We all have many ideas about what makes a great relationship. Fidelity is usually at the top of the must have list. No one I know wants to have a relationship with a cheating partner. Couples want to feel confident that their intimacy is personal. Jack cannot profess his undying love to Jane, if he’s romancing six others around town. On the flip side, Jane can’t give herself totally to Jack if she wants to give her attention to other guys. In my opinion, there are three fundamental characteristics of a great relationship. Honesty, expectation, and friendship are absolute necessities in unions that will thrive for a life time.
Every relationship needs and should promote honesty between one another. Honest people are not unfaithful, because they look squarely at what’s missing or lacking in the relationship. Honest people are honest regardless of how uncomfortable the situation and it’s just that simple. They tell the other party that certain needs are not being met or if they just want out of the commitment. A dishonest person creates excuses to over shadow their delinquent behavior. For example, Jane only cheats because her husband doesn’t pay enough attention to her. She won’t tell him about the affair because it would devastate him and the children. Yet, her marriage and children existed before the affair began. Preexisting circumstances cannot be used later as convenient excuses.
Couples must also be sure they share the same expectations to solidify a loving committed relationship. Barbara has been exclusively dating John, and fully hopes to marry him someday. John only wants to date Barbara for the foreseeable future. He thinks marriage only ruins a great relationship in the longterm. Barbara is aware of John’s feelings and hopes he will simply change his mind as time passes. Their expectations for the relationship are clearly mismatched. Even platonic friendships can’t survive without some identical expectations. Neither party wants to end the relationship because they genuinely love each other. Nonetheless their relationship will end badly, because of conflicting expectations.
Friendship is the cornerstone of every lasting relationship. Sex can diminish over time or as a result of emotional circumstances. A strong bond is required to sustain closeness during these moments. Pete adored everything about Laura during the first few months. As time passes, he notices they don’t seem to have very much in common. Pete no longer feels the same intense attraction to her that once burned inside of him. Lust alone is unsustainable because it unfortunately doesn’t last forever. Once initial attraction has faded couples must see the other’s flaws without the benefit of cloudy glasses.
Relationships must increase their capacity for honesty, have uniform expectations, and build a timeless friendship. Otherwise a once perfect union will ultimately collapse beneath the pressures of life.