Don’t be so naïve. Don’t be so immature. Don’t be the kind of sucker who believes that all you really need for your relationship to work is love. You don’t live in a fairytale. Real life is so much more complicated than you could possibly imagine. And if you’re not prepared to handle these harsh truths, then chances are you’re not really ready to be in a mature relationship at all.

When you first meet a person you become romantically interested in, you get excited. You imagine what a life with this person is going to be like and you dream up fantasy scenarios in your head. And no one can blame you for that. Love is amazing. And when you’re just starting to fall in love with a person, it’s always very thrilling. It can be such an exhilarating experience when you allow yourself to open up to significant other; when you allow yourself to really become vulnerable with someone special in your life. And for the first part, it’s always amazing. You’re going to have a lot of fun together.

When the love is fresh, it can often feel like nothing is going to stop you. You know that the love that you have for one another is always growing and you don’t think that anything can get in your way. You know that the love that you have for your partner is real and you decide to give this love everything that you’ve got. You push all of your chips into the middle of the table because you know that this is a love that is worth taking a chance on. And it really excites you because you think that nothing could possibly go wrong with your relationship. You get the sense that you’re doing everything right and your love is just going to keep on growing until the end of time. The passion and intensity in your relationship are really high and you are practically on a roll.

However, when you’re past the honeymoon stage, you are going to be forced to confront the reality of the situation that you’re in. You will come to realize that your relationship isn’t perfect after all. You will discover that it isn’t going to be as easy as you may have initially thought. You will really come to understand that maybe love alone isn’t enough to sustain a relationship. And you’re right. It isn’t. There are so many people who are in love with one another and yet, they find themselves having to break things off because things just aren’t working out in their favor. And that happens a lot in relationships. Just because you’re madly in love with one another doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to get your happy ever after. There is so much more that goes into relationships than just that. Relationships aren’t easy. And that’s okay. Remember that all the best things in life never come easily. You always have to be willing to work hard for the things that you want most in this world – even true love.

So aside from love, what else do you really need in order for your relationship to work out for the best? Well, here are a few of the other essentials that you really need to ensure the success of your romantic story.

1. Mutual Trust

You are always going to have to trust one another if you’re going to make your relationship work. You are never going to be able to find peace in your relationship when there is no trust between the two of you. You can’t be controlling each other. You can’t be micromanaging each other’s lives. You need to be able to trust one another enough to make independent decisions as individuals outside of the relationship.

2. Mutual Respect

At the base of any kind of successful relationship – whether romantic or not – is mutual respect. There is no chance that the two of you would ever find peace and harmony in your relationship when you don’t respect one another. A lot of times, things can get heated in your relationship; and during those tumultuous times, you must always be able to maintain your respect for one another.

3. Shared Values and Principles

One big factor that determines the success of relationships is compatibility. And compatibility refers to the ability of two individuals to coexist with one another. It’s perfectly possible for two incompatible people to be in love with one another – and an incompatible relationship is always likely to head towards failure. At the end of the day, love will not be enough to fix any major incompatibility issues in a relationship.

4. Shared Goals

The both of you will always want to have shared goals and visions. You will find that your relationship will be forced to face a crossroads if you don’t share similar goals and dreams for the future.

5. Commitment

And lastly, commitment. A relationship isn’t going to be easy. You are going to be faced with a lot of challenges and difficulties as a couple, and that’s why the both of you really need to commit to making things work with each other.

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