While many of us struggle in moments to distinguish between love and infatuation, there are some must-haves all romantic relationships need in order to cultivate and grow love as opposed to infatuation.
At the bare minimum, the foundation of healthy relationships needs to be built on three key things: friendship, respect, and loyalty.
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“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing, and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” – Ann Landers
When you think of a relationship, having the foundation of friendship is crucial.
Relationship researcher John Gottman says, “Friendship fuels the flames of romance because it offers the best protection against feeling adversarial toward your spouse.”
Without friendship in your relationship, it’s hard to gauge to what extent the couple is like-minded, actually gets along, and if the relationship is progressing as it should be. Based on Gottman’s research, friendship is necessary to create a healthy romance and affection.
“Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Everybody wants to feel and be respected. While there has to be a level of self-respect present, we all want to be respected within our relationship.
This means that we need to tap into our ability to recognize our partner’s feelings and individual needs. If we can do this, then we can show them that they are respected, valued, and loved. And when you can do that, respect is likely to be reciprocated.
“Without loyalty, there can be no friendship.” – Eric Felten
Ultimately, people want to know that they are important to their partners. To show the ones we love that they are important to us means that we not only have to prioritize them, but we have to be loyal and dedicated. Make your partner number one in your life and commit to being there for them.
Many people struggle with putting their partners first and dedicating themselves. It feels like you are putting them before your other family and friends — because you are. Let your partner be your primary concern and let your focus be on them.
The goal with loyalty is to be consistent with your presence and be dependable. Everyone wants to know that their partner is there for them when they need them. When they call, make sure you answer.
Ultimately, romantic relationships are a significant aspect of all of our lives. We spend an immense amount of time and energy trying to find Mr. or Mrs. Right. But to do so, we need to make sure we know what we are looking for and are not afraid to take that leap.
Written By Janika Veasley Originally Appeared On YourTango