What it Really Means to be in a Relationship

It is not enough to want to fall in love and genuinely think you are deserving of love if you truly don't know what it means to be in a relationship.


Relationships can be daunting for those who do not have an idea of what it is all about, what is expected of them and how to really sustain the relationship they have. If humans were designed to be alone and genuinely happy without longing for a partner or companion, perhaps the world’s population would be cut down by over half of its present size. Interestingly, being wired to love and want to be loved have been fashioned into a basic necessity since we are evolved ‘animals’ capable of what ‘lesser animals’ are incapable of.

Despite this basic necessity, humans sometimes find sadness in relationships rather than happiness, which is the ultimate of any relationship. This unsavoury result often lead many into a life-long search of the ‘ultimate relationship’, forgetting that relationships really mean something other than their own happiness alone.

For some, the idea of a relationship is just for ‘vibes’ or live for the moment since we only live once. Below is what it really means to be in a relationship:

1. Love

It is no surprise that being in a relationship means being in love. Contrary to certain definitions that love is a “feeling”, the idea of love in relationships implies that of total acceptance and regard. Acceptance and regards are not tied to feelings which is fickle and often misplaced. When you are in a relationship with someone, it means you accept them for who they are, regardless of their flaws. Therefore, cherish the amazing qualities they have, embrace their weaknesses and be the source of influence for them to be better than they were.

2. Being Yourself

A true relationship anywhere in the world is one that allows you to be your own self rather than the person your partner wants you to be. The foundation of most relationships in modern times has been destroyed before the relationship begins proper and this is so because those involved often start by being on the back foot, constantly struggling to impress the other person. This ends up being chaotic and often lead to loss of oneself and identity. That you are in a relationship does not mean you have to stop being you and lose yourself in the long run just because the other person wants you to become another person. Being in a relationship means being you.

3. Being a Friend

We discussed earlier in our post on the definition and types of relationships that the word means “connection” and a major way to connect with others is by being true friends; share secrets, talk freely and listen well to each other. Oftentimes, the lack of friendship in relationships is what propels people to seek confidants and ‘best friends’ outside of their relationship. An implication of this is that the relationship no matter involves two people but a third person who make decisions by proxy. A friendless relationship is doomed to fail.

4. Patience

Relationships are a product of imperfect people coming together to enjoy companionship while acknowledging that there is no perfect human. Thus, being in a relationship means being patient with the other person’s shortcomings and in some cases, excesses. Rather than pick up daily fights and arguments over what you think the other person should know or shouldn’t, exercise patience with them and help them in areas they fall short. DO NOT say they are grown and matured enough to handle their flaws. Help them walk the walk and take the journey together.

5. Share

As with everything in life, relationships also require giving and receiving. You don’t just walk into a bank or to an ATM to withdraw the money you never deposited or received. Interestingly, there is this special happiness that comes with withdrawing money from either of these channels. The same applies to relationships. Sharing in relationships might involve but not be limited to time, money, ideas, mental and emotional support, mentoring (yes, you heard it on RelationStay!), etc.

Sharing and receiving make almost every relationship easier. If you are the type who is stingy or have nothing to share, perhaps it is best you stay away from romantic relationships because eventually, you might successfully paint yourself as a leech.

6. Value

What makes of think or consider certain people special in our lives? Could it be their beauty or just because we “love” them? No! Love is an aspect of the whole thing but values is what makes us consider people as special. When we consider people to be valuable to us, they automatically hold a special place in our hearts while those with little or no value are, well…kicked to the curb. Don’t wait till you are asked what you bring to the table, get right down and let your partner see that you are more than what he or she considers you to be. Make them see that you are not just ‘vibes and cruise’.

7. Strength & Support

There will be days when you will feel blue. Days like that are a perfect time you will probably enjoy one unique benefit of being in a relationship; enjoy the strength and support of your partner. It is beautiful when someone is always there by the side to cheer you on, motivate you, be your source of inspiration and your source of strength

A perfect way to make yourself valuable in a relationship is by being the other person’s source of strength and support. Oftentimes, people in relationships cheat on their partners unconsciously but gradually by finding strength and support with some other persons outside their relationship. Since relationships involve sharing and receiving, we must learn to do it selflessly without thinking whether or not we will be paid back someday. Being the other person’s source of strength and support is as working together & living as a team.

8. Being the Best Version of You

Being in a relationship should not only make you be yourself but the best version of you! It means your partner not only accepts your flaws and embrace who you are but also inspires you to be the best version of yourself. A sizeable number of successful people around the world owe their successes to their other person who inspired them into becoming who they turned out to be.

9. Being an Individual

Individual identity is important in relationships, whether we like it or not. And that you are in one does not mean you must lose complete sense of who you are. It is okay to have some “me time” in a relationship and introspect on your person, priorities and life goals. This often allows people to have some ideas other than their partner’s rather than be the “yes man” kind of person. The many diversities, views and perspectives we hold of life is one beautiful reason why life itself is interesting.

10. Freedom

A relationship that does not allow for freedom and faith is not worthy of being called one. True relationships value the expressions of people involved in them. A nagging attitude with well-blended scepticism will ruin any relationship. You should always have the freedom to follow your own heart, make decisions and choices that will affect you. And since freedom can be abused, particularly in relationships, it is important to have it at the back of your mind that being in a relationship means you must be able to strike a balance between freedom and bondage. You are answerable to someone.

11. Trust

Being in a relationship means you trust your partner or that you have agreed to trust them. Give them the benefit of doubt and accord them the freedom they want. Trust is an essential ingredient of any true friendship and if you consider your partner as a friend, then you must trust them, regardless of your previous life experiences.

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