Biko Kennedy and Whitney Blackwood, Youthlink Writers
A relationship is like a full-time job, requiring lots of energy and dedication. This begs the question: why do some relationships stand the test of time while others seem to collapse without much fight?
Common components of successful, long-term relationships include great communication, trust and respect so that when the six-month, three-year and countless other itches that plague them come, they can actually be scratched away.
Maintaining relationships can almost be compared to a mother nursing or nurturing her newborn. It requires a lot of patience, commitment and, most of all, love. Relationships do not have to be picture-perfect to be healthy, but they do require maturity and understanding who you are as an individual within the relationship, as well as who your partner is and what both of you want from one another.
Honesty, the best policy?
"Honesty is the foundation for the building of a strong and healthy relationship. It is as important to a relationship as air is to human survival. When two persons in a relationship are honest with each other, it encourages trust as they are able to be open with each other and share whatever discrepancies. This can ultimately lead to them understanding each other better." - Nesha-Gaye Benjamin
- Neglected law of relationships - Know your needs versus your wants in the relationship and speak up for them clearly. There's no need to prolong a relationship you really have no desire of being a part of.
- Hidden secret to healthy relationships - Successful couples work at their relationship every single day, not waiting until something big happens to do damage control.
- YL Tip - Lies create disconnection between you and your relationship, even if your partner never finds out about them. For any sort of relationship to work you need to have a certain level of trust between you two.
One step at a time
"Patience is an integral part in any committed relationship. When two persons are patient with each other, it opens up the way for them to better understand who they are in the relationship, as well as their partner. When one party tries to rush while the other wants to wait, it creates conflict and a bad precedent that can affect the relationship negatively in the long run." - Matthew Blake
- Neglected law of relationships - Know how to manage your differences. Disagreements don't sink relationships, nor do arguments. You should always aim to solve problems that may arise in order to avoid a recurrence.
- Hidden secret to healthy relationships - Never give up at the sign of failure. If the first couple of tries were unsuccessful, simply try harder.
- YL Tip - Most of us want to fall in love, be in love and stay in love forever and the best way to accomplish this is by compromising. Remember, relationships are a two-way street; you can't expect to receive respect if you don't give it. Support each other in every aspect of the relationship.
All in the 'L' word
"Love is perhaps the most important component of a healthy relationship, and in order to maintain one there has to be this element. Without love there can't possibly be commitment. Love creates that bond in any relationship and drives it for better or for worse. If all other elements have been stripped away from the relationship, a deep love for your partner could be the only thing that could save it. As the adage goes: 'Love conquers all'." - Joel Nomdarkham
- Neglected law of relationships - Listen, truly listen to your partner's concerns and complaints without judgement. Never think for a second that what is being said is coming from a place of hate and not of compassion.
- Hidden secret to healthy relationships - Make time for your partner. Too often you hear that there aren't enough hours in a day, and though you can't control time itself you can control what you do with your time.
- YL Tip - Admit to your mistakes and say that you're sorry. Appreciate your partner and with true love being the foundation of your relationship you literally can conquer any obstacle that comes your way.
How could the lack of one of these key components cause the disintegration of a committed relationship?