Words by: Miko Insame
Featured Image from sofsea
Images are screenshots taken from responses to our prompts
A few weeks ago, the WIM team sent out this prompt on our social media.
The reason why was because I was curious. Curious about how people try and figure out the complicated twists and turns that accompany a commitment as big as making a relationship last.
So I asked WIM to help me out and sent out prompts myself. Fortunately, enough people responded to our prompts that I was actually able to make this article a reality.
This feature is all about the nuances and important little details that people have noticed in their relationships that ultimately made them stay.
DISCLAIMER: People who answered the prompt privately will be kept anonymous and any images from their responses will be edited to censor any names that could lead to their identity.
1. You talk AND LISTEN to each other
Without a doubt, the most popular answer to our prompt and with good reason. A common thread in relationships that end up failing is the sense that you’re no longer being listened to and, by extension, the other person seems to have forgotten about you, leaving you feeling alone in a space that’s supposed to do the exact opposite.
People who answered our prompt revolved around this idea of communicating, highlighting the fact that honesty and openness is key to how relationships work. Not just about the good stuff, but even bad stuff–especially the bad stuff because how else are you two supposed to understand each other and help each other grow if you know only the things you want to know about your partner or, even worse, next to nothing about them? This is core to every lasting relationship and is pretty much the root of the stuff you will see later on.
2. Being willing to hold on because the other person will hold on with you
Piggybacking off the last point, suppose something happens that tests your faith in the relationship. More often than not, people experience these kinds of trials and tribulations and are more inclined to abandon people if they feel like they’re only becoming a burden to others, especially their significant other. The truth is that it may turn out like that, but the whole point of having someone so close to you is to not feel like the world is on your shoulders alone. A relationship means that your pain is no longer your pain alone because you have someone to hold on to and a responsibility to do the same should you find your roles reversed. Take this responsibility seriously because there are few things as bad as a one-sided relationship where one party is the only one being taken care of and being offered support. One of our respondents put it best by saying:
“And of course, marriage is all about commitment, through thick and thin. And when the going gets tough, you work together as a team. Walang iwanan, always have each other’s back.”
3. Reminding yourself that this person is special
This point doesn’t really mean you need to go back to what sparked your relationship in the first place. It may help, but that’s not all there is to it. Your significant other is special because of all the billions of people in the world who may arguably look better, sing better, cook better and/or dance better than you, s/he chose you. That means something because they see something in you that you may have never thought you could ever be.
Alternatively, you could see something in someone when they thought they could never be that way. In short, they are worth fighting for and you are worth fighting for because you are who you are and they are who they are and there is nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, it’s actually really beautiful.
4. Having a sense of intimacy
Intimacy is one of the pillars of a good relationship. Being able to enjoy the closeness and familiarity you have with each other is a wonderful thing. Getting to see each other in ways that no one else does is a powerful moment for both of you. Trusting the person with this version of who you are, away from the eyes of other people and with no fear of judgment leads you both to discover new things to love about yourself and one another.
5. Lastly, keep an open mind
Relationships are portrayed everywhere and everyone has their own expectation as to what a relationship is supposed to be. When in doubt, listen to your partner. They’re the ones who have to live with you in their lives the most, not the TV show that talks about romance, not your friends or family (although don’t ice them out, they still are vital parts of your lives), it’s you. What that means is that you can’t base relationships off of cookie-cutter guides, plans, and ideas. Doing so would mean that you consider each other as just another replaceable piece in the plan once it doesn’t work anymore. It’s difficult, but keep your mind open to your partner’s needs and wants, these are dynamic and changing just as yours are.
Ultimately, relationships are tricky business. It’ll never be enough to list down all the reasons, guides, and stories as to how you and your partner will last because the only people who can determine if you guys will last will be the two of you. The stories and responses shared here are just a byproduct of this continuing process that’s unique to every couple, so don’t take them for gospel, but use them to inform yourself of your status as someone in a relationship, continually finding ways to make the other person feel at home and loved.
Do you have any thoughts on how relationships last? Let us know!