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healthy relationship

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Yes, The Beatles might have had a global hit with All You Need Is Love, but they were a bit off the mark if they were referring to a long-term relationship with those lyrics.

Love is an amazing, exciting feeling, and over time it becomes a deeper and more committed emotion, but it’s most definitely not all that’s needed to sustain a healthy relationship. Yes, it’s incredible to find someone who feels the same for you as you do for them, but that’s not always enough.

If you’ve ever been in a relationship where the two of you had a perfect connection, but just couldn’t make things work – you spent more time arguing and making up than just being content, or you had totally different viewpoints on EVERYTHING – you’ll know what I mean.

Love is a powerful feeling, but at the end of it all, some types of love just aren’t built to last. For a relationship to be healthy and beneficial to both parties, love is definitely required – but with the addition of other, less exotic things like compromise, sacrifice and understanding. If the two of you can’t make things work out in the long term, being head over heels for one another just isn’t going to cut it.

If you’re in a toxic relationship, there’s always that nagging fear that by letting this love go, you’ll ruin your chance forever. What if this is your only go at it? Well, if we all lived our lives like that we’d never make any steps in the right direction. Sometimes it’s better to take a chance and know that whatever the outcome, you’ve made the right choice.

Growing up with films like The Notebook or even Beauty and the Beast, we’d be forgiven for thinking that love could end any problem, no matter how big or small. No money? Sher, you have love! A prince who’s been turned into an ugly monster? Not to worry, love will solve that too. Sadly though, outside of films and books, life isn’t quite so simple.

If the person you love is the one you want to build a life with, it’s important for both of you to know that you can trust one another, that you can rely on one another, and that you have one another’s best interests at heart. Love should be the motivator behind all of those things but no relationship can be whole unless every element is there.

Perhaps what we need is a new definition of love. Yes, at the beginning it might be that topsy-turvy, butterflies in the stomach feeling, but as time goes on and your relationship grows, love could be better described as “a commitment to the wellbeing of the other person.”

Have a think about the relationship you’re in – or the one you imagine being in. Is it passionate and carefree? Or is it secure and strong? Or maybe it’s all of those things? Whatever type of love the two of you share, it’s important to focus on the bigger picture too. 

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Nate Bagley was a single man fed up of hearing all the love stories. From scandal and divorces, to fairytale romance, he just couldn’t handle it. So he decided to spend a year interviewing couples.

During his adventure, he was very surprised to find the key ingredients needed to maintain a healthy relationship:

Self-love
The happiest couples loved their partners as much as they loved themselves. They were independently happy and knew how to take responsibility for their actions.

Commitment
They stood by each other no matter what. If things got a bit rocky neither one would walk away from the relationship.

Trust
They trusted each other and didn’t feel the need to undermine one another. Since they’ve proven that they are each other biggest advocates, they were both emotionally secure.

Intentionality
The happiest couples tried to experience some sort of meaningful connection or create a fun memory on a daily basis.

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