Trust – Every relationship is built on trust. To be in a successful relationship you need to trust the other person on many different levels. As you share your lives and the relationship deepens, trust becomes one of the linchpins of it. Relationships can be irrevocably broken when there is no longer trust.
Friendship – You would think this one is a given, but it isn’t. There are many people who are in relationships who do not have a friendship. I have seen many married couples who have nothing in common and at times seem to be anything but friends. Liking a person for who they are and enjoying spending time together is an important part of any relationship.
Laughter – I often think that humor is one of the things that tie people together. When you can laugh with a person about some of the things around you a bond is created. Think of some of the best times hanging with people and I can bet you probably laughed together.
Affection – Whether it is a spouse or family member or a friend. To have a healthy relationship there should be some affection for the other person. It may not be all out love, but there should be a general likability that creates a special bond.
Communication – Any relationship should be built around good communication. When I speak to couples about issues they are having, the most common problem is their inability to communicate. Many people do a lot of talking AT each other, but being able to communicate WITH each other can make a relationship strong and be helpful when things get tough.
Common Interests – One of the things that Facebook has taught me is that many times relationships are built on common interests. You may have experienced this too. A long lost person in your life friend requests you on Facebook. You are excited and you soon have a great online conversation about your lives and your past. Several weeks later the communication has slowed and it eventually stops. You soon realize that what bound you together as friends was a specific time and place, but now that you no longer have that commonality you have very little to talk about. Common interests binds our relationships.
Honesty – This goes hand in hand with trust. It is important to be able to be honest with your relationships so that they can continue to grow. Conversely, it is important that people are able to be honest with you. I don’t know about you, but I would rather be in a relationship with someone who is honest with me then someone who tells me lies or hedges the truth.
There may be other things that you would like to add to this list. Feel free to comment about the list and we can discuss it further. As you can see, to be able to be in a healthy relationship you should be able to have most, in not all, of these attributes. As you go through your day and you encounter the various relationships you are in, do a quick rundown of this list and see how many of them are a hallmark of the relationship. I look forward to talking more about relationships as the week progresses. And don’t forget: Life is a journey, not a destination!
If you need someone to talk to about your relationships, I am here to help. You can email me at StephenLifeCoach@gmail.com