4 UNAVOIDABLE PILLARS OF A SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP by Stephen Ajamu

Everyone of us has been, is and will be in a relationship – family, marital, social, professional, religious, politics, campus, and so on. However, either good or bad; what we are, who we are and where we are today are all products of our previous and present relationships. As a matter of fact, we are all products of people who have been there, who are no more there or products of people who are still there for us. The place of relationship can, therefore, not be de-emphasised or downplayed in the journey of life; man needs man, man needs woman, woman needs woman, and woman needs man. When there is no agreement in any relationship, then it is a lone journey which makes life a burden. In fact, when some people are in your life, life becomes a burden and their absence creates a sense of relief, but when some people enter your life and are later no where to be found, life seems to be a burden because their presence always create a touch of positive value. Each one of us needs at least a relationship with someone in order to be who we want or who God wants us to be. The moment you discover that someone’s temporal absence always create a sense of relief then you should create a permanent boundary against him. We are not created to be burdens for someone else but helpers.

Relationship is not a place of playing hide and seek but a place of knowing and defining values, a place of dispensing attention, a place of balanced communication, and a place of unfeigned commitment.

There are basically four unavoidable pillars that sustain a successful relationship: Value, Attention, Communication and Commitment.

VALUE
One of the most important thing in every relationship is the understanding of value. Value means the significance, worth and importance of something. You must know what you value and why you value it; knowing what and why the value will define who you are in each relationship. Your value might be neatness, material things, scriptures, books, etc. which you can never trade for anything. Where we were born, background, upbringing, religion, mindset, family, taste and so on are explicitly different and each one of us must accept the fact that we don’t have the same values. When you know your values and seek to know your partner’s values, you will not give yourself unnecessary headache in a relationship because what is important to you might not be important to him or her. However, seeking to force your values on someone is the beginning of chaos in a relationship. Either you accept me the way I am, cease to be in the relationship or try your best to influence me which can take years to achieve.

ATTENTION
Every creature craves attention – animals and human beings. We all want our voice to be heard and ourselves to be seen. We all want our voices to be heard and the urges to be seen create a state of battle cry. We all desire recognition in life. Therefore, the place of attention is inherent in every creature. Receiving attention and giving attention is another pivotal and unavoidable key in a relationship. Each party must be ready to give adequate and consistent attention to his or her partner. Do not ignore, shun or shut down your partner when your attention is needed – when his or her voice is needed to be heard and when your presence is significant to him or her and not you. As a matter of fact, there are some times when you will feel like your presence in a matter is not needed and you feel indifferent to it, but it is not about you but her. It might not be significant to you but it is important to her; appreciate the fact that she wants you there and not someone else. If you value his or her attention, all other things we automatically fall in place.

COMMUNICATION
As efficacious and doddling the social media as been so far, it has caused more hydraheaded problems on human communication. Face-to-face communication has lost its values. In fact, 80% of our conversation are now on social media and there is no more room for facial communication which speaks high volume than any other aspect of life. Communication through eye contact can reduce breakups and divorces by 20%. Social media has reduced our confidence, speech potency, honesty, naturaliness, thought-value and sincerity; we now suspend and relegate some important conversation to social media. A relationship without mutual and symbiotic communication is like a brand new car with a professional driver yet without fuel. The place of communication cannot be dispelled, dissuaded or left out in a successful relationship. If you are in a relationship and talking seems difficult for you, then you are not fit to build a family because it will affect your interaction with your children, friends and extended family. Communication in a relationship is like mixing cement with sand. He who connect blocks together and plaster the house with sand should not expect to have a day rest under the building. You must learn the art of talking. As a matter of fact, how do you want to verbally express yourself in a relationship if you don’t know how to create a lively atmosphere with your partner or people around you? How will you settle quarrel? How will you defend yourself? How will you make yourself explainable? A man who does not know how to use the power of words is too powerless to build a family. Communication is part of the cares a woman or man wants in a relationship. It is the cornerstone on which other aspects of relationship hinge; if communication fails, all other aspects will fail.

COMMITMENT
Commitment is the loyalty, responsibility, dedication and honesty to someone or something. Commitment in a relationship is essentially pivotal. A relationship that is devoid of honesty, loyalty and dedication is a relationship without mission, focus, vision and goal. However, value determines our commitment; there is no relationship without a commitment – sexual commitment, monetary commitment, spiritual commitment, material commitment and so on. Whatever the commitment is in a relationship, one must be consistent with it in order to sustain the relationship.

In conclusion, relationship requires a lot of sacrifices, attentions and commitments; but if the moment of pain and endurance is more than moment of happiness then the sacrifices does not worth it. Your understanding of human differences and values; your measure of commitments, your availability for effective communication and your sincere rendition of attention to him or her will galvanized and pave way for a successful relationship. Experiencing and enjoying a relationship is still plausible, irrespective of the pervasive breakups and divorces.

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