First and foremost, I'd like to express the importance of having a healthy relationship. Any relationship can last, but when it's healthy and based on love, happiness will naturally be a part of it. I find that when the right steps are taken early on during the dating period, the right kind of love will blossom. They say that when you plant good seeds now, you'll get good, and beautiful fruit later. In other words, take the right and appropriate steps early on while dating, and in a relationship, so that when, and if you decide to marry that person, it won't just be from frosting and superficial things and feelings. But, it will be based on honesty, loyalty, friendship, trust, understanding, respect, and most of all, love.
Here's the list:
1. Honesty and trust:
Every single thing that comes out of your mouth should be based on honesty. There's never a good reason to lie (not even to white lie). Lying is not only wrong, but it's a deal breaker! If you notice that the person you're dating starts to make little white lies, confront the person, express your feelings about the importance of being brutally honest, and how your love and relationship needs to be based on that. If the white lies don't stop right away, I'd suggest heading for the door. I believe that loyalty and honour are both based on honesty and trust, so when you have an honest, and open book relationship, you should maintain your trust, and honour your partner by being loyal, and committed to them.
2. Fire and chemistry:
The fire and chemistry must be there! You must be attracted to the other person! Whether that attraction is based on feelings alone, sense of humour, being witty or confident, or from just from being completely, and utterly breathtakingly beautiful, you must find the other person attractive. What I mean by "fire" is that the passion between you must not only be present, but killer. You should feel the heat between each other, and true heat comes from more than on a skin deep, lustful level. When heat comes too early on, it's based on lust. But, when that heat, and passion is uncontrollable, like the flames of a fire, you've likely had time to develop true feelings for the other person. Intimacy with someone that you utterly love and adore will never compare to intimacy with someone that's based on lust or an impulse to hook up. Real, and fabulous love, including great sex comes when you're passionately in love with a person. You don't necessarily need to know what it feels like to be intimate with a person early on, to know whether or not there's fire and chemistry between you. You can tell by many things, including skin tone, a person's eyes, the way that a person expresses themselves, and more than anything, you can usually tell by the kiss.
3. Open heart and open book:
Being an open book while dating, in a relationship, and married is crucial in having a healthy, happy, and loving relationship. You should never have to dig for information or the truth in a healthy situation. You should have trust (going back to number 1), and an openness in your heart, and in all that you do. You shouldn't be hiding things from your partner out of fear that you could disappoint them or whatnot. Being open book is essential in both people feeling comfortable, and secure in a relationship. Both people must be emotionally available, and have a completely open heart while early dating, and in a relationship. Having an open heart means that you're open to falling in love, as well as being open to possibly (but hopefully not) getting hurt. If you want to truly fall in love, you must take the risk of getting hurt. You must be willing to put your heart out there, and give it to someone that's going to love you back, the way in which you deserved to be loved.
4. Best friends:
You need to marry your best friend. I've never been a fan of people that express their need to say that they want to start out by being friends, and prefer not to call it "dating." Those people are somewhat emotionally unavailable in my opinion. You should never be afraid of using the terms, "love, dating, relationships, or marriage." I will write more on that later. Having said that, you need to date a person where you can also feel like there's a friendship developing. This takes more than having common interests with one another. This takes laughter, good communication, honesty, being open book, and being able to have fun together. You should be able to text, talk, confide, and share your feelings with your partner openly, coming to them first, and without harsh judgement. They should feel loved and accepted by you, regardless of the things that they openly share. The fact that they love, trust, and appreciate you enough to openly share things with you is essential in becoming best friends.
5. Good communication:
Having good communication means talking, sharing, and either being on the same page as your partner, or being able to openly discuss why you're not. Either way, you should be aware of what you both want and need, and what page you're both on, so that you can work things out, compromise, and agree somewhere in the middle. You should never feel afraid or feel the need to be too cautious to express your feelings to one another. You should be comfortable to express your thoughts, views, and opinions, even if you think that your partner might disagree. Healthy relationships are based on having good communication where you can openly say whatever you want, without having fear for whatever reason. You should get to know each other early on during the dating period, which is where you're supposed to be able to develop this good communication. You should ask a lot of questions early on in order to get to know the person. No, I don't mean interview-like questions, as we all know how much people hate that. But, I mean more so questions about a person that you can learn about their likes, dislikes, and where they see themselves in their future.
6. Effort and balance:
A relationship and marriage takes effort from both people. Both people should feel satisfied, and the love, affection, attention, openness, trust, romance, and everything else should be done with effort by both people. A healthy relationship takes effort and balance. One person shouldn't have to do everything, and solely put in all of the work into their relationship. It takes two to build a loving, happy, and healthy relationship that will last. You have to always concentrate on giving, and your partner should reciprocate your love and actions. You should never settle for a one-sided love affair. Give, give, and give your partner your love, and do anything that will create a more satisfied feeling for them. If you sense that your partner is slacking off in the "giving" department, then you should confront them with kindness, softness, sweetness, and poise. But be direct, and let them know how you're feeling, without sounding like you're attacking them (this also goes back to number 5). The happiest people are the people that always concentrate, and thrive on giving, not receiving in love, and in everything.