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6 Qualities of a Happy, Regret-Free Relationship…

March 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Misc., News, Opinion, Relationships, Weekly Columns

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( We, as individual people, can really make a mess of our lives and relationships, leaving ourselves and our loved ones with more regrets than we know what to do with. We can manipulate our children, undermine our spouses, and destroy our friendships; it’s a reality we all face sooner or later. Thankfully though, God has given us guidelines for healthy relationships built upon a foundation of love.

Let’s take a look at universal signs of a healthy relationship:

1. Affection
Affection is love shown. You can always tell when one person loves another; they can’t help but in one way or another show it through their body language, gestures, and words. And consistently too; feelings of affection are obvious to anyone who takes a moment to see it. A love never manifested —never displayed, never acted upon, never brought forth from the private  heart to the public sphere—is no love at all. It’s love’s very nature to express itself; displays of affection are what love looks like. And that’s why, in every relationship based on love, you see them everywhere.

2. Respect
Respect is crucial to relational health. One of the most charming things in the world is to be around two people who respect each other. It shows in the gleam in their eyes when they look at one another, the readiness with which they laugh at each other’s jokes, the supportive tones in which they speak.

An interesting thing about respect is that it doesn’t really work if it’s not there 100 percent. People can sense when you don’t respect them all the way. And for most people, knowing you don’t respect them 100 percent feels the same as if you didn’t respect them at all.

Another interesting thing about respect is that you can’t respect anyone if you don’t first respect yourself. The degree to which you don’t respect yourself is the degree to which you will not be able to respect another. So how do you learn to respect yourself? You give yourself credit for everything you are and have done that’s valuable and worthy of respect, you forgive yourself for your failures, and you respect the potential of what you could become. In other words, you see yourself the way God sees you.

3. Shared Values
If you want to establish a good and healthy relationship with someone, find out what values you share and then build upon those. Maybe it’s the job you both work at. Maybe it’s common family members. Maybe (hopefully!) it’s God. But whatever it is, find it, claim it —and then start to build your relationship upon it.

4. Honesty
If there is one quality that would, ideally, define every relationship in the world, it would be honesty. If two people are honest with each other, there is no kind of woe they can’t survive. Hard times and difficult passage come to everybody, but it’s those who are honest with themselves and their loved ones who always weather them best.

Be honest in everything you do, and insist on honesty from anyone with whom you share a relationship. This is the one thing that can’t be compromised or worked around; if the other person can’t or won’t be utterly honest with you, then understand how unlikely it is that you will build a healthy relationship with them.

Honesty is to a relationship what mortar is to a brick house; without it, you simply can’t build.

5. Trust
In its simplest and purest understanding, trust is an assurance of love. Someone who really loves someone else would no sooner hurt that person than they would purposefully shoot off their own foot. Trust, in the end, is a very personal thing; we trust the people in our lives whom we are sure wouldn’t hurt us on purpose. That’s why most people trust their mothers.

Now, if you’re in a relationship with someone you don’t entirely trust, consider: that means you sense that person doesn’t really love you. If this is the case, the way to a healthy relationship is through communication. Has there been some misunderstanding that has reasonably led them not to love? Have you don’t something to make it so they can’t? Talk with them about it. Tell them you want to share real and solid love, so that your relationship can be everything that you want it to be.

Grow love, and trust will follow.

6. Freedom to Be
One of the qualities that’s always present in a healthy relationship is that each person in it is free to be whoever they care to be. If we are going to be in a healthy relationship with the people we love—if we’re going to really and truly love them—we are going to have to let them be themselves. That’s one of the big rules of being in a loving, trusting relationship you let them be them, and they let you be you. Sharing your uniqueness is one of the best ways to show a person how much you care about and trust them. It’s a very tangible way of putting your love for them into action, and a vital quality of a happy, regret-free relationship.

Written by Stephen Arterburn


One Response to “6 Qualities of a Happy, Regret-Free Relationship…”
  1. Audria says:

    I absolutely, love this article and agree 100%! Every serious man and woman in a relationship or waiting on that special someone should read this! Not only read it but immerse in it. Thanks for sharing!

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