Couples Hack: 15 Relationship Fundamentals You Need To Know

fundamentals of a happy relationship
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No two couples are alike. That's because couples vary based on the individuals involved in the relationship. However, there are 15 relationship fundamentals each relationship should be built on for sustainable happiness.

1. You should know what the basis of a relationship is

Many people would answer that love is the base of any romantic relationship, and that love can conquer all. Unfortunately, they are sadly mistaken.

Love and attraction will bring you together but won't keep you together. There are many people walking around with love in their hearts for someone they legitimately can't be with for reasons such as; they can't agree on anything, trust issues, they're always arguing, and/or they want two different things.

We all know people like this, whether they are family members, friends, or acquaintances; however, this proves that love is not the basis of a relationship. So, what is the basis of a relationship? You may ask, the answer is simple, a partnership. 

A partnership is an agreement between two people with the same interest and mindset, coming together to realize a shared goal. A partnership is 50/50 each partner must share responsibilities, happiness, setbacks, aid in forgiveness, and the growth of the relationship. 

A partnership is the basis of a romantic relationship. 

2. Communicating is key

Communication is the lifeblood of a relationship. It is how both parties share what they are thinking and share how they are feeling. Communication is so vital that it can make or break a relationship. Every relationship hangs on the balance of communication, simply because there are two individuals involved in an agreement with different viewpoints and feelings that need to be communicated, time and time again.

For communication to be effective, you must understand that there are two parts to communicating. One part is listening, and the other part is transmitting or speaking. Listening is a skill. Listening requires you to use your ears to understand versus the function of just merely hearing what the other party is saying.

Transmitting or telling your partner how you feel or what you are thinking should be easy. Right? However, if what you are transmitting isn't clear, precise, honest, and or aggressive, it is a good bet that communication with your significant other will be challenging. Transmitting is also two-sided. When you speak, also allow your partner to have a turn to speak as well. Doing this can do wonders for the relationship as both parties will feel respected and equal. 

If you master the art of communication, you will guarantee the long term success of your relationship.

3. You must be open and truthful in a relationship

What does it mean to be open in a relationship? It means being truthful. It means not keeping secrets. It also means becoming one with your partner. In a relationship, you must be open to sharing your life and your experiences. Your partner should know your thoughts, dreams, beliefs, and fears. 

You must also understand that every decision you make doesn't only affect you. It affects your partner as well, in one form or the other. So please don't be selfish and not discuss options of outcomes without them.

When two people come together, their lives merge, and the two becomes one. 

4. Patience saves many arguments

Patience is definitely a virtue. Being able to delay one's own reaction in the heat of the moment is truly remarkable. Patience is a skill that every couple needs to practice utilizing each day. Patience can save you and your significant other many arguments, misunderstandings, unnecessary apologies, and health issues. (i.e., stress, headaches, and increased blood pressure.) 

Patience is also the ability to wait. Not every situation has to end up being a big blow-up or with an apology. Sometimes waiting to respond and spending a few extra seconds to listen and understand what your partner is saying can result in a greater appreciation for you, more openness, respect, an added level of intimacy, peace, understanding, and harmony in your relationship.  

The success of your relationship depends on the acquisition and use of patience.

5. Relationships are a Journey

We are all familiar with the theory of evolution as far as growth and development are concerned. We all know that a baby goes through a period of crawling before learning to walk. With that said, I now need you to apply that same level of knowledge and understanding of your relationship.

Every relationship goes through stages and growth. Some levels of growth take longer to achieve than other stages. This is where the challenge comes in. Most people involved in a relationship desire to be in what they deem to be a perfect relationship, where their partner meets all of your needs, they are totally in sync, have no heated disagreements, and the relationship is simply a bed of roses.

For the record, you can have that perfect relationship, just as long as you are willing to work and wait for all the things you want to manifest. Your perfect relationship won't magically happen over the course of one night or one conversation. It will take some time, maybe even years of toiling, to obtain what you are desiring.   

So be patient. Relationships are a journey. They need time to grow and mature.

6. Relationships need maintenance

Like a motor vehicle requires maintenance, your relationship needs maintenance also. Relationships sometimes go through phases of stagnation or complacency, which can put a damper on the relationship, in addition, to wear and tear, especially in the cases of long-term relationships. Time killers such as a busy work-life and/or a hectic schedule over time can make your partner feel abandoned and/or unloved. This is why maintenance is needed. Maintenance keeps the love and joy flowing in the relationship.

