“What makes a good relationship?” Sounds like a trick question, doesn’t it? It’s like being asked what is beautiful, or what is happy. It’s one of those questions that might be answered differently depending on who you ask. There might be many answers to the question.
What Makes a Good Relationship Varies From Person to Person
Every one of us who is in a relationship can look to elements in our connection with our person and say, “I like that part.” We might think of our mate and know that when they do that certain thing they do, we really like it. All of us have some things in our union with our mate that we cherish.
Now that’s not to say that there aren’t things that we don’t like, and even if there are many things that we don’t like, there are still some things that we do enjoy. Maybe it’s that moment when you are just sitting with your partner expecting nothing from them and then you feel it, that awareness that you are sharing a space that only you and your beloved know and it feels like home.
Sometimes We Long for Things We Had Earlier in the Relationship
You might cherish those moments so much you wish you had more of them. Then we get into something called longing where we want more of what we once had. Then we stay in the wanting and waiting for what we don’t have. Or maybe we want what we do have to last longer. But when we do this we forget about what is happening in the moment we are living in, and we wait for the future or long for the past. Then, we suffer. A lot of couples do this, and this state always leads to discomfort.
But before we count the challenges, let’s remember what got us there: wanting something that we might have but no longer have it now. We remember a feeling that we carried when things were good and we want to feel that feeling again. This is also common among couples, wishing that things could go back to when they were better.
Every Relationship Was Good at Some Point…
And in all these scenarios, isn’t it clear that at some point every relationship was a good one? We all have the capacity to make our relationship good. Every one of us can wake up and say, “I want this relationship to work and I will be a loving mate to my partner.” If everyone did this there would be nothing but good relationships everywhere.
But that is not what humans do. When we find fault with the way things are, it’s likely we will blame our mate. This leads to a misunderstanding and maybe an argument and then we long for the time before all this mess began. This is very human too. It’s common to remember the good times, argument free, and want them again.
Returning to a Good Relationship Takes Patience and Some of These Qualities
So if our relationship was good and we want the goodness again does that mean we have a good relationship? Does that mean we had a good relationship and now it is something different? It’s dicey to say what goes into a relationship to make it good. Sure we could list some of what makes a good relationship:
All of us have these qualities.
Do we remember to use them with the person we love? Not so much? Can we train ourselves to use them more often? If we can, then it would be heading in the direction of making our relationship a good one. And then we could all say, “Yes, I know what makes a great relationship. I live one, right here.”
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