1. Love and respect – for each other and your individual philosophies on life and love. Ignoring your partner’s hopes and dreams just because they may differ to yours or trying to cancel or absorb someone’s personality is neither love nor respect. A progressive growing of love and respect between two people sharing their lives but retaining their individuality is more healthy and fulfilling.
2. Loyalty – some couples see this as the only commitment needed within a successful relationship, it isn’t a standalone commitment, but it still remains an ultimate commitment. Any commitments made with the absence of loyalty will appear to be nothing but hollow, broken promises. What if your partner has hinted, or even made it obvious that they have known other partners better than they know you. This could be an admission of not being sure about the depth of the relationship or a criticism of your role and actions, prompting the outspoken comparisons. If he/she has talked about, or admitted wanting to get to know other different partners better, this issue needs to be addressed to discover what has instigated these comments and desires.
3. Honesty – About your feelings, fears and insecurities, honesty about the relationship and your expectations. Revelations about your past, what you want to achieve in life, job prospects and career prospects that could affect your future together. Financial burdens or financial expectations are all important decisions that you both have to make regarding the future. It is unacceptable and selfish to arrogantly think that someone can be compromised into radically changing their beliefs to suit you at a later date. This is dishonest and will be seen as outright dismissal and betrayal of individual views and feelings.
4. Spending time together – This also encompasses your personal levels of acceptable commitment to each other’s feelings and needs in the relationship. You may be perfectly happy to spend every waking moment with each other; alternatively you may be just as happy and comfortable with a more relaxed amount of time you spend in each other’s company. It does not mean the relationship is any less intimate or meaningful. Don’t be tempted to use time spent together as a template to compare with other relationships, what makes you happy is the only important issue and how much you desire to retain your independence and individuality inside the relationship.
5. Trust – Without trust no relationship can survive, do you feel comfortable enough with the level of trust in the relationship, to admit to other relationships and why they failed without any fear of backlash or recriminations. Trusting each other when you are not together is a huge area for differences of opinion as to what is the appropriate level of trust before it becomes suspicious and obsessive jealousy. Trust levels need to be tested and established with practical aspects of the relationship, trust with finances, with children, with secrets, with family decisions and personal choices.