In the previous posts on RELATIONSHIPS we discussed the kinds of relationships that we could make and divided them into short term and long term relationships. We also discussed some matters that we should carefully look at while making ‘short term relationships’. Today, I want to share with you some things regarding the other kind – long term relationships.
Long Term Relationships can be made from among the short term relationships that we acquire. But there are other ways too. An example for such are arranged marriages.
For the sake of our study let me divide Long Term relationships into five main categories
- Intimate friendships : Friendships are considered intimate depending on the time you spend with them, the level of secrets you share with them, the emotional attachment you feel for them, etc
- Colleagues at the workplace: If you are not a frequent job jumper then your colleagues become Long term relationships. How well you relate will affect your life & success at the workplace
- Partners: Partners that you do business with are in this category. Spouses who are your life partners fit in here too
- Mentors : People whose advice and example you’ve decided to model or follow in your working environment, personal and or family life, spiritual matters, etc
- Others: Intercessors, Counselors, Encouragers and any other that do not fall into the above four categories.
The bible advices us through Proverbs 12:26 “The righteous should chose his friends carefully. For the way of the wicked leads them astray” .Taking this advice from this great book – the best of life manuals that is available for humanity – we need to carefully look at certain things that will help us have a healthy relationship.
The first thing would be to know what makes a relationship healthy and then, to see whether your prospective relationship has these qualities. (One of the best ways to check things out would be to give yourself time before jumping into a relationship. Graduating into a long term relationship from what is initially a short term one is a good idea)
Please find below 7 qualities seen in the healthiest of relationships
- Mutual respect. Your friend or partner has to respect you for who you truly are and what you truly do. (If you want to enter into a long term relationship baring your true self and checking this out is a good idea) Does your partner listen when you say you’re not comfortable doing something and then back off right away? Respect in a relationship means that each person values who the other is and understands — and would never (without concrete reasons that he or she is willing to explain) challenge — the other person’s boundaries.
- Trust. Let me try to illustrate. You, a girl, are talking with a guy from another class and your boyfriend walks by. Does he completely lose his cool or keep walking because he knows you’d never cheat on him? It’s OK to get a little jealous sometimes — jealousy is a natural emotion. But how a person reacts when feeling jealous is what matters. There’s no way you can have a healthy relationship if you don’t trust each other.
- Honesty. This one goes hand-in-hand with trust because it’s tough to trust someone when one of you isn’t being honest. Have you ever caught your partner in a major lie? Like she told you that she had to work on Friday night but it turned out she was at the movies with her friends? The next time she says she has to work, you’ll have a lot more trouble believing her and the trust will be on shaky ground. Lesser of life in the shadows and more of transparency in dealings improve relationships.
- Support. . Some people are great when your whole world is falling apart but can’t take being there when things are going right for you (and vice versa). In a healthy relationship, your partner will be available with his shoulder for you to cry on when you need it and will celebrate with you when you hit it big.
- Fairness. You need to have give-and-take in your relationship, too. Do you take turns choosing which restaurant to go to? If you are a couple, do you hang out with your partner’s friends as often as you hang out with yours? It’s not like you have to keep a running count and make sure things are exactly even, of course. But you’ll know if it isn’t a pretty fair balance. Things get bad really fast when a relationship turns into a power struggle, with one person fighting to get his or her way all the time. Equality in rights ( defining rights according to scripture is a good idea), measuring standards, etc can be a blessing to relationships
- Maintaining identity. In a healthy relationship, the people concerned will need to make compromises. But that doesn’t mean you should feel like you’re losing out on being yourself. When the relationship started, you both had your own lives (families, friends, interests, hobbies, etc.) and that shouldn’t change. You should not have to pretend to like something you don’t, or give up seeing your friends, or drop out of activities you love because of your new relationship (Doing these by choice and doing these by force are two different experiences). On the other hand, you should feel and be free to keep developing new talents or interests, make new friends, and move forward.
- Good communication. You’ve probably heard lots of stuff about how men and women don’t seem to speak the same language. But what’s important is to speak honestly and openly so that miscommunication is avoided. And, it’s a better idea to clarify doubts than to misunderstand. Never keep a feeling bottled up because you’re afraid it’s not what your partner wants to hear or because you worry about sounding silly. And if you need some time to think something through before you’re ready to talk about it, the right person will give you some space to do that if you ask for it.
(The above list has been prepared with young people in mind. Our books could give you some more material on business & workplace relationships, marital relationships, etc.)
We will get back with more on relationships in the next post. Watch out for it. Refer this site to your friends too
God bless !