What are the ingredients for a good relationship? As we discussed in our blog “Equality”, a partnership in relationship or romance must operate on the assumption that I am not better nor worse than the other person. I am simply an equal. I am equally wonderful and equally screwy as the person I care for. If they act poorly in circumstances, well, so do I. Without a sense of equality, there will be conflict containing a lot of blame and shame.
What ingredients do I need to pour into this relationship to positively help it to grow? In my experience, three areas are necessary for a good relationship .
1. I feel I am Significant to my partner,
2. I feel I am respected by my partner,
3. I feel I am a priority to my partner.
If I have a sense that these three areas are working in my relationship, then I feel safe and I can be vulnerable. Think about your current or past relationship. Do you (or did you) feel you are a priority to your significant other? Do they respect you and do they respond to you so you feel you are a priority? If you can answer yes to all three, you probably have a very compatible and safe relationship. If you don’t have these positive ingredients, then you most likely have left that relationship, or if you are still in it, it is probably not the safest place for your emotional stability.
So how do I establish a relationship that reflects these ingredients? Simple, make a conscious choice to make my partner feel significant, respected, and a priority. The core understanding to any significant relationship is this , “the only person I have control over in the relationship is myself”. I may desire my significant other to be different, but I cannot force them to change or line up with my expectations. Likewise, I cannot expect them to provide me a sense of respect, significance, or prioritization. However, I do have the ability to provide these core ingredients for them. If both parties are working to consciously provide respect, significance and prioritization to the other partner, then we will have harmonious relationship. If I am working to provide this for my partner, but they are not reciprocating, then I have to make a choice if I want to be in the relationship (see our blog on Choices). In a relationship that does not reflect a mutuality of respect, significance and priority, there will be an atmosphere of conflict in which both parties try to win an argument in order to establish their place of significance, respect , or priority.
Think about this, do you have a lot of arguments but most of the time you can’t remember what you were arguing about during the conflict? If so, then there is a very strong chance one or both of the parties in the relationship is feeling disrespected, insignificant, or non-prioritized. If that is the case, remember, the only person you can change in the relationship is ……… you! Share your thoughts or become a follower to the blog so we can send other information directly. If this helps you, tell others. If it doesn’t or if you have other topics you want to discuss, tell us. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. T and Dr. Jan.