Keys To Lasting Relationship

Source: Akogwu Egene, Esq. and Victoria Samson
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Everyone desires a fun, loving, fulfilling and long lasting relationship. However, not everyone knows what it takes to build such relationship. The alarming rate of break ups amongst dating partners and divorce amongst married couples call for urgent measure(s) to remedy the situation. Building a satisfying long term relationship requires wisdom and knowledge. See Proverbs 24: 3-4. This article provides concise useful tips for successful long lasting relationship.

Stages of Love
Romantic love has two stages, viz: the obsessive stage and the covenant stage. In the first stage otherwise known as the obsessive stage, the lover lives under the illussion that his or her partner is perfect and he or she has high emotional attachment to the partner. The couple in this stage effortlessly strive to make themselves happy by always doing kind and thoughtful deeds for each other with and without request. This is where ‘love is blind.’ The average lifes-span of this first stage of romantic love is two years. In the second stage known as covenant love, the emotional high attached to love had gone down or dropped low and the love scales which earlier blinded the eyes of the lovers had fallen out of their eyes. And they can now see clearly the imperfect nature of each other. They also start having conflicts because each of the partner begins to feel that his or her lover is no longer satisfying his or her emotional need. It is in the second stage of love that most dating partners break up and married couples divorce. It requires commitment, determination and continuous effort to keep the relationship on-going in this stage. See ‘The Five Love Languages’ and ‘Things I wish I’D Known Before We Got Married’ both by Gary Chapman.

The Keys to Lasting Relationship
There are several keys to make relationship successful and long lasting. The keys are briefly discussed below:

Key No. 1- Trust
Trust is the bedrock of all relationships and without it, there can be no relationship. Trust can easily be broken and as such, it needs to be sustained and protected. To sustain trust, the parties in relationship must always be transparent and accessible to each other. They need to also protect the trust they have for each other against trust killers. Trust killers are: being fond of friend(s) of the opposite sex, unnecessary closeness with the opposite sex other than your partner, receiving or giving gifts to the opposite sex other than your partner, frequent talking of friend(s) of the opposite sex, frequent communication with such friend(s), lying to your partner, etcetera. Couples must avoid anything capable of arousing suspicion in the mind of their better half. Trust is sustained and protected by exhibiting consistent trust worthy conduct.

Key No. 2- Effective Communication
Effective communication demands that you should let your partner know what you are planning, experiencing and what your needs are. The act of

Communication not only helps to meet your needs but it also helps you to be connected with your partner in the relationship by strengthening your bond for each other.

Key No. 3- Understanding
Understanding requires that you should know your partner and appreciate his or her personality. It requires you to be able to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and be able to see things from his or her perspective. Mutual understanding brings about peace, oneness and harmony in the home.

Key No. 4- Friendship
The partners in relationship need to build and maintain good friendship with each other. Friendship requires being jovial, caring, supportive and kind to your partner. Myles Munroe asserted and we concur, ‘the strongest and most successful long term relationships are those that are based on friendship.’ See Page 31 of ‘Waiting and Dating’ Published by Destiny Image Publishers.

Key No. 5- Mutual Respect
Everyone wants to be respected. Hence the saying, ‘respect is reciprocal.’ This is also true for couples. Partners in relationship should respect one another and should not take themselves for granted. Note that your partner expects you to have high regard and consideration for him or her in the relationship because you occupy special place in his or her heart and life. Couples should avoid all forms of negative criticism, condemnation and insult of each other. Thus, they should respect each other and have regard for each other’s decisions and opinion(s).

Key No. 6- Love
Love is not just a feeling but a verb which needs to be acted. It requires much sacrifice and self-denial to express love to your spouse. See 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7. Love is also a language which should be spoken through right action. There are five love languages, which are: words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, quality time and physical touch. Identify your partner’s love language and speak it well to enhance and light up your relationship. See ‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman referred to earlier.

Key No. 7- Patience
Patience is also crucial in order for relationship to last because as humans, our partners are bound to fail to meet our expectations at one time or the other. This is because no human being is perfect except God. See Mark 11: 18. Also, a partner should not always insist on having it his or her way because right plus right equals crisis. Thus, in exercising patience, the couple should be ready for compromise.

Key No. 8- Conflict Resolution
Because of our imperfect nature as human beings and our different personality, it is not possible to have a long term relationship without conflict. The parties should be able to resolve their conflicts amicably whenever such conflicts arise. As stated earlier, a successful long term relationship requires wisdom and knowledge. See Proverbs 24: 3-4. The wisdom and knowledge required includes conflict resolution skills. Partners should be able to negotiate their position and make compromise where necessary for there to be mutual peace and joint satisfaction in the relationship.

Building a long lasting relationship demands wisdom, knowledge and sacrifice. This is because as relationship progresses, it becomes difficult to continue to love your partner. Thus, for your relationship to last, you must make great commitment to it and continuously give it your best even when it is not convenient. In addition, you need to be armed with the above keys.

Akogwu Egene, Esq. is a legal practitioner, writer and motivational speaker from Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached at [email protected]

And Victoria Samson is an Educationist also from Kogi State, Nigeria.