Depending on the view, having a relationship is not an easy task. Having a great relationship is even more challenging. Why is it so hard to have a relationship with so many options?
Everything is within our reach in this fast-paced life with Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, Bumble, or other social platforms for dating like Dating.com. You like to find a person with specifics like height or the same hobbies as you. With a simple click or swipe, you can find that “suitable” person for you with the desired characteristics.
And if you don’t feel that this is the person for you, you can easily find another via social media websites. If you want to explore why it is hard to have a relationship, the answer is it about availability, or if we dive deep, it is more about value and meaning.
Value and meaning
In the nineties, even in the early twenties, when there were no mobile phones and the internet was not involved in people’s lives, things were different. People hung out more often, and more social interaction was between people. By some coincidence, you meet a girl, and she gives you her number.
Imagine when you call her you wouldn’t know who would answer the phone, for example, her father. I need to clarify this for some readers, and she would give you “her” number – the landline telephone number of the house that she lives in. If we compare with now and then, stuff was not that available, and then things had more value.
The same logic applies to relationships and finding partners. Now everything is available. You can easily find a partner with the desired characteristics. If the partner doesn’t meet your criteria, you can move on and find another one that will.
In this process, we also don’t scratch deeper from the surface to find out the person. On a date, you can instantly dislike a person even if he or she makes the slightest mistake. Why? You know that there are other fishes in the sea and they are available.
Before, people tried to make it work because they had to earn the other person and the steps they did had more meaning. Imagine the example with the telephone. You call and get her dad on the phone asking to speak with his daughter. It’s quite a bold move, and her whole family knows that you will go out with her.
Now you can go out on multiple dates in one night, nobody will know, and you might not have a great time in the end. If you have jumped through some hoops to set up a date and had to do stuff that makes you uncomfortable, you would just want to make it work.
That means that the thing you are fighting for has value and the same concept applies to maintaining a relationship.
We all want to have meaning but want to invest very little and get a lot.
We mainly choose quantity over quality because there are available people out there, but we forget that they are also searching for the same thing.
Can you have everything in one person?
A while back, I had a conversation with a friend, and I asked him a question: Can you have everything in one person? I also think that this question unconsciously creates the problem that most people struggle with.
My friend told me that you couldn’t find everything in one person. By the way, he has been with only two partners in his whole life, and with the second he got married. Most people will say, well, that is why he can’t have everything. He didn’t try to find out because he has been with two partners. Maybe, but I don’t think that’s the case.
Why would he continue the relationship, later on, get married, and in a sense decide not to have everything? As Carl Rogers says, people have two concepts of self, ideal, and real self.
Real: what we are and the ideal: what we want to be.
These two concepts do not apply only to the self but also to how we view and interact with the outside world.
My friend had a better real self and was content with what he had. Later on, from what I have seen in their relationship, the gap of “can’t have everything in one person” grew smaller. Within time both of them worked and changed some of the stuff for the relationship’s wellbeing, although those changes were not particularly favorable for either of them as individuals.
Most people think that they can have everything in one person, so they chase the more idealistic image of a relationship within their expectations and frame of mind. On the other hand, many people are not content with what they have and resort to cheating.
One study that researches infidelity in committed relationships conducted by Blow, Adrian & Hartnett, Kelley in 2005 shows that 40 percent of unmarried relationships and 25 percent of marriages see at least one infidelity incident. The arguments above show that it is tough to have a good relationship, and there is no “perfect partner.”
What does it mean to have a great relationship?
Three things are crucial to a great relationship: love, understanding, and respect. There are others of course, like investing, honesty or communication but almost any of them can be put in one of these three areas. For example, if you have good communication, which is necessary for a healthy relationship, you can understand your partner. Another example is if you apply honesty in the relationship, it shows respect for your partner, etc.
To have chemistry, attraction, and to have the feeling of being in love with somebody, should be a given. But that is not enough to maintain this love. It means to invest in the relationship later on, like giving affection and understanding your partner better. That is how you develop a mature relationship, not just to hang on to the feeling of being in love.
You can love somebody to the moon and back, but if the other person does not understand you, your love is in vain. If you have different goals or ideas about life, you can’t understand each other, and love can’t glue the relationship up. So understanding who you are, who your partner is, and your or his needs is crucial for a compatible relationship.
You can love and understand someone, but if they don’t respect you, you can’t be with them. If you love someone, you respect them as a person and with what they generally do. People are not perfect and make mistakes, but their actions should not hurt their partners. If this is not the case, and the partner is manipulating the other partner, that is not a healthy but a toxic relationship. This is why respect is essential.
For a great relationship, first, you need to pick a person that will suit you and your real image for the relationship. It is essential to have all three things from above: love, understanding, and respect.
You need to keep investing, have open communication, stick with your partner on good and bad days. I hope this article will help you commit and develop a great relationship.