How to test the strength of your relationship
I wrote these two quotes the other day thinking about the focus of relationships and why marriage is seen in such a bad light and isn’t as successful as it used to be.
“Marriage was designed for those who want to enjoy the companionship of a partner, the joy of sex and looking to procreate. We’ve decided to give all those benefits in a relationship without the lifelong commitment then say either marriage isn’t necessary or not everyone isn’t meant for marriage.”
“Everyone isn’t supposed to be married or ‘I don’t want to get married’ wouldn’t be so light on the tongue if marriage benefits weren’t being handed out in relationships.”
As a godly man who preaches morality in terms of relationships to many in cyberspace, some of course do not agree with what was written and rejecting these statements adding ‘it’s whatever we want or relationships are based on terms of the partners’ to blanket over it. What I believe some have missed is the fact that I challenged their relationship and motive of their relationship, instead of evaluating they simply said they would stick to what works for them.
The unfortunate the truth is that many may say they are doing what works for them, but what they say “works for them” actually doesn’t work. A lot of people are in relationships with weak foundations, uneven terms, unaligned visions and silly conditions. They can’t see what’s rotten about the relationship because along with the “it’s what we make it” mindset comes the “you see what you want to see” reality. Hence, relationships ought to be what works for the couple but that’s if wisdom is being applied, truth is being accepted and reality is being acknowledged.
I strongly believe if couples honestly evaluated their relationship there would be less heartbreaks and fewer people walking around with the idea that love sucks. Referencing the quote above, if marriage benefits weren’t found in many relationships, would people even get in relationships? If people were forced to wait until they found someone they were willing to commit to who had a similar vision and that person was the only one who they could have sex with, pro-create with and bond with emotionally, people wouldn’t find dating so fun or even engage in relationships. Marriage would be a priority for many and commitment wouldn’t be so loose.
At any rate, along with the response to the quote, I felt it was necessary to influence people to challenge their relationship. Evaluate them to see what their relationships are really surviving off of. Here are a few ways I think you should evaluate your relationship.
1.) Take sex out of the relationship.
It sounds unrealistic, but it will work wonders when it comes to helping people figure where things stand. Most people feel you can’t have love without sex. I agree with them. When you love someone, you desire to please them (my idea of being in love and qualified to please is in marriage). But a lot of people never truly find out if they are in love because sex makes them feel like it. Most people don’t stay in a sex-less relationship long enough to know if they can last without it. Soon they feel close enough to their partner they proceed to sex and saying “I love you” comes into the picture. I can suggest Christians wait for marriage completely but for everyone else whom I know might have no desire to wait that long I say, take sex out of the equation for a bit. Force yourself to learn and love each other outside of that. Trust me many relationships will crumble after that, not only for those who think you have to keep a man or woman by pleasing them, but others who thought it was love holding them up and so forth. Sex blinds people; it masks itself as love and confuses many. A relationship without sex isn’t guaranteed to stand but it’ll do a lot better than those with sex as a foundation rather than a true bond and true love for one another, heart to heart.
2.) Set true boundaries and rules.
Relationships without boundaries are like rules created by kids. They are well behaved only by their own standards. Instead of avoiding the unhealthy things about the relationship, bring it to the light for you and your partner to practice self-control, discipline and compromise. Things such as no flirting, no protected cell phones around each other, no discussing relationship issues with others, and no pornography are good places to start with boundary setting. Deep down, there are a few things your partner does that involves other people, most likely of the opposite sex that you won’t talk to them about because you don’t want to be labeled jealous, insecure or any of that. Things that are considerable, realistic and important to you. This is where compromising and understanding will come to life.
3.) Have a focus for the relationship and future plans often.
Nothing annoys someone who doesn’t want a future with you more than checking to see where things are headed. There are a lot of people going with the flow simply because it’s convenient. When two people intentionally sit down and talk about where their relationship is headed and needs to go, it opens room for correction, it makes them evaluate the situation so lack of growth can be recognized and addressed. It becomes easier to see if the relationship is or isn’t worth holding on to. I am not suggesting you do a check list but making sure that your vision is aligned so that you both aren’t wasting each other’s time going with the flow.
4.) Have no Plan B.
This should be a no brainer, unfortunately it’s not. Many people enter relationships with someone they grabbed out of the pool of the interested folks they were entertaining, but never get rid of the pool. Many no longer communicate with all the people they were involved with however they still keep in touch with a few of them for the purpose of having a back-up. They see no harm with having someone up next to bat. This limits the effort they put into the relationship during the tough times. I mean, why go through the bad times with someone when you can have a good time with someone new? It makes it a lot easier to walk away.
5.) Put everything out on the table.
I double dare you to do this. Share your darkest secrets with each other and see where it goes. Most people think they can handle it, however they are far from capable. When partners share things like their sexual history, health issues, and certain views on certain things it can cause to see you in a different light, a light that can change the directions of things. Many couples believe if it’s in the past, they don’t need to share it and their partner will love them more if they don’t know the dark things in the past. However, true love is really measured in forgiveness, true love is someone knowing the worst things about you yet loving you anyway. If someone cannot know the darkest parts of you, then they will never know the true you. If they can’t handle it then they can’t love you entirely.
I am by no means saying these will make and break your relationship, but they can make a dent or impact it. They will most likely force your relationship to go to different levels. Try these and let me know how it went.