Relationships are like businesses. In order to thrive, they require consistent effort and a never-ending willingness to succeed. But that's not all they need. There's one other key ingredient that must be given to relationships, and that is respect.
The biggest thing I've learned while being in a committed relationship is that it takes hard work, grit, sweat, tears, compromise, and respect.
They're not easy. They don't just "happen" like I previously thought. People might meet out of chance. The seed of a relationship might sprout organically, but in order for that seed to turn into a thriving plant, and to stay thriving for years, it's takes bloody hard work.
This has been the biggest eye opener for me.
This is why it's of utmost importance to give great respect to that work.
Whether it's respecting the relationship that you and your partner have built, or the relationship of your friends, or that of a random stranger, please, for the love of God, respect that relationship.
All throughout high school and college, I commonly heard my male contemporaries utter remarks that at the time seemed normal, but today, I find quite offensive.
"Just because there's a goalie doesn't mean you can't score," meaning, just because a girl has a boyfriend, it doesn't mean you can't win her over.
This is just one of many things that young boys and men grow up uttering around each other, resulting in a false sense of power over women, and complete and utter lack of respect for the special union that is a relationship.
When people are single, by all means, court them while respecting them fully as a person. But when they're in a relationship, respect that person, and the relationship they've built, by not courting them. That goes for people in a relationship as well. Why would you disrespect what you've built by going off with someone else?
When you're on the other side, you sure as hell won't want anyone trying to break your sacred union. How would you feel if you spent years building a business, and then a con artist stole all your money? How about if you spent years building a house, and then some thug came by and burnt it down in a single night?
Like business or houses, great relationships command an immense amount of consistent work and desire to succeed.
But they also require great respect.
Please don't forget that.
Live with substance!