Relationships are never easy, sometimes they are what keep you going on in life and sometimes they are just too much of a hassle. As summertime comes along and you hit the beaches at the day and spend long summer nights partying away, this seems the ideal time to start a little romance. And the guy on the other table is just too cute for words and has been constantly eyeing you for a while. You think this could be the one. This could be the relationship that tops all relationships. The one where you’ll be sitting in rocking chairs 40 years from now on a quiet balcony, blissfully holding hands and discussing your grandchildren. But before you rush off planning weddings and trying on the perfect ring; ensure that above that he’s got the prettiest eyes you’ve ever seen, he has the substantial characteristics for him to keep the relationship going. You see Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford in the infamous Gossip Girl) was a wonderful man, but just never the right guy for any of the girls he dated on Gossip Girl. So you have to have your man checked for these qualities to make sure that he is totally, absolutely, undoubtedly the man for you!
Do you trust him explicitly? Or do you have to attach a wire to his clothes just to keep taps on him? A relationship is no fun when you are always worried about who he’ll meet and what he’ll do, not including all the yummy fights that come as a result of the single strand of blonde hair on his shoulder that does not match your brunette locks.
Total, absolute honesty. And that includes telling him that instead of actually going straight home that night, you went out with friends to that new sushi place. It wouldn’t be a pretty sight if he was passing by a few friends there and catching you out on your lie. Honesty goes along hand in hand with trust – you will never trust a person 100% unless they are completely honest with you.
Imagine this – it’s a beautiful night, you set the candles for a romantic mood, made popcorn then you’re debating a movie to watch while you snuggle, you go for “What Happened in Vegas” but he would rather watch “An Inconvenient Truth” and then research the effects of atomic regeneration on the stratosphere on the internet. Long story short, you need something to be able to talk about those long years, and if he can’t stand ponies and new clothing and you can’t even stomach sports and shiny metallic cars, you probably won’t find much to discuss.
SOMEONE TO LAUGH AND CRY WITH
You need to be comfortable telling your partner everything (not that you need to, let’s just say the little stomach problem that happened the other day could stay with you) and it’s not just in bad times that your partner should support you. Some people are great when your whole world is falling apart but just can’t find the time when things are going right and you want to celebrate. Your bad times are just as important as those good times and it’s only right that he understands what each one means to you and is there with the right kind of support.
Respect in a relationship means that each person values and understands who the other person is. Opinions and decisions should be reached jointly with both sides being taken into account. Even if you disagree on several areas like how to raise your kids or which types of liquidity bonds to invest in, you should end up respecting the other side’s point of view and reaching a compromise that will make both of you happy.
You need to have a give-and-take kinda relationship. From which movie to see tonight to deciding whose turn it is to do the laundry. While the “si said” approach is very common among the elder generation of men, times have changed and partners now understand that in a relationship it is crucial that responsibility, tasks and benefits are distributed equally. Things get bad really fast when a relationship turns into a power struggle, with one person fighting to get his or her way all the time
ACCEPTANCE.. I AM WHO I AM
In a healthy relationship, everyone needs to make compromises. But that doesn’t mean you should feel like you’re losing out on being yourself. When you started going out, you both had your own lives (families, friends, interests, hobbies, etc.) and that shouldn’t change. Neither of you should have to pretend to like something you don’t, or give up seeing your friends, or drop out of activities you love. And you also should feel free to keep developing new talents or interests, making new friends, and moving forward.
Everyone has heard the phrase “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” but although men and women are different species they have to be able to communicate extremely well with each other. Good communication (not the shouting-and-screaming kind) is the glue that holds relationships together. You need to be able to tell your partner when something is wrong and not use the classic “nothing’s wrong”. You also need to be able to explain it in a rational and calm way to be able to reach a solution and not rant and rave about what he does and does not do. And this applies vice versa. It’s very important to speak honestly and openly about whatever is going on in your lives to avoid miscommunication.
So when preparing the checklist for the perfect summer catch, make sure to leave room below the “perfect abs” and “brings me flowers every day” for the above points. And if you find yourself missing out on any of these crucial relationship corner-stones, then you need to stop and ask yourself if he is really worth it and whether he’ll be good for you.