The 3 fundamentals of a healthy relationship


The old husband grabbed his black cloak coat and put it on. He buttoned up the three big brown buttons and looked into the living room through the hallway. As he did that he grabbed a beanie and put it over his combed grey, almost silver-white hair...

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The old husband grabbed his black cloak coat and put it on. He buttoned up the three big brown buttons and looked into the living room through the hallway. As he did that he grabbed a beanie and put it over his combed grey, almost silver-white hair. His face was wrinkly and smooth, with a rough stubble beard and an Italian style mustache. A gentle smile on his face. A content smile, for his life, was long and he loved every minute of it. He looked into the living room again and there she was. His wife. They had been together for almost 50 years now. They were just 25 years old when they first met, but she was still the same to him. She had only grown in and out of who she truly was, but his love for her had always been there.

His wife was tightening up her velcro shoes and still looked beautiful to him. When she was done she looked up at him. Her long hair was light grey but still looked as beautiful as ever. She smiled at him with so much love that he felt a feeling we describe as butterflies in your stomach. A sensation so pure, that it can’t be described in words. He smiled back at her and made a kiss in the air. She laughed and returned it to him. “I love you” she whispered. His smile got even larger and he too whispered “I love you” in a tender and raspy voice. “Are you ready my love?” He asked her. Yes, I am. She grabbed her coat and put on a scarf. The husband opened the door and stepped back, making a gesture to his lady that she should go first.

It was cold outside but they wore extremely warm clothes. Both of them reached into their pockets and grabbed their gloves to protect their hands from the cold and icy wind. “Where should we walk?” The husband asked. “We’ll see, just go in a direction.” The wife replied in her unique way. She never wanted to choose a direction, she just let her guide herself by her feelings. The soft glow of the streetlamps illuminated the stone textured sidewalk and the chewing gums that were pressed into it. The trees were empty of leaves by now and the streets were covered with them. The charm of the trees had gone but the charm of a warm cozy night arrived. “Don’t you think every season has its beauty?” The man asked in his usual philosophical tone of voice. “Oh yes my love, we have lived through many repeating seasons, and never have I liked one more than the other.”

Like old times

Their footsteps synchronized as they walked further from their home in the forest. They turned left and right whenever they felt like. This creates a pattern that led them to a place they Hadn’t seen in this way before. The houses looked different if you approached them from a different angle. Once in a while, the two looked at one another and they smiled. It’s common for them to not always be talking whilst going for a walk. These are moments for them to just be. The silence filled their hearts with content and joy. Funny how years back they thought that doing and always moving was giving them joy. It was, but not without the solitude of quiet moments.

The two were still doing what they loved and you could see that. The husband’s eyes looked at the world through the lens of a writer, seeing the people move through the streets and describing everything that happened romantically. Her eyes looked at the world through the lens of music. Describing it poetically and descriptively, ever so often they would stand still and write something down in their phones or notepads. They had never changed their view of the world. They learned through observing, they had always done that.

Kids were playing on the side of the road, squeezing every last drop of time they had before going inside when it got dark. The laughing, squeaking sounds of bikes and the bouncing sound of a ball filled the old couple’s ears. They looked at the kids and both of them replied memories of the past. They once were kids as well, they didn’t want to go back to being a kid but they loved revisiting these old times. “Do you remember…” the wife started, having remembered a moment in their younger lives. “Do you remember when we first moved in with one another?”

“Yes, I most certainly do.” The husband replied and chuckled. He knew what she was going to say. The women started to relive this moment in their lives. “We were young, unmarried but we knew that we wanted to continue living with one another. Or rather you knew certainly that you wanted to continue living with me. I wasn’t yet. Never the less we decided to live together. Somewhere in a small house that didn’t cost much. We both had our dreams and lives yet we wanted to come back home and live a life together. It was as if we were continuously on our unique paths but often went for a moment of rest in the middle of these two roads. It felt comforting.”


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Was this it?

But their decision to move in with one another didn’t feel the way they hoped it would feel. For her, it was frightening. “Was this the end of her life?” She often thought. “Was she gonna live her life with the same man till she died?” This thought frightened her. He on the other hand loved her so much that he was too protective. He too was frightened but by the thought of her being hurt. He wanted to control her choices in life to protect her from any harm, but what he didn’t see was that life is messy. Yet that this mess can be your message. She needed a mess to create and so did he. “We were both in a messy place in our minds.” The wife continued. “We both were fearful of the future in our unique ways and this clashed. We often had arguments and both thought of leaving each other.” The husband grabbed his wife’s hand tighter by just thinking of how he almost left her. It was a situation that for most would sound like a certain end of the relationship.

“I was scared of being controlled and you were scared of losing control.” The woman laughed at the thought of this. “What a situation to be in.” She added. “None the less, both of us couldn’t decide to leave the other. It was as if our hearts knew that something wasn’t right but that we needed to speak about it to one another.” The man said. “And we did only we spoke too much.” The wife said to her husband. “We didn’t listen to one another, truly listen.” The husband said looking at his wife and gently smiling with regret and sadness in his eyes. She too regretted that they didn’t listen to one another. It was a constant argument in which they both tried to share their point of view but in which the other party constantly interrupted. “Was this it? Could this be the end?” They both thought at that time.

