*I have done some thinking about relationships in general and looked at what I believe is important. In doing this I spoke to many adult men and in particular gay men as I wanted to get a view that included an element of maturity. When I say adult I don’t mean they are of a particular age but rather they are relatively stable and have their priorities straight. So they ranged in age from around 25 to 60. Some of them are in relationships and some are not currently in a relationship. These are just a few thoughts and there is obviously a lot more information that I could have added.
The first thing I asked them, was what they saw as the most important aspect of a relationship and to this I got a few answers. However the things that were consistent were that being able to communicate openly with each other was important because if you talk to each other than everything can move forward without misconceptions or the imagination taking over. Good communication also allows for ongoing connection with each other and allows for a continuing growth of the couple together. Another thing that every person said was honesty is essential. Without honesty there is only resentment and hurt.
The other thing that came out in this was in every case of a successful relationship it was said that the thing that got them through was they sat down and discussed each others expectations in the relationship. This meant there was no question of where they stood and where necessary each compromised. This was important because every couple have things that are unique between them and it’s essential to be willing to meet each other halfway.
I asked what made the relationship last and what was interesting about the responses was that everyone had the same answer. You have to be willing to go through the ups and downs together. Throughout a long term relationship there are going to be times when one of the couple has struggles. The key is to not give up and show that you are willing to stick by the person. As humans we all have struggles and it’s way too common in this world for people to run the minute there is a difficult period. Real character comes from sticking around and working through things. In saying that it still takes two.
Throughout this I realised that the one thing that kept coming up is that most relationships go through a shift somewhere between the one year and four year point where the real honeymoon period ends. This is the point where the lovey dovey love can stop for some and this can cause questioning over whether they really are in love. This isn’t a sign that you are not in love anymore rather that the you have moved into a comfortableness with each other. Unfortunately because the buzz has stopped this is when a lot of relationships stop. As a society these days many are constantly looking for that buzz they get whether it be from a new relationship, major change or just a hobby. It is important that once that buzz stops in a relationship that you are realise that you are just entering a new phase of your relationship and that is good. It’s a time when your relationship changes and moves into the next phase.
If you can achieve this and adapt to these changes you will succeed. The one thing I have learned is that relationships are complicated but as long as both of you are truly invested and willing to work hard at it you will end up stronger than ever. *