Relationships can be difficult. Focusing on external qualifiers makes it even harder. But successful relationships require something much deeper than shared interests or physical attraction. Maintaining a healthy, happy relationship requires you to make daily choices that leave your ego behind and to act in the best interest of your relationship rather than just yourself.
Here are what I consider the 15 essential qualities of a lasting relationship:
Any partner will have qualities, characteristics, and behaviors that push your buttons and test your sanity. To make your relationship last, you have to accept your partner unconditionally—quirks, behavior, flaws, and all. First, you make the commitment to accepting them completely. Then, you speak up and say what it is that’s bothering you.
Once the chase is over and we’ve gotten the prize, we often just forget about our partner’s feelings and needs. In lasting relationships, both partners value each other and take care with their words, actions, and behaviors. If you want to be with that person each day, make them feel that way.
If you’re not willing to share what’s going on with you or what you need from your partner, you’re not going to get what you need. Yet, us men, and women, too—out of shame or a habit built over a lifetime of bottling up our feelings—don’t want to let anyone else in on what’s going on with us. If you can trust your partner enough to share your feelings, you’re more likely to find yourself in a safe relationship that lasts.