In recent times, it is common to see people on social media chanting “Relationship goals.”

Did the couple plan to crash the relationship? No, but things do happen. It has become so easy to measure the success of a relation by comparing it with another as a yardstick.

What does a successful relationship even look like? We may have all wondered these questions at some point in our life.

Often, my clients and I use words such as healthy or successful when describing goals within their treatment. Many of my clients initially start their process by describing their conflicts and frustrations. It’s not uncommon to hear, “The way we argue is unhealthy. We desperately need help communicating so we can have a successful relationship.”

A common misconception is learning to communicate more effectively will fix your relational issues. Although my counselling style teaches better communication and listening skills, it is not the only component to creating a successful relationship. Although communication is a key factor in enhancing understanding and facilitating connection within the relationship, it is in my opinion, that communication itself can’t sustain a successful relationship or deepen the connection and intimacy entirely.

So… then, what the heck is a successful relationship and what’s the effective recipe to get there?

A successful relationship does not have a finish line and it’s more about a deep sense of security rather than a distinguishable accomplishment. It challenges our traditional definitions of “success,” and it begins when two people know and understand themselves (or are consistently open to trying to). The evolution of creating a successful relationship happens when two people push their own boundaries to jeopardize their emotional safety with each other.

It happens when both partners really understand themselves to the core of their emotions, needs, behaviours and insecurities. That’s my definition of a successful relationship.

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