If you’ve ever been in a toxic relationship, you may understand the struggle of having a partner who feels so distant even though you are trying hard to make your relationship with them work. You begin making excuses for them, hoping that they would change, or perhaps enduring it all, even while hurting.
Honestly, it could feel that way, but sometimes we have to take a moment to ask ourselves what it really means to be in a relationship and what we want out of it.
I’ve always felt romantic relationships are defined by the level of commitments shown by a couple to each other and to their relationship, commitments of love, care, support, trust, and honesty. These commitments are mutually agreed upon by those in the relationship, and anything that deviates from them becomes a problem.
Commitments could vary from one relationship to another. As you begin spending time with someone who you are attracted to, and getting close to them, or as you begin to connect with someone in what seems to have a potential for a romantic relationship, there’s a sense of commitment in your relationship with that person, there are expectations as well. These commitments continually increases as the relationship progresses until you decide to be fully committed to the person.
What it means to be in a romantic relationship
1. Being in Love with each other
Romantic relationships are built on a foundation of love. If it isn’t on love that the relationship is built, but on a different feeling like lust, then the relationship is more likely to crumble.
Love remains essential to foster a healthy romantic relationship, It would be hard for partners in a loveless relationship to show each other that they care in the relationship.
Love is the bond that holds a romantic relationship together. With love, it is easy to freely give what is expected of the relationship, to care for someone, and to support them when they need your help.
Love makes us see beyond each other’s flaws, love allows us to compromise for another person.
Without love the relationship might falls apart.
2. Having Trust for each other, being open and honest
To be in a relationship with someone you can trust allows you to be open with them.
Trust breaks down the emotional walls around you, and it allows you to love your partner fully without fear or suspicion that they would betray you. It is a beautiful feeling to be able to trust your partner as it grants you a peace of mind in your relationship.
This also means that you have to be honest to your partner, both in words and actions, so as to maintain the trust that a partner already has for you.
Once you lose the trust of someone you are in a relationship with, you begin to lose the relationship if trust isn’t regained, once trust is lost, the relationship becomes troubled as it makes it hard for them to express their love because of the fear of being hurt again.
It would be difficult to be in a relationship with someone you do not trust, your mind would be uneasy, and there would be a great deal of suspicion if trust has been lost. Therefore, all efforts have to be directed towards regaining the trust, or else the relationship becomes conflicted.
People without trust build emotional walls and this prevents them from opening up, the other person senses this and feels troubled, it affects the relationship immensely and might be what could ruin the relationship.
3. Showing Support and care
Your partner is your biggest fan.
They show support and care for you in times of need, and you are supposed to do the same for them when they need assistance.
Relationships are about standing by a partner when they need you or having your partner stand by you when you need them too.
Love makes you want to show care and support to someone you love, you assist them in any way that you can even if it is stressful for you. Being able to give up something for someone no matter how small it may be, that is what being a relationship is about.
In a relationship, you become a team. You help each other improve and be better versions of yourselves as you grow together.
4. Being Patient
Nobody is perfect, and you have to acknowledge that.
A partner could have certain flaws of their own, and as long as they are making attempts to work on their flaws, you have to show your support by being a little bit patient with them. Bringing to their notice these problems as politely as possible and then giving them some time to work on them.
Arguments are going to come up in relationships, and some of these arguments could be due to misunderstandings. Some of the time it is because we leap before we look, we lash out because we are impatient, we do not have the patience to communicate first and therefore we assume.
However, do not let a partner take advantage of your patience.
5. Making Compromises sometimes.
As a couple, you may have different approaches to different problems. There are certain times that you and your partner might have differing opinions concerning some issues, and while this could lead to arguments, you have to be able to compromise at times. This could be by meeting them halfway, so that it becomes a win-win for the both of you in that sense.
Compromises could be little things that you would have to do or give up to make the relationship work.
At times, you have to assess the situation, would your compromise be beneficial to your relationship with your partner and does it have potential to contribute to your self-improvement in the long term as well.
However, you should realize that there are some compromises that could end up being detrimental to you.
Your partner is your best friend.
You spend time together, share and care for each other as friends do, you support each other as well. You open up to each other to share interest.
Together you grow and improve yourself.
Romantic relationship vs friendship
Some romantic relationships begin as friendships.
Once people find out that they have feelings for each other, they may decide to begin a romantic relationship, although they may chose to remain friends instead.
A romantic relationship begins out of passionate love for a person.
In a relationship, the two people share a romance, they go on dates, get physically intimate with each other, and might even become exclusive.
The intensity of a relationship is more that of a friendship. Some people enters a relationship because they want more from someone than that they would get from being just friends them, they desire something that a relationship can offer.