5 Ways You Know You Have a Great Relationship
When we begin our relationships, communication is often the first aspect we can assess. There are times when people are on their best behavior early on and that’s when you don’t get the real deal on how well your partner communicates often times much later. It can take the form of withholding information, little white lies or out and out fraud — Kenny Chesney and Rene Zellweger style. Regardless, time is on your side. You want enough time and situations to occur to see if this partner shares your communication style. Or if it is a style that you can at least work with. You shouldn’t have to be left guessing in a long term relationship. While it is true that sometimes that’s all we can do early on, it can be anything from bothersome to dangerous later on.
The key here is examining how congruent your partner is between what they say and what they do. Some partners are very private so you don’t know what’s going on in their inner world and funny enough, some of us are ok with not knowing. But if you are to build trust in a relationship, sooner or later you’ll have to decide what level of your lover’s congruency is acceptable to you. Did he say he was going to run errands and then later through a friend you found out he was at a bar? This seemingly benign example can whittle away at your trust for one another.
“You don’t know a thing if you ain’t got that swing.” When it comes to sex the process is rarely perfect, so I don’t want you to think that you have to have fireworks forever when it comes to bedding your lover. What matters beyond that initial spark, is the flow of sexual energy between you. Do you have similar biorhythms and want sex at similar times? Do you respond through arousal and orgasm on a regular basis? Do you still want to jump their bones even after you’ve had a hell of a fight? Again, time is the great mediator here. Things will always change but it’s about how we flow together.
Now this isn’t the case for all couples. And I am not suggesting you have to be joined at the hip. But research has shown that couples who play together tend to stay together because they find solace in common interests. So whether it’s golf or knitting, all that matters is that you enjoy doing it together when you can. It can be a great way to escape your screaming kids, or remind yourself that your couplehood should be prioritized.
Values can ebb and flow over time but some stick with you for a life time. It just depends how important those values are to and your partner. Spirituality, home life, time together, money issues are all values that can either strengthen a relationship or destroy it. Communicating about your values early on helps to build a solid foundation as you move forward in your relationship.
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Dr. Kat is the resident sexologist at Adam & Eve and also runs a private practice and media consulting business. She has a Doctorate from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Her professional affiliations include AASECT, SSSS, and the American Board of Sexologists. She also has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and completed a postgraduate degree in Marriage, Family and Addictions Recovery Therapy.
© Copyright Dr. Kathleen Van Kirk