In a relationship, maintenance shows your significant other that you value being with them and how much you love them. No matter how perfect you may think or feel your relationship is, keep in mind, maintenance is always needed. 

Date nights, vacation for two, and spending quality time together keep the spark going in a relationship as well as strengthen the foundation of your lives together. Random thoughtful gifts, I love you-phone calls, and I can't wait to see your text messages, not only convey feelings of love but adds the romance element that supercharges your partner's love for you.

Maintenance is key to a long-lasting relationship.

7. It takes two to construct any relationship

What makes a couple? Two. It takes two to tango, two to argue, and it takes two to make things work. A relationship is like a see-saw. It has its ups and downs, as well as the same concept of teamwork applies. Both partners must unify to make it function.

A relationship is a construct of two people coming together in agreement to create a life of shared hopes and dreams. Those dreams can only be realized if both persons in the relationship invest whole-heartedly into the overall success of the relationship.

The concept of a relationship is a partnership that can't be stressed enough. One individual can't make a relationship work by themselves. It's like trying to spend a one-sided coin. It just can't happen, and it's futile. One partner contributing to the relationship's success puts a strain on the union and places a burden on the contributing partner. A one-sided partnership is a perfect recipe for destroying a relationship.

Any relationship can and will work if both partners work together.

8. Forgiveness 

Being able to forgive is powerful and freeing for both partners. Forgiveness is the act of letting go of transgressions. When one partner can forgive the other for a transgression, it liberates both parties, especially the offended partner. Letting go of the hurt and or disappointment will take some time and inner strength. The power of forgiveness is the control you take back over a situation or misunderstanding focused on destroying your relationship.

The lack of forgiveness in a relationship is the equivalent of cancer in the body. It will eat your relationship inside out. Unforgiveness will keep a relationship buried in a place of pain or anger. The longer unforgiveness looms over a relationship, the more damage it does overall.

Forgiveness is a process, and both partners should understand this fact. You can't hurt your partner today, expect them to forgive you tomorrow, and then live happily ever after like it never happened. It just doesn't work that way. Based on the magnitude of the offense, the offended partner may need a longer time to heal. The healing process can sometimes be confused with unforgiveness because of repercussions and feelings.

Repercussions are the consequences for the action or event that leads to one partner needing forgiveness. Feelings enhance the effects of repercussions. This is why the healing process is confused with unforgiveness because feelings recycle the initial offense over and over in the mind and heart of the offended. Once the remainder of the offense takes place, the offender will more than likely be put on notice, thus creating feelings of unforgiveness. 

Forgiveness is two folds and a process. One side needs time to heal, and the other side needs to feel forgiven. The offender needs to understand that this is the position you put your partner in. So allow them time to heal. The offended must understand that reminders of a past transgression breathe feelings of unforgiveness. These feeling sparks confusion about being forgiven and sometimes can lead to arguments or separation.

9. Limit family and friends input 

The secret to a successful and long-lasting relationship is to limit the amount of outside input in your relationship. The main reason for keeping family and friends out of your relationship is simply because it's none of their business. There is nothing wrong with getting advice every now and again, but be careful not to allow anyone on the outside of your relationship, dictating the inner flow or your relationship. You don't need a third voice in the relationship directing traffic.

If you must seek advice, search for individuals with a positive mindset or a mature couple in a successful relationship. Look for persons who are unbiased and morally sound to advise both you and your partner correctly. 

Family and friends tend to take sides, regardless of right or wrong. Having to combat family members and friends, opinions, expectations, and viewpoints can add to unnecessary stress on a relationship and, in some cases, destroy a relationship.

10. Saying Sorry

Saying sorry can defuse many situations between you and your partner. Saying sorry can also put your partner at ease and open the door to reconciliation. It takes a big person to apologize and admit to wrongdoing or for the role they played in the situation. Saying the magical five letter word is admirable but futile, if not accompanied by true feelings and actions of remorse.

Saying sorry may not always be easy to say at times, despite being a two-syllable word, but if you are truly sorry, value your relationship, and desire the quickest route to fix your relationship, you should begin by saying I'm sorry.

11. Conflict Management  

Conflict management is needed in every area of our individual lives. So imagine how much more (CM) is needed when two people forming a partnership with different upbringings, beliefs, experience, way of doing things, or solving issues come together.

