In life, we need food, shelter and clothing as our known basics of survival. However, the one notion that we are surrounded by since the day we are born, without which no one can live, is love.
We know about love in our early years from family, friends and peers. We learn about support, interdependence, kindness, honesty and compassion from our relationships with these people. Yet why is it that most people find themselves in failing relationships rather than successful ones?
As I have said before, love is not complicated but we complicate relationships with contradicting relationship advice books, comments from friends and family who claim a monopoly on relationship knowledge and perhaps watching too many talk shows. After all, Dr. Phil can say a lot but he does not know every single individual in the world personally.
Today, I am returning to the basics. There will be no need for relationship roles, sex tricks, special words or therapy. Let’s not complicate something as uncomplicated as love, shall we?
What makes a relationship work is simpler than learning the alphabet. In the English alphabet, there are twenty six letters but in the relationship alphabet, only four exist, LCAT: Love, Communication, Appreciation and Trust.
Love is the foundation of every relationship. Otherwise, why are you with your significant other? Be willing to let life throw curve-balls at both of you. Your significant other will make mistakes and unintentionally hurt you in the process but these mistakes should be ones that can be forgiven and resolved. Life can get tricky and you or your significant other will eventually have to endure an unfortunate circumstance if neither one of you has not already. If you love the person, the first thing that should come to your mind is support, not burden. A relationship is not going to be perfect but your love for one another should resemble that of a paper-maché project by having different aspects, perhaps a little messy here and there but overall cohesive and strong when together. True love must be unconditional. If you are ready to throw in the towel because your significant other didn’t do the dishes, it isn’t true love.
Communication allows the foundation of the relationship to remain intact. People are complicated and unless you can read minds, people interpret things in different ways. Reality is perception and how someone perceives a situation can deeply impact how they view someone. Things can be misunderstood and over-analyzed all the time. Therefore, it is important to be honest and open with your significant other. Not only will it allow any issues to be resolved easier, it will also allow for both of you to become closer as you gain a better understanding of one another. Learning someone’s quirks and pet peeves will take a while but honest and open communication brings about smoother relationship growth.
Appreciation is not a word generally used when discussing relationships. We know that we love our significant other but do we appreciate them? Do we admire their accomplishments? Do we take pride in all of their triumphs and sorrows, both past and present? If yes, do we let this person know? In our hearts, we know that we appreciate our significant other but with our busy lives, sometimes that person does not receive that message and sometimes, this person is even YOU! Always do things to show that you care.
Today, I called my boyfriend up at work. Usually, when I call him at work, it’s because I thought he finished early. On the contrary, I just called him in the middle of his day to tell him that I love him. I know that he knows this but it would make his stressful day a little brighter. Even though I cannot see him as often as I would like as the result of conflicting work schedules, knowing that I still think about him and love him with all my heart is a comforting thing.
Another prime example is my father and his girlfriend, Luisa. Luisa works night shifts at an airport and usually my father is asleep when she returns home. When my father woke up this morning, he sent her a text saying that he missed her, a text by an iPhone that woke me up early (thanks Dad!), but nonetheless, it was a romantic gesture to show that he appreciated her and still cared.
Lastly, what is a relationship without trust? Trust is like wind. When it exists, it is like a gentle, calm breeze. When it does not, it is like a hurricane that destroys your relationship. Lack of trust derives from insecurity. It’s the fear of not wanting to be ever hurt again like we were in our past. Despite common misconceptions, trust can not be more black and white. You either trust the person or you don’t. If there is a shred of doubt, get out. There is no sense in being with someone who you truly believe would do you wrong.
By examining these relationship basics, it is evident that relationships don’t have to be complicated. Your relationship is going to be a roller coaster but as long as you are enjoying the ride, everything will be just fine.
All The Best,
The Modern Day Fairy Godmother