Expert: 5 Key Ingredients For Lasting Love

couple in bed with hands clasped
Love, Family

The ingredients of love are like a good soup. Love is made of many ingredients that blend just right. No one single element can serve as the whole meal. And it's hard to find a good soup recipe, isn't it?  It needs special spices and maybe an unusual ingredient or two, like lotus root or exotic mushrooms. Even everyday potato soup has carrots, onions, garlic, salt; just the right seasonings.

Let's look at the ingredients in our love-potion soup. If you went to a sorcerer to help you find love, you would ask the magician to cook up the following:

1. Friendship. If you cannot rely on the person you love, then that person is not worthy of your love. And if your partner cannot count on you, you are not in an everlasting love relationship. Friendship means being able to say anything to your partner because you have that ease of "best buddies." Best friends never take advantage of each other; they are there to help one another. Any good partnership includes the same love you have for a best friend.

2. Trust. I am fond of an old—and trusted—axiom that goes like this: "People who cannot trust should not be trusted." Distrusting people are often deceitful. I have found this to be a reliable measuring stick on the trust issue. But my rule-of-thumb is to give people the benefit of the doubt unless they prove otherwise. You cannot truly be connected to someone you cannot trust. That warm, mellow feeling we experience when we trust each other is a large part of true love. Peace-of-mind in a relationship is vital to its stamina. And trust, like anything worthwhile, is something we earn over time, gradually.

3. Respect. First and foremost, you must respect yourself before someone else will respect you. When it comes to love, if you respect your partner just the way he or she is when you first meet without wanting them to change, then that's a good sign that love can prevail. Whether respect can grow and blossom will determine the depth of your love. Respect can diminish over time, especially when you or your partner say or do hurtful things to each other. Whether it is verbal, emotional, or physical abuse, it will kill any respect and lack of respect is one of the most common reasons for ending a relationship.

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4. Passion. Yes, that all-consuming feeling of pure lust, that euphoric, overwhelming, distracting, beautiful thing we call passion can be spontaneous, or it can come on gradually. Passion either grows or it dissipates. Passion grows when you can be comfortable and uninhibited with each other. And you break down any barriers by communicating. Passion fades when you have resentment, anger or contempt for your partner. Once again, here is an area that cannot be neglected or taken for granted in a relationship. Keep it alive by kissing every day to keep the juices flowing, recreating passionate memories, and trying new and exciting activities together.

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5. Communication. You cannot feel safe in a relationship without communication. You have to know where you stand, and you owe it to your partner to tell him or her the same. Knowing each other is the prerequisite to happiness in all areas. Communication is like that magic spice that brings out the flavor of all the other ingredients. Hey, that includes sex! Let your partner know it is safe to talk about fantasies and to explore them. Good communication can unleash strong creative energy between you and your partner. And with good communication, you can let your hair down and talk about anything. Not only does it enhance your partnership, it takes a big chunk out of everyday stress. Compliment your partner every single day; let him or her know that they are making a difference to your life and share your wants, needs, desires and fears because nobody can read your mind, not even the one you love!

You might like this resource: 12 Steps to Everlasting Love by Dr. Ava Cadell.