Relationships need more than just love to succeed. Fairytales and songs often portray love in a simplistic lens being rooted more in “magic” than hard work and patience. In Jewish traditions a wedding is concluded when a groom steps on a glass wrapped in a napkin. Many theories abound on this significance. One modern version is that glass if cared for and protected will last, but it is also fragile when people are reckless or carless. Relationships are a lot like that glass. Romance will endure when it is nurtured, but will shatter if left neglected. In that foot stomp the groom is showcasing both the durability and fragility of a marriage.
How can you help a marriage or relationship from shattering like a glass? Stop thinking of love in a magical lens, or a force that keeps glass from breaking. Instead, let love embody that glass and be something that you need to care for and protect. The 5C’s are a set of principles to help you nurture your love.
Chemistry: When you are with the right person you just know it. It transcends physical attraction. Something draws you together and to break away, even for a moment, requires tremendous effort. You won’t be able see this bond, but sense the force at play. It’s not something you both can create, but it’s a glue that holds up together. But alone, its not enough to ensure success.
Compatibility: With the right person, you feel like two puzzle pieces coming together with a satisfying click. Again, this is a force beyond your control. But with time you can adapt to prefer, like, dislike, or bend on certain things. Not every facet will be comfortable all them time. But compatibility will help make your time together easier and more enjoyable.
Compromise: When you have moments of tension in your relationship, compromise is the tool to help you resolve the tension. Being willing to compromise means both parties don’t get their ideal solution, but can find a suitable outcome. You each will get some of your expectations, but you are will to give up a few aspects for the health of your partner and the relationship. Sometimes you both can be happy with good enough. The goal for compromise is getting to a point of mutual satisfaction. Although it takes ample time, effort, and communications it worth it whenever compromise is feasible. The important thing is to never force anything, otherwise you risk feelings of resentment.
Cooperation: During disagreements a couple needs cooperation to resolve the tension and make a solution possible. Sometimes that means diving up tasks and other times it means taking a mutual time out. Cooperation is important, especial when compromise is proving difficult. Remember it takes team work to make the dream work.
Capitulation: When cooperation is unreasonable, capitulation is the only way to sustain harmony. Take a deep breath and release your tension. Find your flow and a willingness to be flexible. You both will have your differences and if compromise or cooperation is impossible work to accept that resolution is not possible, but you both will be okay. A vegan will never eat meat, and an alcoholic will always be, at least, hesitant to go into a bar. Don’t go trying to change your partner. You will not wear them down to embrace your mindset. Not every moment will be ideal, but you need to be okay with what you have.
Love, like glass, is durable yet fragile. It’s not a force or result that ensures a successful relationship. Instead, use the 5Cs to nurture and protect the bond you both have with each other.