Something that I have learned with age is that unfortunately the word 'Love' is often greatly misunderstood or simply over used or even sometimes used incorrectly.\nWith this in mind I would like you to think about what you are trying to say when you tell someone you love them. I used to say it all the time, and still do say it a lot to some extent, but now my intentions and its meaning have changed for me and become so much more. I have also learnt that it is so much more important to show someone than simply just say it.\nBefore you get mad at me you must understand that I am total romantic, cry over romantic films, cherish memories and love walking hand in hand. It is just that sometimes we lose sight of what is really important and are consumed by our hormones.\nThink about it sometimes you love someone but don't necessarily trust, respect or even want to be with them and that’s why I feel that there are things so much more important than love in a relationship to make it work.\nRemember that the same people who are candy to our eyes can be poison to our hearts. Study their ingredients before feeding them to your soul.\n1. Trust\nWhat could be more important than trust? If you don't have this you risk being insecure, worried and therefore potentially unhappy. Trust can be something that is worked towards and is definitely strengthened with time. So even though there may be a lack of trust at the beginning it doesn’t mean you have to end it but simply work together to get to the same level.\nAs I reached the final years of my marriage I was battling hard to hold onto the love so much so, I missed the true problem, the loss of the trust.\n2. Mutual Respect\nNow if you are in a relationship you are sure at some point to have had a misunderstanding or dispute. Of course this is perfectly normal but how you deal with it is extremely important. I am sure that you have conversations with friends where you feel that they are being disrespected but blinded by love. Well true love demands respect, whatever happens or misunderstanding you have, be respectful of your partner’s point of view and value them for who they are.\nI have looked back at myself in horror remembering ugly fights where I have both treated and been treated with such disrespect. And never would wish that on anyone, not only as it is hurtful but damaging to your relationship.\n3. Happiness\nWhat could be more important than your happiness and the happiness of the one you love? Of course you can't expect to be happy all the time as yes you will argue and disagree but it is important to keep check and assure you are both happy most of the time. You have to live life to the full and embrace every minute and be happy as you deserve.\nI am very guilty in the past to have not always put my happiness first thinking it was the best thing for the family and loved ones, but in fact was actually blinded of the effect of my unhappiness on the happiness of my partner and those around me.\n4. Communication\nNow you can't expect everyone to be perfect communicators but you need to find good communication in whatever its form. Without this how can anything be clear and trust and respect be implicated. Communication helps set boundaries, express your love verbally, fix problems, express your needs, and even to have good sex.\nFrom my experience no matter the amount of love without communication you won't be able to least long.\n5. Safety\nIf you don't feel safe then you really must move on as nothing can be more important than your security. I know love makes it really hard but what is the point of loving someone if you might not be there to be in love them till there end. And if you are not safe how can you trust, respect and be happy.\nI have experienced arguments out of control but never fortunately been in a situation where I have felt unsafe but already having experienced a horrible fight was enough to damage a relationship so image what constant insecurity can do.\n6. Independence\nThere are couples that live in each other’s pockets and don't get me wrong that mutual harmony can be beautiful. But from my experience maintaining an independence and time for yourself is also extremely important and healthy for a relationship. Even if you have a united front and share of hobbies and passions you shouldn't put aside your personal time or even lose your identity.\nDriven by my emotions I often but myself on the back burner for my relationships and often lost friends, passions and even my identity because of it. It was only when I truly became single and gained maturity that I realized the person and life I left behind. With this new found knowledge I found myself again, regained my identity and now hold onto it whatever my situation. And having done so I see that my relationship retains its magic. Not only does it mean there are always things to share and talk about but it’s a really test of respect and trust.\n7. Values\nYou must absolutely have the same values or at least respect each other’s point of you. If you see this differently it could be a constant source of conflict. It will affect your finances, projects and future plans and if these are not in line how can you move forward.\nIn the past when I haven't necessarily shared the same values as my partner it has caused great financial stress. We budgeted and spent our money differently causing a huge financial burden on the relationship.\n8. Partnership\nThis is extremely important, one shouldn't de dependent on the other but be equals that are equally there for each other. We all have different strengths and may not be able to contribute the same thing but you just need to make sure that whatever your force you are using it to play your part. We are not maids, servants or banks to one and the other but equals in a partnership.\nI was bought up under a old fashion British mentality of women serving on their husband, so this just seemed perfectly normal to me for a large part of my life, but it wasn't till I meet a wise man who believed in equality that I truly understood the power of a good partnership in being truly happy.\nI could go on and on to mention more points and qualities I find more important that love in a relationship but I think here I have outlined the principal points and you understand now what I am talking about. So remember even if you are physically drawn to the other person ask yourself, do you have everything to make it work?