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Relationship Test: 3 Relationship Questions You Must Ask Yourself
I may not have ever been in a formal more-than-friends relationship, but I sure do find them to be fascinating. After all, they appear to be the focus of countless books, plays, shows, songs, movies, poems, paintings, plays. Besides that, relationships are dreadfully fun to analyze, discuss, and fret over.
One thing I often find myself wondering is: what are the essential elements of a relationship?
After considering this for quite some time and doing a hefty amount of people watching, I think I have come to a pretty sound conclusion. All functioning relationships must be built on mutual physical attraction, logistical feasibility, and mutual or complimentary emotional needs.
I am therefore of the humble opinion that, before getting into or leaving a romantic relationship, one must ask oneself:
- Am I attracted to this person? Is he/she attracted to me?
- Can we actually interact enough to have a real relationship?
- Does he/she satisfy some deep emotional need of mine? And do I offer something he/she needs?
I see it as the ultimate simple relationship test! Let's go into greater detail with these things.
What about you?
Are you attracted to your partner?
Mutual Physical Attraction
This much is obvious, right? It would be rather silly to get into a more-than-friends relationship if you were not attracted to someone. Granted, some arranged marriages and more transactional marriages of the past did not really give much precedence to this element, but these days, most people get to choose who they're with, and I cannot imagine an instance in which one chose to willfully enter into a (good) relationship with someone one does not find attractive.
Just as I have trouble finding people who enter into functional, happy relationships without mutual attraction, I have trouble finding existing functional relationships in which both partners are not attracted to each other. In fact, it appears to be that once one partner stops feeling attracted to his or her mate, things can crumble quickly.
Are you in a relationship now? Are you attracted to your partner, and is he or she attracted to you? Do you think this is a mandatory element of any happy more-than-friends relationship?
Are you able to spend quality time with your partner?
Logistical feasibility also strikes me as one of those utterly obvious requirements for any happy relationship. What is the point of being in a relationship if you are not able to spend quality time together?
While I believe that physical proximity is ideal, I do know that sometimes long-term relationships can be enough... at least for a limited amount of time. Though they're typically strained during these periods, I know of many, many long-distance relationships that have survived physical separation.
That said, even functional long-term relationships still satisfy the 'logistical feasibility' requirement in my mind in that they get by via careful maintenance- via:
- Skype calls
- Phone calls
- Playing games together online
- Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels
- Occasional visits, etc...
Without these things, long distance relationships quickly crumble. And even with these things, long-distance relationships don't have very long life spans. It seems to help a lot if there is a concrete endpoint. If there isn't one... well, then it's sionara, sucker!
Mutual or Complimentary Needs
Though I used to think the previously mentioned criteria were all it took to have a good relationship with someone, I realized this could not be the case, as I would still see seemingly perfect couples break it off- despite obvious physical attraction and logistical feasibility.
This is why I think that, in addition to these important factors, those in a relationship must satisfy deep-set emotional needs of their partners. These needs can be superficial, deep, philosophical, sustainable, or fleeting. They can also be mutual or complimentary. Here are some examples:
- A shared need to start and raise a family
- A need to marry a rich lawyer complimented by a need to have a sexy trophy wife
- A share desire for a summer fling
- A shared need to be deeply cared for
- A need to reach complimented by a need to be taught
- A need to be protected complimented by a need to protect
- A mutual desire to explore the world
- A shared desire to take over the world
- A desire to listen paired with a need to be heard
As you can see, some of these needs and wants would pass after some time, or after conditions change. For example, let's say that a gorgeous, sexy woman wants a rich lawyer husband and a rich lawyer wants a sexy trophy wife (cliche example, but go with it). Their relationship can be BRILLIANT- so long as those conditions hold. Should the wife get ugly, or should the husband lose his job and money, those needs may no longer be met, and the relationship will fall apart.
Does your partner meet some deep need of yours?
Let's look at another example, such as the shared desire for a summer fling. After summer is over, the relationship ends. Perhaps some other mutual or complimentary needs will be discovered in the meantime that keep the relationship going... but perhaps things just fade away, and that's fine!
Or say that a couple got together because they wanted to take over the world- and they succeeded. What happens then? Perhaps each person will have to establish an entirely new mission in life... and perhaps those missions will give rise to new needs that are no longer met by the other party.
While conditions change, needs also change- at least sometimes. And if one partner's needs change and are no longer met by the other partner, dissatisfaction with the relationship will arise. I've seen this happen a bunch of times.
What I've taken from this point is that, when contemplating whether a relationship has long-term potential, one must really consider what sorts of needs hold the couple together. Are they likely to change? Are they based on fleeting conditions? Or are they eternal, enduring, and strong?
It's just something to ponder, I suppose.
What do you think?
Is this theory sound?
Is there something more?
Mutual physical attraction, logistical fesaibility, and complimentary or shared needs are what I see as the three essential elements of a relaitonship, but I've never really been in one, and I am by no means an expert, so perhaps I am missing something.
What do you think- can a romantic relationship be functional and good without one of these things? Or am I missing an important aspects of all functional relationships that makes them possible and good? Tell me about it! Click away at the poll to the right, and leave a comment below!
I would be most interested to read your opinion.