What defines a successful relationship?

I need answers to this question and I need them now. Often, we look at our relationships and think they are just fine only to realise a couple of years too late that everything was just a mess!
Rachel Garuka
Rachel Garuka

I need answers to this question and I need them now. Often, we look at our relationships and think they are just fine only to realise a couple of years too late that everything was just a mess!

But I have come to realise that the term ‘successful relationship’ is limited to relationships that end in marriage. Relationships are two way streets. You put effort into it expecting your partner to return that effort. When classifying a relationship, you should consider its overall benefit and meaning for you.

It is not a crime to jot down what you think were or are the pros and cons of that relationship. In my estimation, if you spent a considerable amount of time with someone who touched your life for the better in some way, even if it did not end up in marriage, then you should consider it a positive experience.

People come into our lives at different times for different reasons. You may develop a relationship with someone who has an odd set of beliefs and opinions, and that person’s presence may be necessary in order for you to expand your mind and maximise your potential.

A relationship with someone who turns out to be unfaithful should be considered as having affection for another human being who ended up teaching you a valuable lesson about trust, awareness and forgiveness. The key to determining a successful relationship lies in how it impacted your life. Provided you enjoyed yourself for a while and were able to avoid long periods of misery or anguish, then I’d say you can check that off in the win column!

Spend the moments of your life wisely and savour each emotion. So what if you spent years of your life with someone you didn’t get married to? If the memories are cherished’ then that is all you need really. You made a connection and hopefully a friend! You participated in the flow of your life, made the most of the experience, and continued to move forward – isn’t that what life is about in truth?

This is the very reason we have relationships; to feel love and laughter and wonder and sadness, and still be happy if and when it ends. Besides, what guarantee is there that marriage is the epitome of love? People are divorcing each other so often these days that sometimes I’m obliged to feel marriage should be abolished!

It is quite dismal to watch your friend or relative get married, cry your heart out with joy, then be dragged into a nasty divorce settlement only years later! It really beats my understanding how people assume marriage defines success. Sure it is great to want to spend the rest of your life with someone and exchange vows proving it to whoever cares to witness but that can also be done without the ring or a piece of paper.

I’m not saying marriage is fake and therefore should not be practiced. I’m saying I am sick and tired of people making it look like it is the most important thing in the world especially when it is the most corrupted institution!

The true meaning of it simply vanished in thin air and what we are left with is an illusion; a hoax to say the least. This is my humble opinion and I am very much entitled to it. Every relationship has the potential to be great whether it ends in marriage or not. Like one of my favourite quotes says, “Every song comes to an end, is that any reason not to enjoy the music?”

If all you do is fight, you might want to change that or make sure the next relationship doesn’t suffer the same fate. It is not about fights alone, but how well you handle them. What do you do to solve the problem? Do you crawl away and sulk? Do you give the silent treatment? Do you let your pride get in the way and simply feel you don’t want to talk to your partner until they talk to you first?

Style up! Even high school kids act more mature than that. Sit with your partner and learn to communicate without shouting for everyone in Burundi to hear. It’s better to speak one person at a time and not sound like a bad remix of a Guns n Roses song. That is a successful method as opposed to damaging each other’s eardrums and it will lead to a healthier and happier relationship!

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