Being in a relationship entails being with someone you deeply care about, respect, admire, and vice versa. A relationship is a mutual connection you have with someone where you both look up to each other.

A romantic relationship is marked by a deep affection for each other and mutual respect and trust. You make each other happy and care deeply about each other. You want to be let into their lives and know everything about them.

Sometimes, it’s difficult for people to know what a true relationship should be like after being in toxic ones. You’re in a relationship with someone because you make each other happy and you want to be with them.

See also: 12 Important Tips To Build Trust In a Relationship With Your Partner

Being in a relationship means:

  • Being there for each other.
  • Seeing each other’s flaws and embracing the person all the same.
  • Encouraging each other to be better and be better versions of yourselves.
  • Allowing yourself to be completely honest and vulnerable. There’s no hiding in a relationship. You should be able to be totally open with your partner.
  • Trusting your partner. Mutual trust is important in any relationship and even more so in a romantic one.
  • Being each other’s companion and sticking with each other.
  • Fighting battles together.
  • Understanding each other.
  • Not being afraid to be yourself.
  • Listening to each other.
  • Loving each other.

A relationship isn’t going to be rosy all the time. Conflict will arise and there is bound to be fights. One crucial thing that keeps a relationship alive is honesty and open communication. When there are issues bothering you, lay it out and talk it through with your partner. You’re from different homes so of course, you’ll have clashes.

You have to be vulnerable with your partner. It’s scary to throw yourself out there and completely bare yourself to someone but it is necessary for a relationship to work. Let your partner see you, scars and beauty. If you’re going to be committed to someone, you have to know who they are.

There is work to be done in a relationship. Saying that you love your partner isn’t enough to show that you love them. You’re there when the goings are rough. It doesn’t matter what state your relationship is in, you’re always there for each other. In healthy relationships, partners listen to each other.

It’s necessary to be affectionate with each other. Show your partner how much you care. Be romantic, it is, after all, a romantic relationship. Buy gifts for each other, give compliments, hug, kiss and explore your bodies.

A true relationship means you’re a team. There is no longer a “me” or ,”I”. Being a team means making decisions together, taking steps together, and working to make your team better. In an ideal relationship, you should grow together and become better people.

Celebrate your wins, no matter how small. You’re each other’s support system. No matter how small the win is, celebrate your partner and encourage them to do even better. You’re each other’s cheerleader. You can’t ever get tired of praising them when they have done something worthwhile.

Motivate each other and do take steps that help you be even more productive. Be each other’s source of motivation. When your partner is low, help them get back up. Never give up on each other.

There will be moments when you don’t feel “in love” with your partner. That’s why a relationship doesn’t work purely based on love. Love is not just a feeling, it’s a decision. You decide to keep loving each other, no matter the hardships you face. Remind yourself why you’re with them and think of their good qualities.

No one is perfect and that’s why both of you need to keep growing in your relationship. You both have flaws and working on them together is what defines you as a healthy couple. Let your partner know what behavior you don’t like and work on it together. Be open to receiving corrections and learning from each other.

When you are hurt, speak up. Your partner may hurt you unintentionally. Don’t assume that they know. Communication resolves conflicts. Sit each other down and have that difficult conversation. Talk about how their actions have affected you, let them know how you truly feel. This makes dure that there’s no resentment.

Be ready to forgive each other’s faults. Don’t hold grudges and refuse to let go of hurts. It’s easier said than done, that’s why you should understand that a relationship requires work. It requires dedication and patience.

Own up to your mistakes. Pride destroys relationships. Never be too big to apologize when you’re at fault. Even when it’s not intentional, don’t let your ego stop you from saying sorry. Sometimes, actions are important too. Show them that you’re really sorry and you aren’t just saying it to avoid a fight.

You should understand that you can’t be the only person in each other’s lives. Give space for your partner to meet friends and be with other people. It’s necessary to socialize with others too. A relationship that doesn’t allow this is just another form of bondage. If you truly want your partner to be happy, let them be free to pursue their interests. Don’t try to cage them or stop them from doing something they want to do, as long as it doesn’t harm them.

Give each other attention. You can never be too busy for the ones you love. Even if your job is demanding and doesn’t let you have as much time with your partner, you can take a leave or do something extra special on the weekend.

You also have to be able to share. This cuts across all areas. You should be able to share feelings, thoughts, food, belongings and even money. As mentioned earlier, you’re a team and it’s only natural that you act like one.

In essence, a relationship is marked by mutual trust, respect, love, care, affection and forgiveness. You make each other happy and inspire each other to be the best versions of yourselves.