After some time they decided to not speak about it for a few weeks, but still do what they were doing. They weren’t allowed to create resentment because of the other person so each time they felt fearful and reacted in anger they wrote it down to get it out. After a few weeks, the couple started to change. They couldn’t blame the other person anymore. They couldn’t make any excuses anymore and they had to look at what was causing it within themselves. “You couldn’t blame me for being me anymore, nor could I blame you for being you. Still, a lot changed” the wife said. “After I believe it was three or four weeks in which we didn’t speak to one another much you came up to me. I thought this was gonna be the end. You started in such a serious tone and talked about how you have been thinking of ending the relationship. I in that instant got scared of you leaving, so I for once listened to you.” The husband nodded and made a sound of agreement. “But you too listened to me when I spoke. We both spoke from the heart and no longer from the mind. Love wasn’t about the head, it was about the heart and the heart wanted something that it didn’t get. This caused pain in our hearts and our egos didn’t want to feel that pain so it started to blame and hurt the other.” The wife had tears in her eyes because this moment still was one that she will remember till the end of her days.

The two fundamentals

“Now you didn’t end the relationship there. Nor did I. We spoke of what had caused our behavior. Do you remember?” The wife asked her old but beautiful husband. He looked at her and still fell in love with her face, the green and blue eyes had always mesmerized him and could pierce straight through to his heart. “I do remember. I remember how I wanted to share that joy with you. You wanted to be free, you wanted to do things on your own and you had all the rights too, but I was scared and jealous. We didn’t have much joy with one another. So when I saw you leave and listened to all your stories and saw how incredibly happy you were without me it made me scared that I could easily be replaced. So I started to become sour, cranky, out of the moment, which caused even less joy.” The man looked at the ground and laughed, he knew what he was about to say. The woman knew too. “But still I loved you so much, and those weeks we didn’t speak about any annoyances or irritations, nor pushing them away we had so much joy. We cooked together, listened to one another stories, played video games, and watched movies, we wrote together and drew together. The time we spend together was spent in presence of the other without any distractions and we flourished like flowers on the first ray of sun breaking through the thick clouds. But the flower only flourished because the thick clouds rained and gave them minerals to grow on.” The wife looked at her man and always admired his comparisons.

“Yes, I noticed that you loved spending time with me again and that changed my perspective. I wasn’t so worried about being controlled anymore. I wasn’t scared of spending the rest of my life with you. All that time I was scared that I would be stuck with you even in the hard times, but I wasn’t. All I was looking for was a reason, a purpose for this relationship. I didn’t see the benefit of being with someone for the rest of my life. I was scared of committing to you. It would mean a lack of freedom, but it didn’t. I found great meaning in you. I had my passion and my dreams and those brought great meaning to my life, but you. I didn’t know if you could too. But love, deep love is a meaningful thing. It brings value to our lives in all aspects of it. It can bring us inspiration for creation, support in hard times, joy in the everyday things, and a listening ear for us to speak to. It isn’t that love for just one person is enough, for you to be joyful. But love for one person as an addition to your already great life makes it perfect. I never saw it that way, I never really figured that love was an addition to my life and not something that took away from my life.”

Both of them stopped for a moment and kissed each other. Both of their lips were cold but still, the kiss was just as amazing as their first kiss. It was as if they were in love again. Ever since that day they figured out that there are three fundamentals in a relationship. Not the only fundamentals but just three they didn’t understand yet. These three fundamentals were a joy, the sharing of joy in life with the other. Meaning, finding meaning for a love with the other, and finally listening. Listening to one another, to their pains and their stories, and always speaking from the heart, never from the mind.

The wife finished her story and the man looked at her. “Luckily we figured it out” They had, had many other arguments and struggles in their relationship after this moment but never did they ever doubt their choice again. They learned that joy, meaning, and listening were three incredibly important fundamentals of love. Without them, it wouldn’t hold up. And so they walked through the night. Still holding hands, smiling at the people walking by and enjoying the soft glow of every street post. Their old days had become wildly more joyous in the presence of the other.


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The 3 fundamentals of love

  1. Joy, share the joy with your partner, and never forget to ask for a moment of joy. Plan them if you have to and make a habit out of just enjoying things together. Not worrying about anything, because this is how it all started. You fell in love with the other and forgot all your worries. You felt complete and utter joy. So why leave that behind if you can still have that?
  1. Meaning, find meaning for your relationships. Having a relationship isn’t a medal you can wear. If there is no reason for you to have a relationship you shouldn’t. Only if you can see why a relationship can add to your life you will find it and have it for the rest of your life.
  1. Listen, this one is important in every relationship in your life. Listen to the other, listen to your loved one. And never speak when they speak. Listen with your heart wide open and speak with your heart wide open. Do not speak about the wrong they did, but speak about how your heart is feeling. Then if the other is open to listening their heart will feel it too and you will share the pain. Making the load lighter for both of you. And you will see that understanding will grow and a solution will show itself. Listen, there is not one thing more important than this.

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