Time and time again, I hear people say, “I wish I could find a great relationship,” and while this is something all of us want, the thing about great relationships is that they are built, not found. And if you are wanting to know what the secret recipe to a great relationship is, there are five absolute requirements to cultivate greatness.

Relationships are hard work, and the fact of the matter is, things are not always going to be peachy keen, and happy. But if you’ve found someone that you love with all your heart and someone that continues to try to be the best version of themselves, then you’ve found a relationship worth fighting for. Here are the five major requirements for a great relationship.

1. Trust.

Trust is perhaps one of the most important aspects of a relationship. Why? Because trust allows us to fully open ourselves up to our partner and to be vulnerable. Through vulnerability, we connect and bond with one another in a way that cannot be replicated through any other means. Additionally, there are going to be trials that weigh against you and your partner, and during those times, you are going to need to be able to trust in them.

2. Respect.

Respect is important because after the initial spark and honeymoon phase are over, it’s the respect you have for your partner that will continue to push you to take into consideration of their needs and feelings. You have to value your partner and have compassion for them, and no matter how upset you get, you must never, ever disrespect them.

3. Unconditional love.

Unconditional love is different than just romantic love or lust. Unconditional love means accepting your partner for who they are, not because you see the potential in them for after they change and become someone different, but completely as they are. Too often, people enter into a relationship, and they only accept the parts of their partner that they love, and then grow to resent the rest of them. Unfortunately, by doing so, we doom our relationship to toxic failure hell.

4. Honesty.

For your relationship to thrive, you have to be completely honest with your partner and vice versa. You have to be able to tell them the messy details about yourself, your day, and your mistakes, and they have to return the favor. This is how trust is built and maintained.

5. Time apart.

And while it may sound crazy-being in a relationship and making it thrive requires us to tend to our individual needs and identity as well. Too often, couples mesh themselves together, turning into someone else entirely. When that happens, they often fall out of love, because they are no longer the person their partner fell in love with. Don’t suffocate your partner, and don’t let them suffocate you. Build your identities, and have a life together while maintaining your own identity.

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