All Articles Tagged "loyalty"
I should probably start by telling you that I’m guilty. I’m guilty of entertaining “friendships” with questionable women who display suspect behavior. Why? I’m not exactly sure, but I believe that part of it is due to my constant efforts to see the best in people. So much so that I tend to overlook behaviors that clearly indicate a person probably doesn’t have my best interest at heart.
I met my first frenemy in elementary school and it took her burning me several times in middle school before I finally woke up and realized that I’d better cut this girl off before she does the unimaginable, and of course, I’d have no one to blame but myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fool. I was always fully aware of her shady behavior, but I was in my early teens and I frequently second guessed myself. I believe that’s the tricky thing about frenemies. They are not fans of the obvious, but instead, they’re crafty masters of subtlety and doctors of deception. A frenemy will almost never do something so blatantly obvious that they leave you walking away determined to never speak to them again. Oh no, that would be too easy. A frenemy would rather strike you soft enough to come across as playful, but hard enough to cause you to want to strike back. They commit shady deeds that are so illusive, they’re almost unidentifiable and often leave you asking yourself, “Did that just happen?” which eventually leads to “Maybe they didn’t mean it that way,” and somehow becomes, in many cases for me, “I’m probably overreacting.” And of course, the cycle continues. As subtle as they may be though, you can almost always count on a frenemy to eventually go overboard and hurt you in an irreversible way. It may come now, it may come later, but I’d bet my last dollar that it will come eventually.
It took me encountering people like this throughout high school and college before it dawned on me that entertaining frenemies was like playing Russian roulette. Dealing with sly and underhanded people may seem harmless while in your teens, but as I got older, I quickly learned that the stakes are higher once you enter adulthood because you have so much more to lose, which brings me to my latest revelation. Several years ago, I formed somewhat of a friendship with a woman who eventually began displaying frenemy-like behavior. It was like a full-time job to show myself as someone welcoming enough to carry on a friendship, but keeping enough distance between us so that she couldn’t burn me. Letting her know enough about me for us to get to know each other, but not enough that she could use any of the information she knows about me to hurt me. I would literally attempt to stay five steps ahead of her just to protect myself from the wrath of the frenemy that I knew would eventually come. Then one day I slowed down and asked myself, “Who the heck has time for this?” Who has time carry on a not-so-sincere friendship with a person you can’t even let your guard down around because you have apprehensions about their loyalty? Either you’re with me or you’re not, right? I mean really, what grown woman has time to play the frenemy game? It’s silly, time consuming and in the end, a snake will always be a snake. In that moment, I made up my mind that my genuine friendship is gift, my time is precious, and neither will be wasted on insincere people.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since entering my twenties, it’s that real women don’t entertain frenemies. There are much better ways to spend your time, and with much better people.
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise.
When it comes to men, women, and friends of said women, situations like this can either go completely fine or horribly awry. On a macro level, it’s a bit difficult to answer this question with a catch-all answer that will satisfy everyone. After all, I don’t know all the women of the world, or their friends, so I can’t really speak on that level. What I can tell you about is my own personal experience, and from a personal/observational standpoint, most of the time a woman has nothing to worry about. But you know who that usually depends on?
A few questions need to be answered to assess the threat level in a woman leaving her boyfriend around her friends, such as: How much has the girlfriend told her friend about her boyfriend? What kind of details has she shared with said friend? Did any of it involve sex? And if it did involve sex, how deep (no pun intended) did those conversations go? What kind of relationship does the girlfriend have with her “friend” and how close are they really? The most important question of all though may likely be, “what type of woman is the girlfriend’s friend?”
Asking these types of questions is a great way to determine whether a woman leaving her friend and her boyfriend in the same room without her presence is a smart move on her part.
A part of me believes this situation is overblown. In reality, when it comes to taste in potential partners where sex or a relationship is at stake, I doubt something happens. Plus, as I’ve seen on countless occasions, both men and women have this ongoing allegiance to their friends that is strong enough to override any potential interest anyway. It’s almost like some mechanism kicks in where people say “nah, you were messing with my homegirl, so I can’t even look at you like that.”
On the other hand, as a man, I can say that some of the reasons why I’ve been with women were by “referral.” And when I say “referral,” I mean their friend talked me up to the point where her friend just had to come see for herself. I’m not sure how much that happens overall, but I do know that it happens and I can understand why women would take precautions against that.
And now, for a story.
I was in a situation once where I was chilling with my girlfriend at the time and a friend of hers came to visit. My girlfriend and I were on the couch and her friend was sitting on the floor (college years with no furniture) in front of us. We were engaged in a conversation about the time I gave my lady a ride while another woman my girlfriend didn’t know was in the car with us.
The girl was a neighbor of mine who asked for a ride home and in the midst of transport my lady called and made the same request. My lady was telling her friend how that didn’t go over well (big surprise there) and how she thought my neighbor liked me. As we’re all laughing her friend says, “well Real, you’re pretty cute. If I didn’t have a boyfriend I’d definitely try to see what’s up with you.”
My lady gave this strange half-smirk. It was an expression I knew well. The kind of expression that said “yeah…that ish isn’t funny.”
