There are times it’s hard to know what you should be expecting from your partner. No one wants to be seen as pushy, nagging, and full of assumptions. Expectations can damper unity because relationships need space to grow in trust and support. But, there are some things that are uncompromising in loving relationships. There are things that should not be excused when you are building a life with your partner.

Here are 6 things you should always expect from your partner:

1. Time.

It goes without saying, that time is important to build a relationship. It’s not so much quantity as it is quality. You can still have separate interests, friends, and hobbies. You are not asking for every waking moment, but you do have the right to desire precious time together. In our busy fulfilled lives, time seems to be a expensive commodity. When you love someone, time is not an issue. You want to spend time with that person who brings you joy. You make the time to have fun, communicate, laugh, and include them in activities that bring you both closer together. It’s in those precious moments that we thrive because we feel good by the another person’s presence. If you have to pursue your partner for time, you must ask yourself what you are getting out of the relationship.

2. Respect.

In order to be respected, you must show respect. Boundaries are part of respect. By respecting each other you are showing your worth. When you do something wrong, apologize and show your mistake. Integrity and dignity are important in loving relationships. You are two individuals joining with all your past traumas and experiences. You are bringing with you habits, stories, and baggage. It’s important to set limits to what you will tolerate. Respect brings awareness, choices and a healthy balance. In an article for Psychology Today, Dr. Peter Gray shares his thoughts about respect and love:

“Love brings bliss to both types of relationships, but only if tempered by respect. Love adds joy and provides the emotional bonds that help carry the relationship through hard times. The attachment aspect of love is even more valuable in our relationship with our spouse than in that with our children, because marriage, at least in principle, is forever.”

3. Intimacy.

Intimacy is deeper than sexuality. Intimacy requires emotional closeness and trust. It’s about sharing and accepting your partner’s feelings to the innermost degree. Intimacy allows for vulnerability to be present without judgment, criticism, and abuse. Without intimacy, there is not much of a meaningful relationship. Even the word sounds as if saying “into me you see.” Cognizance and affection are required to truly know one another. It’s not just in the touching, exploration of bodies, but the wholehearted release of emotions. This is when your mate knows you and still loves you. Just like making time for date night, or talks on the phone, there has to be moments of pure intimacy that help enrich and grow your relationship.

4. Compassion.

We have highs and lows in relationships, but there should always be a balance of understanding in order to connect with each other. Being compassionate and empathetic to what is important to you and your partner is important. It’s a give and take. Being compassionate also means forgiving any wrongdoings that have been misinterpreted. Healthy relationships are built on trust.

In an article called Empathy and Compassion – Essential for Loving Relationships, Dr. Margaret Paul expresses that “When both partners tend to shut down their compassion in conflict, then their conflicts rarely reach satisfying resolution. Difficulties also come up in relationships when one person maintains more empathy and compassion than the other, especially during conflict. If one person is able to maintain his or her compassion for the partner even when angry or upset, but the other person shuts down his or her empathy and compassion when angry, this creates an imbalance in the relationship. The more compassionate person may end up feeling abused by the interaction, and may also be the one who usually opens and takes responsibility for patching things up.”

5. Loyalty.

It goes without saying that without loyalty there isn’t much of a relationship. Trust, honesty and loyalty are foundations for a healthy-supportive relationship. If you can’t trust the person who is supposed to have your back, who can you trust? There is nothing more meaningful than two consenting adults knowing that they can be faithful to each other. If you are experiencing distrust, jealousy, insecurities, and other negative aspects in your love life, you need to ask why? Distrust causes detrimental effects in self-esteem and worth matters. You should expect your partner to be completely honest with you about his intentions in the relationship. If this doesn’t match with your ideals, then you must be honest with your feelings and what you are willing to tolerate.

6. Love.

How do you define love? What do you feel when you say the word? A relationship without love is no relationship at all. There is no commitment. Love defies every one of the other five suggestions. You demand love because that’s what transforms us in a relationship. There are a million ways of loving, and it’s not just in saying, “I Love You!” Everyone has their own definition of love, but you must find the partner who comes closest to your definition. You should expect nothing less than the openness, support, respect, time, trust and connection.

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” ~ C.G. Jung

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