7 Non-Negotiable Things Every Relationship Needs To Last

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7 Non-Negotiable Things Every Relationship Needs To Last

What makes romantic partnerships last?

By Stacey Herrera

I have been giving a lot of thought to how to make a relationship last. And by last I do not mean never end, but unfold in a healthy way until growth and evolution are no longer possible.

To point out the obvious, it takes more than staying together or promising to never leave for a relationship to be healthy.

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The following are non-negotiable elements to relationship longevity:

1. Freedom

There needs to be a sense of freedom on the part of both people. Maintaining autonomy in your relationship is important. So just forget about the idea of finding someone to complete you (Jerry Maguire had it all wrong). Want your partner with your whole heart, but do not require your partner to give you life. You should feel free to pursue the things that you enjoy and your partner should be able to do the same.

2. Needing

There should also be a sense of needing one another. But only in the sense that the other person improves the quality of your life by being a part of it. Being with your love should feel like being upgraded to first class. You were already on the flight, but now you get more leg room, a hot meal, beverage service, and entertainment! Coach is good…but first class comes with additional perks.

3. ​InterestED

Finding your partner interesting is not enough. There must also be genuine interest in seeing them thrive, with or without you. And let’s face it, interestED looks like something. InterestED asks questions. InterestED is curious. InterestED actively listens. InterestED is invested. InterestED pays attention.

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4. Sexual Attraction

You need to be sexually attracted to one another, but that does not necessarily mean that you must be having sex.

Let me explain. Sex is an action, although it’s defined as a noun, which makes no sense to me, I digress. Sexual intercourse is not a requirement for sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is merely about the provocation of pleasure.

So basically, being in the company of your love should create a healthy level of arousal. Again, arousal does not have to result in coitus, but you should want to touch one another (emphasis on WANT). Remember, touch is the only sense that you cannot live without, so you should be touching one another, often and with consent.

5. Enjoyable Companionship

You kinda need to like being around one another, you know? You need to be with the kind of person that you want to create memories with. More importantly, you need to be able to do nothing with one another. If you feel compelled to fill up the time with activities all the time, you might not enjoy your partner as much as you think you do.

6. Communication

Communicating with one another openly and without self-consciousness invites vulnerability and strengthens connection. A level of transparency is required, which is cultivated through accepting the other person as they are.

Note: accepting your partner hinges on your ability to accept yourself.

So how can one maintain all these moving parts?

7. Self-care.

And I mean self-care with a capital and bold Self. In order for the relationship to remain healthy and fulfilling, both people must take exceptional care of themselves. That means getting adequate rest and nourishing your body, mind, and spirit.

It also means moving your body, because movement keeps the energy flowing in all areas of your life. Feeding your spirit by way of activities and experiences that make you feel alive. Maintaining healthy connections outside of your relationship. Yes, I mean you need to have some separate friends.

You also need to make sure that your partner is taking good care of themselves as well. That means calling them out when you see them slacking in the self-care department. And encouraging them to keep self-care on the calendar. Like you, when your partner’s tank is full they are able to give from the overflow. Your life is exponentially better when your partner is taking good care of themselves.

Here’s the bottom line—every human wants to love and be loved, by ourselves and by others.

Cultivating a healthy partnership is one of the most fulfilling ways to experience love and belonging. Now, I’m not saying that there is something wrong with being single. In fact, being single is a great way to fill your self-love reservoir. But what I am saying is this—partnerships force us to grow in ways that we cannot when we fly solo.

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This article was originally published at Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.