What draws people to each other and what sustains a relationship? Attraction to another is not just in how someone looks and then discovering similar interests. Mutual chemistry is definitely important, but it has to be joined with shared values. If you meet a gorgeous someone and they turn out to be inherently mean, that someone will begin to look like Dracula.
If you have mutual chemistry and values, here are some other areas that men and women say are of paramount importance to them. If the person you love supports your interests in the following, you will feel close and bonded:
Both men and women say they must have the freedom to maintain or create their own friendships. If you do not particularly care for your partner’s friends, it is best to keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself for the most part. If your lover’s best friend is basically a good person, never mind if she eats all the leftovers in your refrigerator and empties out the cookie jar. You do not need to hang out with them— just allow enough space for them to enjoy each other’s company. This is why you need a rich life of your own. When your partner is busy with a friend, you have your own interests to pursue. Give each other room to share your life with your best buddies and you will cherish each other more.
Men and women want and need activities that give them energy and excitement. When your partner has battery power, you get the benefit of it. It isn’t necessary that couples share every single endeavor. She may want Saturday bridge games and you may choose weekend tennis matches. You should not get in each other’s way. You may feel that if your lover spends the day biking or sewing or decorating, she took time away from you. However, someone who is thrilled to get up in the morning and go do something they love is a fulfilled person. She is more vibrant and less likely to look for what is wrong with you because she is doing what is right for her. If you have individual hobbies and a couple of shared ones, you will always have something to talk about.
Men and women need and require their partner to tell them what they want. No one is a mind reader and no one comes with a user manual on how to get a relationship right. If you are feeling hurt because your lover didn’t do what you wanted; if you are steaming because you feel taken advantage of; if you are obsessing about how your relationship is not giving you what you expected—speak up. Second, find those activities that make you happy. No one can give you happiness… you have to create your own.
Here’s the tricky one. Finding that balance between what you need and what she needs is an act of patience, understanding, and generosity. “Pleasers” will allow themselves to be taken advantage of; unaware people will allow themselves to always be on the receiving end without realizing the exchange is not mutual. The key is to find that place where you support each other in your life’s work, or hobbies, or friendships, without denying the other one what they need. This is the happy medium that all great couples seek.
Happy relationships require two happy people. They require allowing each person to have friends, hobbies that excite them, and the honesty to tell each other what they need.
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