Sure, you might be great at sex. But are you a great lover?
There's a proverb that states, "Beauty fades and charm is fleeting," while there's another bit of ancient wisdom that states, "Love endures all." Based on those two axioms, it stands to reason that a relationship based solely on sex or physical attraction is destined to fade, but love has the ability to last.
There are three "abilities" that help secure a lasting love.
The first necessary "Ability" for ensuring a great love and relationship is the ability to be present and in the moment, mentally, emotionally and physically for your partner. It's important to note that being available is more than just physical proximity.
The hearts of a couple sitting right next to each other can be miles apart.
Obviously, there are long-distance relationships due to the economy, military duty or other circumstances that separate individuals, but distance doesn't have to equate to a doomed love.
The key is maximizing your availability to your partner as much as possible—mentally, emotionally and physically. If you're available to your mate both mentally and emotionally, you can still be a great lover despite a challenging physical distance.
Perhaps the most important "Ability" of any relationship is the ability to be earn and keep the trust of your mate. Trust is also one of the most difficult aspects of a relationship to achieve, and it's also the easiest to destroy.
Yet dependability is an easy concept to understand. It necessitates that you're someone who can be relied upon, that you keep your word, that you follow through on promises, and that you're worthy of trust.
Betrayal is a violation of that dependability, that trust, and very few relationships can survive a pattern of that bad behavior.
Maybe that's why Dante’s Inferno reserves the last circle of Hell for those who have betrayed a special relationship.
The truth is that all of us make mistakes in our relationships, but if you want your love to last you have to have the "Ability" to fess up, admit your mistakes and apologize—quickly.
Accountability to one another is critical to long-term success in any relationship. It’s about mutual understanding, shared expectations, as well as individually accepting the consequences and outcomes of our own actions or words.
But as individuals, we tend to be notoriously selfish. I know I'm more apt to blame someone else for my mistakes and shortfalls, even when I'm obviously at fault. That's because I’m human and you are, too.
Accountability and love require us to rise above that selfish, individual nature and consider the needs of others first.
Each of these "abilities" is much easier to write about than to actually put into practice; however, each is necessary to ensure the durability and immutability of a great relationship.
This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.