Each relationship needs different things. One thing no relationship needs is strict adherence to advice from outside. Relationships are built by the people in them, and according to the needs, desires, and passions of those friends & lovers. With that caveat in mind, here are some things I think might be beneficial for a healthy romantic relationship.
I don’t understand what understanding is supposed to mean, but Reader’s Digest said it was important. Something about buying people teddy bears. Stupid waiting room magazines….
Easier said than done. Also counter intuitive, since truth often feels like an uncomfortable burning sensation in your gut when it first emerges, from either yourself or your significant other.
That is “Trust!” as in a command, with the word being used as a verb, not as a noun. Trusting is difficult for most people older than 17, because they’ve had a chance to see how crummy most people are. Of course, most people will twist trust into some sort of control mechanism, wherein trust becomes a tool to manipulate someone into being the person you want him/her to be. Which is why the last command for honesty is so important. If you were honest with your partner, and vice versa, from the outset, you will know what you can and cannot trust. If, for instance, my partner tells me that she will probably sleep with other people, then I have no right to trust anything other than the truth of that statement. And if I don’t like it, then I need to get out.
Stagnation and passivity. Avoid. Allow yourself to experience your new self. If you are the same person you were when you were ten years younger, then you are a failure. To paraphrase Emerson, speak what you think in hard words today, and tomorrow, though it contradict everything, speak what you think in hard words again. Or was that Thoreau?
Be independent & vulnerable.
I have never been good at this balancing act. But I know both are needed.