when you can address issues in the relationship without becoming nasty, insulting or hysterical. You are emotionally mature when you can take criticism.
You are emotionally mature when you are not always criticizing and talking about what is not making you happy in the relationship but you can express gratitude and appreciation for and to your partner. You are emotionally mature when you know how to apologize and say sorry. You are emotionally mature when you can accept your partner for what he or she is and appreciate their strengths and virtues. You are emotionally mature when you learn to get on well with your partner's friends and family.
- Positive self-worth.
This is a factor that is often left out when we are talking about building strong and successful relationships, but the fact is, without a positive self-worth, you cannot build any meaningful and successful relationship. Great lovers are those who believe in their self-worth, that they are worth loving.
A person without a positive self-worth does not believe that they are worthy of love and so even when you love them they keep denying that you love them. So, they keep asking you to prove that you love them and no matter what proof you give them, they will still doubt that you love them because they don't believe they are worthy to be loved. This is what makes some people very possessive in love. It is also the reason why some people only find faults in the relationship and never acknowledge the positives.
Relating to a person who does not have a positive self-worth is one of the hellish things any human being can do. Nothing you do is enough. And you always feel like you are on trial for crimes you have not committed and have no intention of committing. You need to believe in your worth for anyone to appreciate and cherish you.
- A readiness to start all over if it becomes necessary
This seems like a strange point to make when you are talking about building great relationships but there is truth and wisdom in it. There is an Akan proverb that says that if you are afraid of divorce you never get a good marriage. It seems like a paradox but it is only when you are prepared to start all over when the relationship is not working for you that you can find a relationship that works.
When a girl relates to a boy and gives him the impression that she has nowhere to go, the boy takes her for granted and the relationship becomes one-sided. But when a boy knows that his girl could walk away, that boy treats her with respect. Similarly, if a boy gives the impression to his girl that he cannot live without her, she will give him a raw deal. A boy who brings the best out of a girl is one who lets the girl know he loves her but if it does not work for them, they can, and will move on. They will never have to move on because their partner will give them great treatment.
The fact is, people will give you the behaviour they think you will tolerate. If you give the impression that you will take anything, you will be given anything. But if you make it clear that you will not tolerate certain things, you will receive better treatment. But if you are afraid that if you talk you may lose your partner, then your partner will never treat you right.
And if the relationship is not working for you and you are not fulfilled, don't be afraid to address the issue with your partner and if he or she is not sensitive to your concerns, then don't be afraid to walk out no matter how long you have been courting. Don't prolong your misery with anyone.
- Don't offer more than the relationship requires
Love relationships come in all kinds of stages. When you offer what is above the stage you are in, you will be taken for granted by your partner. For instance, when you are dating a boy, you don't go to his house to cook and wash for him. That is for a very advanced stage of the relationship. And when you have not reached there and you offer those services, you paint yourself as a fool and sooner or later, your boy will go looking for someone who will not cook and wash for him at that stage. If the boy really needs you to be cooking and washing for him on a regular basis, then he should hurry up and marry you so you can offer those services. If he is not ready for marriage, then he should find other ways of getting his laundry done.
Similarly, if you are dating a girl, you are not supposed to be giving her regular pocket money. That is for a very advanced stage of relationship. Helping your girl out financially once in a while is cool but taking the responsibility for her financially upon yourself in the early part of the relationship is not advisable.
Again let me say that there are things that do not belong to the early stages of a relationship. Some things don't even belong to the middle stages. And there are things that belong only in marriage. Make the mistake and offer them before marriage and you set yourself up for pain and regret.
- Understand the opposite sex
The differences between men and women are huge. If you are a man who has not taken the trouble to understand women, you will have stress in your relationship and find yourself running from one terrible relationship to another. In the same way, if you are girl who does not take the trouble to understand men, you will always have pain and disappointment in your relationships. Men think in a certain way and women think in a certain way. Men have certain expectations in a relationship and women have different expectations in a relationship. Great relationships are built on the firm rock of sound knowledge.