Dillon Henwood

I recently attended a wedding and witnessed two of my closest friends tie the knot. What made this particular wedding so beautiful to me wasn’t the sumptuousness or extravagance of the event; it was their ‘redamancy’ – a love returned in full.

Every guest was able to recognise an absolute, mutual reciprocity of love between them.

It had me thinking, however, about our innate desire to be involved in a relationship and why most do not work out.  Also, why do some relationships feel like hard work? What constitutes a successful relationship?

We all know someone who invests their all in their relationship while their partner barely tolerates them. Most of the time, the ‘investor’ realises that they’re likely to lose their partner and tries even harder to win them over, and this usually results in an expedited breakup. Here we have a perfect example of unrequited love.

Do we blame the person who didn’t love their partner back or do we hold the investor accountable for pushing their partner away in their forcefulness?

A wise friend once told me that you should never invest in someone based on how much you like them. Instead, invest in them based on how much they invest in you.

But what about marriage? What if your marital partner stops loving you? And where does faith fit in? I think faith requires a presence of potential.

I don’t believe that there is any point in staying married to someone who has fallen out of love with you. Ask yourself this question: are you the same person you were five years ago? I can almost guarantee that your answer is “no”.

So, how can you guarantee that you will love your partner in five years from now if you’re both going to change drastically by then, too?

I think the answer lies in your willingness to constantly create a successful relationship. By that, it is meant that the responsibility lies with both parties to bring that success into beingness.

Allow me to reiterate that it must be a mutual effort.

Confront the problems. Fulfill promises. Appreciate. Listen to understand. Be considerate. Communicate.

I’m confident as I make the bold statement that a relationship is successful to the degree that it has effective communication. I have learnt this the hard way: just because you’re shouting, it doesn’t mean that they’re listening.

Effective communication requires that what leaves your mouth is absolutely duplicated in the recipient’s brain (along with awareness of your intention). It’s only logical to state that your partner cannot possibly have a reality on your experience of the relationship if you do not communicate with them about it.

On the other hand, why do we stay in relationships we are unhappy in when we see no potential for its longevity? Is it because we want to prove to others that we are capable of sustaining a relationship? Is it to avoid loneliness? Is it for personal gain? Are we fearful that we might not find someone better in a timeline that is socially acceptable?

Perhaps none, some or all of the aforementioned might apply to you. No one should ever be made to feel guilty for wanting to be happy, however. With that said, know when to walk away and do so unapologetically.

Just because it’s easy, it doesn’t make it right… but it doesn’t necessarily make it wrong either. Just communicate.