This day in age many people are finding themselves single through a chasm of ages. Many are in their forties, fifties and sixties. As we get a little older and hopefully wiser we begin to realize that we need different things in a relationship than what we originally had thought. Love of course is a key element, but, by and of itself, cannot fill in all the spaces of what a good and healthy relationship needs.

The first key element in any relationship, whether it be with a mate, friend or family member is good communication. Many of us were not brought up in households where good communication was used, so most of our experience with this tool is limited. Having a good relationship with a spouse is key nowadays to understanding and getting along well with others outside of the relationship
When two people meet and are looking to find qualities in another that suit them, they must also possess those qualities. We cannot be afraid of communicating our thoughts or feelings to another unless we expect them to be mind- readers. Too often couples have unrealistic expectations of what another should already know about them. Simply because you have already stated what you needed once or twice does not necessarily mean that another will always remember it.

When we share what we feel with another it is intimate, when we share what we think it is a form of bantering. We express our thoughts with another and a back and forth process ensues. Too often someone will get their feelings hurt easily by the use of wrong wording and not express to the other why this happened. Other people can be extremely blunt and not understand at all what an introverted person is like.

When we meet someone new in our life we should take the time to get to know them as person. If I like the person that you are and you like me then we can move it along and discover how well we communicate with each other. Some believe that they do not put their feelings into words well. If this is the area that needs practice then you should admit it and learn new techniques of doing so. Communication or lack thereof can make or break a relationship quickly. How you communicate is key to advancement not just with a mate but in all other areas of your life as well.

The next key building block in any relationship is trust. In order to trust another you must trust yourself and you also must put your past behind you. If you immediately start comparing someone to who you knew in the past, you may miss out on the variations between people. Trust of course is earned over time but it has to start with you. Trust can be an immediate deal buster at the beginning if you don’t have any yourself.

Too often there is fear involved with trust from our past experiences, thereby blinding us to what potential a new love might bring. Forgiving self, people from the past and the experience of life itself will help with this key element. Trust is not always easily attained but once in place makes everything else seem small.
Next is looking at the basics. Too often we believe that the little things can be overlooked if we have good communication and trust. Well believe it or not the little things like how you keep house, do laundry, help with the cooking, and work with money, can be a deal breaker. If one of you is a neat freak and the other a slob your chances of living together and getting along are slim to none. Why does this matter so much? Because if one person is always holding resentment inside about how the other one is, then eventually this will boil over into arguing. Once an argument ensues things get said more than done and feelings get hurt. More often than naught an invisible wall begins to build and this is where separation takes place.

Most people can change their habits, but there needs to be clarification as to whether you both want this and are willing to stick to it. Changing habits takes time and effort, especially when it comes to picking up after yourself or quitting smoking. Be realistic.

This brings me to the next step, do you both want the some of the same dreams to come true to have happiness and joy over the long haul. If one of you wants a long term relationship and the other wants short term, then it is best to just be friends and move on.

Be realistic about a future together. There is a great deal of love and acceptance that is necessary to sustain a lifelong relationship with another; even if it is a friend of family member. You are an individual and expecting everyone to like you or get along with you is just plain silly. You could be the nicest person on the planet but it still would be a stretch for everyone to like you.

Now that we have discovered what we need to know about this other person we quantify the relationship with love. Ah, that elusive butterfly that has brought us to the heights and depths of ourselves. Here is where the confusion really sets in.

Young people generally equate love with how things go in the bedroom, some older souls too. Though being compatible sexually is important, it should not be the end all, do all! When we mature we discover that sexuality is not always the key to a long term relationship, rather an element. Hormones play a large part in our lives and mess with our feelings. It is important to identify these little boogees and understand whether it is hormonal or love.

Love takes on a new appreciation when we plan to spend our life together. If we haven’t taken the time to communicate our feelings and thoughts, trust one another and found out if we truly get along, then love is already being broadsided and in jeopardy of being too fragile to make the long haul.

To have any kind of a good relationship the tools that I have outlined are necessary. Relationships should take time to build and sustain. It never hurts to educate yourself by reading books and practicing how to be in a good relationship. Time should be taken to secure trust and honesty as well as cementing your own understanding of how you feel. All things grow in time, setting up fertile ground for the growth and planting can and will bring about fantastic results.

Author's Bio: 

Spiritual Inspirational Teacher, and Motivational Speaker.
Athene's whole heart, being and personality are involved when Speaking, Teaching and Writing. When Athene is with a group, transformative changes take place individually, as well as collectively. She has been a Spiritual Teacher and Counselor for over 20 years.