First, the romantic relationship is emotional. As the individual emotions change so does the relationship. Emotions are based on past and present actions, and future expectations. Any one of these three states can and will impact the bond. People fall in and out of love based on the actions of the individuals. When the needs and expectations of those involved are not met, the relationship will suffer. The ability to find healthy solutions to daily challenges will keep the relationship on a firm setting.
Secondly, the romantic relationship is connective. When people connect, their past experiences connect as well. Two people with two different past and experiences become bound together through a romantic attachment and the stronger the attachment, the stronger the bond. If one person is into the relationship more than the other, the bond is only as strong as its weakest connection. In any case, they must both become equally committed to building the relationship and demonstrate this by spending quality time together. Shared experiences will serve as the relationship building blocks so time spent together is an essential ingredient.
Thirdly, the romantic relationship is supportive. We all need support. The individual emotional load can at times be daunting and overwhelming. Having someone to share the burden with is both refreshing and reassuring. We also need support to remain balanced. The world viewed through one set of lenses can be jaded and subjective. Having a second objective opinion that you can rely on and trust is invaluable. As we go through life's ups and downs, success and failures, and happiness and sadness, emotional, spiritual, and financial support will make a world of difference.
Finally the romantic relationship is complex. Men and women are so different that they view the same experiences differently. To further complex the matter, they both have a different past. They may also have different values, goals, dreams, and aspirations. At some point in the relationship, each of these issues will make its way to the forefront. Relationships that are built on trust, honesty, common goals and interest, and meaningful communication will survive.
Get to know your relationship as well as the person you are in the relationships with. They are two different things. Who they are and who they are with you will be different. The differences may impact the relationship. Just be cause he or she wants kids and you don't does not make them a bad person, but it may cause the relationship to fail. Get as much knowledge up front as possible. There are tons of good books on every subject from things I wish I knew before we go married, to questions that every couple should ask. Information is literally at your fingertips. Your relationship will be defined by the effort that you put into it.
Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. For questions, comments or more information, go to www.tlhouston.com.