I think the beauty of a relationship, romantic or otherwise, is built on a few defining principles. Whether it be your partner, parents, friends, or siblings, I think there’s a fundamental set of rules that, given my current experience, I’ve observed and come to understand.
The beauty of a relationship is the common understanding that both parties are:
In romantic relationships this is sometimes referred to as someone’s love language, but I propose this concept is broader, and applies to any relationship.
We’re all unique, and given our experiences, seek out different things in our relationships. Some people look to relationships for support and motivation, while others look for emotional comfort and advice.
Of course, this list is non-exhaustive.
Whatever it may be, being able to understand what specifically the other person expects is critical.
Humans are complicated, so I don’t think this process is easy.
It takes, perhaps, years to truly understand a person. To understand what they respond to, how they think, and where their purpose lies.
It becomes clearer, then, why after a certain age, or certain duration in a marriage, a relationship seems so much more stable.
Take the arbitrary number of 40 years. A married couple who’ve been in a relationship for at least 40 years, have built an understanding of the other person so well, that they can innately act in a way that makes sense.
As does your understanding of the person and the trust that gets built along those years.
At some point, both parties have demonstrated time and time again that the trust exists, so the understanding, or bond between the parties is innate.
It’s a fascinating phenomenon the more you think about it.
Two independent humans can build a relationship over a long enough period of time that a third entity is born.
The trust. The bond. The understanding.
I think it’s what makes relationships so fulfilling, and symmetrically, so challenging.
Again, this is not exclusive to romantic endeavours.
It’s why we, as humans, place social interaction at the core of our existence. We can create something so powerful, most of us end up placing our purpose in it.
From an individual perspective we can all becomes better parties in our relationships by doing the following:
If you don’t know yourself, you can’t expect someone else to. Figure out how your brain works. Figure out how your heart works (not the cardiovascular system – well, maybe you should do that too)
Vulnerability is the gateway to trust. You have to put up the possibility of a party breaking your trust, to experience the infinite upside of them building a positive relationship with you.
This is different from awareness.
Reflection happens after the fact.
It’s a critical component in the feedback loop that enables the strenghtening of a relationship overtime. You can slowly build on top of what you know, and compound this understanding and knowledge. If you acted in a way that wasn’t necessarily positive – you have to be able to learn from this, reflect and determine what specifically you can do to skew the probability of it happening again.