Love – How it Works (and how it doesn’t).

What makes a good relationship? How do you know if you’re in a good relationship or whether what you’ve got is doomed? How do you know you’re loved? How do you reciprocate love? This article explores these things..

10 things that a relationship could fail without considering.

1). God (for Christians): Without God, especially in a Christian relationship, the relationship will almost definitely be pulled apart. The reason for that is there are dark forces that are working hard to pull Christian’s apart, if they serve God but do not bring Him into a relationship, or leave God out. Also, there are plenty of relationships that work out where God is not directly acknowledged, for non-Christian people, but that’s another whole story, beyond the scope of this article.

2). Time Together: A relationship must be based in spending time together, doing things together and simply being there for each other. Without putting in this basic, fundamental time and effort, a relationship is sure to fail. A relationship is hard to hold together if there are no memories, laughter, special days or special occasions, etc. You’ve heard of the term: “Don’t be a party pooper”, well, similarly, you should not be a “relationship-pooper”, because you’ll destroy the relationship, 100% guaranteed. You can be certain of that.

Some people treat relationships like a business, or a transaction. They have a list of stuff they believe should be accomplished in a relationship and they go about trying to check those things off; and if those things don’t get checked off, the person becomes disillusioned with the “relationship”. First thing is first: Before a relationship can flourish, a strong friendship with no other worldly worries or affairs — needs or wants, or even desires should be attached to it. The foundation should be love and affection; and of course Jesus (who IS love). If you’re not with a person that you can simply hang out with, have a laugh and enjoy their company, regardless of anything else or any other consideration, your not in a relationship – you’re in a transaction.

If one person is trying to conduct a transaction and the other is trying to give their heart, you can be assured of tears from one and anger from the other. 100% guaranteed.

3). Genuine Empathy and Care: In a relationship there are sure to be disagreements, 100% guaranteed. One person might be made to feel uncomfortable or even hurt by the actions of the other person. In this case, one should consider the feelings of the other person, have EMPATHY, and possess a genuine and sincere desire to take their loved one into account; even to the point of refraining from or modifying such behaviours that are causing the heartache. There is a line here, because for sure, some people can be very insecure and unrealistic, but more often than not, if someone is feeling hurt about something there usually is a half valid reason. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

If one person in the relationship has the attitude: “I don’t really care if you’re hurt, because I don’t feel I am doing anything wrong, and I am happy being me – so just get over it”, without even being wiling to sit down and talk about it, or discuss or even “REASSURE” the loved one that their concerns are at least being considered, the relationship is definitely at a very high risk of failing. When people love each other, they’re considerate of each others hearts and they’re considerate of each others concerns. They will be able to sit down, talk, discuss and come to amicable conclusions and solutions that leave everyone feeling as though they’ve been heard and are still loved.

If anyone is willing to let hard feelings and hurt fester, without being acknowledged, then quite simply, they do not possess the care, concern even the basic level of friendship that is required for a relationship to become something beautiful. Empathy, concern and care are not-negotiable in a real and genuine relationship.

4). Hearing each other out: In a relationship, one should be genuinely interested to hear their loved one out, entirely and uninterrupted, before responding. If one person gets the “gist” of what they feel is a complaint against them, and immediately launches a defence, cutting their loved one off, leaving them unable to complete what they were trying to address or simply convey, it is extremely damaging and could possibly destroy a relationship pretty quickly. If one person in the relationship is more interested in shutting the other’s complaints, suggestions or concerns down, or to selfishly “get over the top” of the concern/conversation, then the relationship will never flourish into something beautiful.

You know you’re with the right person when you bring something to their attention, from your heart, and they give you their undivided attention, and genuinely consider what you’re saying – even if they initially don’t agree or feel right about what you’re saying. Even if they still don’t agree by the time they’ve heard you out, what you’ve said should play on their mind and conscience and they should at the very least be cautious and caring of your heart. However, if the person your with simply bulldozes over every concern you have or puts you down for trying to voice them, the relationship will definitely suffer.

5). Pleasing your Loved One: In a functional relationship, both people must live to genuinely please each other; otherwise, what’s the point of being in a relationship. You can please “yourself”, just fine, single. Each person in the relationship will have a genuine desire to make sure the other feels loved. This is expressed in affection, time, cute gifts (or trying to be cute/charming in general); little surprises such as breakfast in bed, random gestures of kindness, flowers; thoughtfulness, such as preparing the other drinks, food or cut lunches when they’re busy or otherwise unable; taking on more chores when the other person is genuinely unable to, etc. ie: Just generally being considerate, fair and “genuinely willing to please”.

If one person in the relationship simply sits back and “sucks up the love”, without putting any effort to return any of it, then that’s not a relationship. It won’t work and can never work. Both people must have a genuine desire to see the other laugh, be excited, feel loved, feel considered, thought about, wanted, cherished. A relationship where one person is doing all the sucking and the other is doing all the trying will not last very long at all. It will result in tears for one and anger from the other.

6). Emotional Priorities: The most important thing in a relationship is not money. Money is an important thing, yes. However, without love, no amount of money can make a relationship beautiful. Many people get into sugar-daddy/sugar-mummy relationships, but in the end there will be a feeling of loneliness, sadness and emptiness; there will almost assuredly be cheating due to strong feelings of unfulfillment. People want to be and feel “loved”. That can never happen on money based relationships. It can’t develop either, because the foundation is rotten from the start. Future chances of love will be tainted by previous bad behaviour and feelings of guilt and lack of self worth; not to mention lack of respect.

