The Ten Essential Ingredients for Building a Healthy Relationship

Finding love and maintaining a healthy relationship can be challenging for everyone. Experts say that you have to have a balance of love, patience and self-esteem to really make it. The following ten items are the basis for a healthy, loving relationship. Even just one person's efforts can make a big difference in a relationship. By focusing on these ten elements, your relationship is sure to thrive for years to come.

1. Honesty
Honesty is one of the most basic of all elements to any healthy relationship. A deep and loving honesty between two people says, "No matter what happens, you will always know the true me." This feeling allows couples to open up and be the best they can be with each other.

2. Forgiveness
Couples who can't make up will break up. As simple as this sounds, without forgiveness in a relationship, old hurts often resurface and neither person is truly able to let go of the past.

3. Communication
Couples need to learn how to talk through both easy and challenging issues. Disagreements are a part of every relationship. To get through them, partners have to learn to respect their different ways of communicating and "walk in their partner's shoes." This means learning how to communicate love in a way that your partner hears and feels it.

4. TrustTrust is like honesty in that it deepens over time. Couples who are able to trust each other don't have to deal with insecurities between each other. They're able to speak freely and be themselves, knowing that their partner loves them for it. 5. Time ApartCouples have to spend time away from each other. In the beginning being inseparable is normal, but over time, couples need to develop different interests and habits in order to have continued interest in the relationship. 6. FriendshipCouples need to be friends as well as lovers. When the passion wanes, it is the deep friendship that keeps people together. Any long-term married couple will tell you that it is the friendship that keeps them together.7. MonogamyMonogamy is one of the founding elements of all marriages. You can't have trust and honesty if there isn't monogamy.8. Similar ValuesThis means that when you make major decisions in life, you two fall close to the same line. You may disagree about some issues, but the couples that are the happiest agree about the big subjects like money and how to raise children.9. PatienceIf you can deal with your partner's issues and his or her imperfections with patience, you have the bond to make it through the rough times. Marriages don't end because there are problems; they end because people quit trying to work those problems out!10. PassionCouples who have passion for each other are able to sustain their love. While this may ebb and flow over time, the genuine passion for each other is at the heart of all lasting relationships. John Gray has helped millions of men and women develop better relationships with his phenomenal New York Times bestseller Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (HarperCollins, 2004). For help with your relationship today, visit Love Advice From AskMarsVenus.com.
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