There are a million and one ways to screw up a relationship. I’d save that for my next piece, but I don’t think anyone in the universe has difficulty screwing up relationships. It’s a talent we’re all born with.
The hard part about relationships is making them work. Some people claim they’re “unnatural.” Some believe “happily-ever-after” is impossible. I just think everyone is a bit silly and lazy.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how to make a relationship work.
They just seem so incredibly difficult to manage because, most of the time, the individuals are either incompatible or not mature enough to handle them.
All you need to make a relationship strong, impassioned and long-lasting are these 12 ingredients. Of course, every great chef has his or her own take on the perfect dish.
So, season to your own taste.
1. ¾ cup of honesty
Honesty is incredibly important in any relationship. Not so much because it’s a virtue, but because being honest keeps the trust the two of you have for each other intact.
Trust is the glue holding all human relationships together. It’s easy to underestimate the importance trust has on a relationship — until you run out of it.
Trust is easy to lose and incredibly difficult to rebuild. Love, on its own, can only take you so far.
So if the love of your life loses trust in you and he or she is strong, independent and self-respecting, then he or she will walk out of your life for good.
2. A sprinkle of romance
Too much romance is not a good thing. When you overdo anything, it begins to lose its appeal. Obviously, if you want an impassioned relationship, you’re going to need to keep the romance alive.
It takes work, creativity and genuine interest. It’s the tough part of romance: You can’t fake it and hope to get away with it.
Thankfully, people in love find being romantic comes naturally. They may not feel the need to be romantic too often, but they’re capable of it.
You don’t need to woo your lover every day. Romance is better in smaller doses sprinkled over a lifetime.
3. Two tablespoons of forgiveness
Lives are complex and often overwhelming. We can’t always know what decision to make in the heat of the moment and, sometimes, we don’t even know we’re making a decision at all.
Often, we get distracted and let things slip by us, and our inaction and forgetfulness hurts the one we love.
Don’t hold grudges; they rot relationships.
4. One cup of true love
What every relationship needs to survive — the one irreplaceable ingredient on this list — is honest-to-truth love.
Your actions may not always be the wisest, most thought-out or logical, but your love is exactly what it ought to be. You can fix your actions, but you can’t fix not loving someone.
If you don’t care for someone the way love makes you care for someone, you don’t love him or her. If you do care for him or her, your relationship is always worth fixing. As long as you are willing to make the necessary changes, of course.
5. A healthy heap of attention
Not enough attention and your relationship will leave you with a sour taste in your mouth. Too much attention and the whole relationship falls to ruin.
Relationships aren’t difficult; people are difficult. If you don’t give enough attention to your partner, you’ll have problems within your relationship.
If you give him or her too much attention, he or she will feel smothered and suffocated — and will run.
I know it may be hard to believe, but people want things just right — and when it comes to commitment, any signs of things being a little off scare people into running away.
6. A dash of playfulness
Most failing relationships fail because people get bored. You have to be playful and silly with your partner. You may be an adult, but you know you wish you were still a kid.
There’s time to be stern and a time for lighthearted fun — hopefully you can find more room for the latter.
7. A dusting of drama
Not a whole lot and nothing serious, but a little bit of drama in your life keeps both you and your lover on your toes.
Drama elicits an intense emotional response and, let’s be honest, we most often attribute those intense emotions to romantic love.
A little jealousy, a few light arguments here and there, some emotional excitement. Being in love relies on such emotions — they’re what remind us how much we care and love this person. Done right, it can keep the love alive indefinitely.
8. The zest of loyalty
It’s important you and the love of your life trust each other to be loyal. If you’re a part of a monogamous relationship, you’re going to have to keep it in your pants.
Loyalty means something slightly different to everyone, but it boils down to never abandoning each other.
9. Three teaspoons of laughter
If you want a strong, impassioned and long-lasting relationship, you’re going to need to fill it with smiles and laughter.
When you have that, you’ll literally be too busy to grow to resent each other. Laughing makes us feel good and makes us healthier at the same time.
It’s hard to let go of something bringing you so much joy.
10. A hint of obsession
Fueled by drama, obsessing a little over the person you love makes you feel love the way it should be felt. A hint of obsession makes certain you’ll never stop caring for him or her.
Like all great things, too much obsessing can kill you — and certainly drive you mad. Romantic love is an obsession of sorts. That’s why we see it turn so ugly so often.
But if you learn to control it, obsession can give you the sort of love experience most people believe exists only in movies and fairy tales.
11. Two pounds of wisdom
Wisdom is like butter: You can never have too much of it. Better even, because it won’t clog your arteries.
Wisdom is a combination of knowing and understanding. When you understand yourself, understand your partner, understand the relationship you have together, and the expectations, the relationship will last.
Sometimes, however, when we know all the facts and understand their implications, we deem the relationship doomed to failure. At least you save yourself some pain down the road.
12. Medium-to-high heat for a lifetime
Relationships are living things, and for them to remain living, they need to keep moving.
A relationship is nothing more than the life two individuals share. And the life two individuals share is nothing more than the sum of both individuals’ lives.
So as long as you both keep moving, both keep living, and both continue to feel alive, your relationship will last.
It will have its peaks and valleys. It will grow and change over time, developing into something entirely new every so often. Keep the fire burning and keep a healthy s*x life.
Everything is manageable if you want it to be.