That's right, I said it! I think good relationships are easy, it's the bad ones that are crappy and otherwise confusing. Sure, you guys are probably thinking, “Um, dude, you're an idiot,” and, sure, you'd be right, but stick with me here. You see, I feel that relationships really don't need to be as difficult as they tend to be with folks. I'm one of those folks, so let me explain…Relationships, when they're going well, are easy. In my experience, when a relationship is healthy it's like breathing. You don't think about it and things just happen and move along. However, that's not to say that a relationship doesn't require work. They do! They require many different types of work depending on what area of the relationship we're talking about, like sex, finances, work, kids etc. etc… Doesn't that kind of contradict the title of this article? I suppose it could, but I disagree. When dealing with people there are certain ethos that we follow: do unto others as you would have them undo to you. Well, most of us, subscribe to that belief. Relationships have an ethos, or generally understood culturally accepted way of being dealt with. Obviously, different countries and cultures view relationships differently with respect to the role of the male and female. I'm not really talking about that.
When relationships are going bad, or become confusing and indecipherable there is a presence of any number of breakdowns within the relationship. When these breakdowns occur, it's important to identify them, not only that but expectations and consequences need to be set as well.
I'm going to over simplify, here, what I believe are key components to a healthy relationship. I'm not going to cover them all in this post, just here and there. So sit back and don't relax, that makes me nervous!
- Communication –
- Respect –
- Trust –
- Effort –
- Willingness to Compromise –
Communication – Okay, now you're thinking I'm just cherry picking the low hanging fruit. Yeah, communication is key; it's a given. If communication isn't happening you'll know it. Things will begin a gradual or sharp decline. If you or your partner are not communicating there's some questions ask each other. For starters why is there a breakdown in communication? Sure, any number of reasons could exist. The bottom line, at the end of the day, if there is no communication there will be no relationship or, certainly, no relationship worth being a part of.
The other day I was talking with the gal I'm seeing. She had brought something up that didn't really anger her, it was an observation about me. What it was is that she felt that I am comfortable being in non-serious relationships. Ultimately, what she was getting at was she wanted to know if I would be in a serious relationship with her. The answer is yes. I communicated that to her. She was happy with my answer. I took the opportunity to tell her about something that she does that annoys me. Baby talk. =) Yes, baby talk, as trivial as it may seem it tugs at me in such a way I could just beat my face with a sledge hammer and feed myself to a grizzly bear. The point is that these two items can snowball, along with other issues, if they aren't addressed in due time. I shouldn't have waited for her to voice her concerns to voice mine, but I took the opportunity when I saw it, so that is a positive.
I truly believe that communication in relationships are not unlike hurdles on a race track. You don't win the race by going around them, you need to go through them, well, over them. If issues are left unresolved they will build up. The expectation here is that if something is bothering either you or your partner that something should be said and not left to linger. Obviously, the consequence for falling short of the expectation is confrontation… Depending on the nature of the confrontation it can be positive and constructive, like in my example. Or it can be a knock down drag out fight. I don't care what anyone says, fights like that are bad. They're not healthy and if they continue to manifest then a relationship will fail, it's only a matter of time. Not only that, they're so easy to avoid if couples just talk things through. Even the most hard core asshole has to communicate to make things better. If not, then is this the type of person that should be in a relationship anyway?
It's easier to say than to do, I realize. However, when communication, at least positive communication, exists it does open up the main vein to righting things within a relationship or keeping it healthy. If we let communication lag in a relationship, like ignoring cholesterol and let it blow an artery then that is a sure way to end a relationship.
Until next time, talk it out. See if I care! I mean, I'm listening… Really.