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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