Conflict Management boils down to how well you and your beloved communicate. Ask yourself this question, what causes a lot of arguments and misunderstandings in a relationship? The simple answer is the lack of proper communication skills. Listening to understand and responding respectfully can make a big difference in an already dicey situation.

Another part of communicating that can be effective in (CM) is using a debate format to communicate during a heated disagreement. A debate format utilizes a system where opposing sides take turns to speak uninterrupted for a predetermined amount of time to communicate viewpoint/s. Using the debate format with listening to understand may reveal that you and your partner are saying the same thing, just differently. 

Sometimes when things get heated between you and your significant other or already on fire, the best thing to do is take a break and separate for a couple of minutes and let cooler heads prevail. This technique is used in Professional boxing, and it can make a big difference in your relationship.

Another effective method for conflict management is learning from past mistakes and arguments. Steering clear of situations, particular topics, and trigger words can result in a happier relationship. And last but not least, the most sure-fire way to manage conflict is respect. Respect is conflict management in one word. 

12. Gratitude and Appreciation 

Showing gratitude and appreciation is one of the best ways of keeping a relationship happy and strong. When you show your significant other gratitude and appreciation, you add to the love and admiration they have for you. Displaying actions of gratitude and appreciation in your relationship is the equivalent of adding miracle-gro to a plant.

I know many people may think that gratitude and appreciation are the same, but they are not.

The dictionary defines gratitude as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Appreciation is “recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.”

With that said, don't forget to tell you're significant other thanks when they do something special for you. Don't forget to tell your partner why you love him or her and why you enjoy being with them. It's good to state the obvious every now and again.

13. Reassurance

Reassurance is huge in a romantic relationship, especially in today's world, with so many uncertainties, constant changes, and attention grabbers. Reassurance is the action of removing doubt and fear, in this case, from your partner's mind. Reassurance can also stop arguments about their place of importance in your life or faithfulness from ever occurring. In addition to less fighting, reassurance provides security and is one of the best preemptive measures to combat feelings of jealousy.

When your partner is reminded of your love for them on a consistent basis without being prompted and with actions that show him or her that they are the apple of your eyes, you not only keep away the cloud of doubt but strengthen the pillars of your relationship.

14. Trust

Relationships are built on trust. Trust is the most vital cornerstone in building a relationship. Without trust, there is no relationship—just a risk in hopes of a desired outcome, better known as a gamble. If you don't trust the person you're involved with, then why be with them? You are only wasting time. Trust is the bonding agent that cements the provisos of your partnership/relationship.

For those with trust issues based on a previous relationship. You are encouraged to let go of your mistrust bit by bit, especially if you are involved with someone who shows you that they are with you for all the right reasons. Your lack of trust will eventually destroy your new-found relationship and any chance of happiness you could have had. If the shoe is on the other foot, the best thing you can do for your partner is to restore their faith in love by reassuring them of your feelings for them and making sure they understand that you are not the person with whom they were previously involved with.

When you are involved with someone you can trust with your heart, mind, body, and soul, there are no worries, no heartaches, or insecurities. There is just love and happiness.

Trust can take a lifetime to build, an instant to be broken and be lost for all eternity. So be very careful with your partner's trust. It can make or break your relationship.

15. Respect

"It takes respect to get respect." - A famous quote we all have heard or have used ourselves. In a relationship, respect is simply loving yourself. 

When you as an individual love yourself (not selfishly), it is easy to love your significant other. When you love yourself, it is shown in the way you speak and treat your partner. The decisions you make won't be selfish. You would respect their viewpoints, personal space, and property. When you love yourself, you will honor and value your commitment to your partner. 

Love and respect are interchangeable. Trying to differentiate the difference between the two is like trying to separate bone from marrow.

Respecting your partner will come naturally if you respect yourself. Because everything you want for yourself, you will do for your partner. And if you and your partner are one, then you are doing it for yourself. 

These 15 fundamentals are the keys to building or maintaining a long-lasting and loving relationship. I believe that every couple should be aware of these fundamentals and put them into practice. Please share this article with your significant other and read it together as information brings revelation, which interns bring change and ultimately, improvement. Thanks for reading and best of luck to you and your partner. 

My name is Dario M. Gardiner, aka Rio Sensei. I'm a novelist, writer, and author. My mission is to help my generation and future generations

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