For a Christian even a turning away from God, due to loss of ones dignity, self worth and “self respect”. The most important priority in a relationship is LOVE. As a matter of fact, LOVE is the most important thing in life, period. Without love nothing else matters. That’s the plain truth. If a relationship is not founded and based on love, then it is simply a transaction; two people selling something to each other. It will be fake, shallow, unrewarding and in the end: destructive.

7). Support and Understanding: In a relationship, one must consider that the other person has ambitions, emotional needs, desires, dreams, goals and wishes. In other words, people have a “PERSONALITY”. Unless those things are negative, there is absolutely no reason why people in a loving relationship should put the other down for being who they are.

If either person in the relationship demands that the other can’t do something they love or follow a passion or dream, then that is being controlling. Similarly, if one person demands that the other take up certain behaviours or start doing something that they don’t really feel comfortable doing – or is not naturally a part of their personality, and makes an issue of it to the point where the other person is genuinely feeling pressured, uncomfortable or even hurt, then that is unhealthy. Nobody should ever be told that their interests are stupid or otherwise unworthy of pursuing.

In a loving relationship, people will support and love each other and respect that they each have a personality, needs and wants. A loving relationship will be based on mutual respect and support, even in a loved ones endeavours and goals one might not feel very enthusiastic (or see the point) in those things, themselves. There’s little that hurts a person more than being told who they are and what they like is stupid. If you want to end a relationship, just play that tune. It won’t last long.

8). Exclusivity and Loyalty: There’s nothing more hurtful in a relationship than cheating. One might argue that there’s little else in the world that can hurt as much as being cheated on. However, there are certain behaviours that rub up against those very same “nerves”, even if a person is not actually physically “cheating”. Loyalty is a non-negotiable foundation of a truly loving relationship.

In a true, loving relationship, two people are “homies” for lack of a better term. They are there for each other 100% and have each others backs, without question. Exclusivity and loyalty are very close cousins. In a loving and healthy relationship, it is literally a “duty” and a non-negotiable “requirement” to ensure that nobody ever gets more of you than the person you’re with gets. If you’re not showing your loved one affection, yet they see you being overly affectionate to others in social situations (or even more affectionate to others than you are to them), you can rest assured those “NERVES” are going to be “RUBBBED”.

If you’re with a person that thrives on attention and is more happy to attract attention from other people, over you, because they pretty much know they’ve already got you, then you’re not in a loving relationship. If you love someone dearly, then they are yours and you are theirs, to the end, period – the end.. Neither person will have any desire for give or receive any kind of affection to any other person. Of course I am referring to the flirty kind of affection, not genuine love between old friends or people than genuinely have a platonic love for each other. However, it goes back to point 3 “genuine empathy and care”. If you’re with someone that genuinely has care for your heart, they won’t go around trying to win the attention of others, especially if it is hurting the one that’s supposed to be closest to them. They’ll be too busy trying to win yours and give you theirs.

9). Selflessness: In a beautiful relationship, two people will be more concerned about each other than they are of themselves. Selfishness is a relationships number one enemy. If one person in a relationship lives their life exactly how they want, they way they want, doing what they want, when they want — and expects every decision in the relationship to be made by them, to the point where the other person is just an accessory in their life — someone to facilitate the realisation of their every desire, the relationship is doomed. There’s no two ways about it. Loving relationships thrive when people say: “No, you go first”, “No you go first”, or when their is a competition to see who can make the other one feel more loved.

Relationships thrive when both parties wake up for each other every day. A loving relationship will be full of cute gestures, little surprises, conversation, laughs and giggles. If you’re in a relationship where someone is trying to give you attention, and you’re too busy with “yourself” reciprocate it — then you have no right at all to be sad about the relationship not being what you want or expect, because a living relationship takes constant, effort, every day – by two people. If you’re in a relationship where you’re doing your best to show the other person how much you love them and they just suck it all up and not reciprocate it, then don’t be alarmed when your relationship sucks. You won’;t find a better relationship elsewhere. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. It is green where you WATER IT!

10). Unthankful of Forgiveness: People can be very unthankful (and very self centred) about the forgiveness others give to them; especially if it is handed over freely, from a place of love. Usually forgiveness is afforded to people because if there was no love – the ability to forgive would be non-existent. Sometimes, in a relationship, one person might develop the opinion that because the other person is apologising, or trying to make amends, or quietening down, ceasing to voice their concerns, then they have actually yielded and are indirectly acknowledging guilt. No! This is a huge mistake in a relationship.

If one person locks away all their hurt to give things a chance, that is not a time to start “doubling up” on what hurt them, in an effort to have them acquiesce even more. taking advantage and piling on more hurt. It is a time to acknowledge the kind nature and good heart of the other person, and reciprocate it. If there is no reciprocation OR APPRECIATION of such gestures, then the relationship is not equally yolked, and is doomed.

When one person constantly forgives the other, and the other person just sucks it all up (like a pig in a trough); possibly even oblivious of the kindness that’s being afforded to them, there can be no loving relationship. A loving person will always give peace a chance, even if they’re extremely hurt. A person reciprocating that love will do the same.

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Article written by: Leonard Wass

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