I honestly didn’t think anything of it. Afterward though, my girlfriend never left me in the same room with her friend again. Like…not even for a second. I never thought anything was going to happen, but I hadn’t ever been privy to any types of conversations had between them about me. For all I knew, her friend knew all types of “personal information” that would have piqued her interest which led her to say something like that.
But like I said, women know better than men which friends to leave around their boyfriends and which women need to be watched harder than Barack Obama on a leisurely stroll through Central Park at midnight. In the end, there’s no one size fits all option when it comes to whether it’s a good idea to leave your friend and boyfriend in a room alone together, but I certainly don’t believe it to be an overblown reaction if women choose not to. I’m just one man though, so tell me what you think.
Ladies, do you have problems with leaving your man around your friends alone? Do you think there’s a chance either he would make the play or she would? Who would you hold responsible if you left the two of them alone and something went down?
Hit the comment box and let me know how you feel.
For more on RealGoesRight’s opinions on men and women, be sure to check him out with the all-star collective of black men writers over on SingleBlackMale.Org. If you prefer something a bit more direct, feel free to follow him on Twitter at @RealGoesRight and subscribe to his blog at RealGoesRight.Com
When you open the gates of conversation with Denzel Washington, there’s a chance he might say something that’ll make you say, “Well, alright now!”
During a recent trip to London to promote his most recent film, Flight, Denzel spoke with The Guardian about his role and how he got into the business. As they further discussed his character and his relationship with God, the reporter noted that it must be interesting to be a Christian actor (as Denzels says he is) living in a place like Hollywood. That clearly piqued his interest because he told the reporter he was confusing the glitz and glamour ( and bs) of Hollywood with the city of Los Angeles. He continued:
“But actually, even within the industry, I don’t have any actor friends. My friends are old friends. One’s an ex-music guy, the other’s a restaurant owner and the other’s an ex-pro ballplayer.”
That’s not even the good part. Here’s what he had to say about why he doesn’t have any actor friends:
“Because I don’t make friends! Maybe I’m not a butt-kisser, maybe I’m not a schmoozer. I’m not about to go to a party to try to get a job. And then when you have children, the other friends become other parents. We’d coach baseball or basketball. My wife and I were raised right. I don’t want movie-star friends. And being African American, there were no big movie stars to hang out with anyway, not when I was starting out, they were just the third guy from the back! For whatever reason, I never befriended any white actors.”
Listen, when you’re an actor’s actor and can transform yourself into any role given to you, it seems you are able to fully be yourself when you’re not working and everyone will just deal with it. He is not here for the shenanigans that he’s known since the 80s that the entertainment industry brings. He wants no parts of it and it clearly hasn’t bothered any directors because he’s held down a job since about 1983.
But Denzel knows that he’s major…right? I mean, the ladies have been loving him since…maybe A Soldier’s Story? Well, he doesn’t subscribe to the whole celebrity thing either:
“I’m a working actor! What’s a celebrity anyway? Paris Hilton’s a celebrity. I’m just a working actor.”
Indeed. I wonder will his daughter Olivia, who he took as his date to the Golden Globes Awards to seemingly introduce her to the other movers and shakers of the industry, have the same attitude if she reaches a certain level of success.
What do you think of Denzel’s comments?
By Jada Gomez-Lacayo
I’m the proud owner of a 2-year-old cocker spaniel named Lola who lives up to her name’s pop culture references in every sense. I absolutely adore her, and judging from her wagging tail and happy little brown eyes when she sees me, I think she’s pretty crazy about me, too. My bond with my canine got me thinking about the way we view their two legged best friends — you know men– and though we tend to compare men to dogs when they’re at their worst, the truth is when they cheat or throw bands to make strippers dance, they’re not reflecting our four-legged friends at all.
I don’t think the “dirty old dog” connotation is quite as on point as it seems when we scream it after slamming a door, or playing Bey’s “Irreplaceable” as we delete his photos from Facebook. Dogs are busy little buggers, but they’re as loyal as they are mischievous, and their unconditional love is what makes them man’s best friend. Need a refresher on why all men really are dogs? Consider these 10 points:
Like dogs, men are loyal, protective, and a bit wayward
It’s like DMX says in his collabo with Aaliyah, “Every once in awhile I’ll break out the backyard to roam/ and get wreckless/ but I still know that home is home.” Lola loves to be free, but when it’s cold outside or she’s unsure about a bypassing dog who wants to sniff her butt, she clings to my side like a 5-year old clings to their mom on the first day of school. Like their canine brethren, men need to roam. They need to feel like they’re not tied to a post in the yard. If you’re looking for a guy who wants to be around you 24/7, expect some resistance back at the ranch. Just as it’s healthy for you to have a movie night, or a margarita or two, with your girls, it’s just as important for your guy to turn up with his friends every now and them. Let his crew come over for Sunday night football, and let him out so he can go to that Bachelor Party. But make sure you get some extra sweets when he comes through the door.
They Love to cuddle (But only when they want to…)
When Lola was first born and her breeder would send me pictures as she grew, I just knew I was getting a cuddle buddy. I assumed she would always want to curl up in my lap on the couch and watch movies, or sleep next to me in bed while I napped peacefully. From the day she arrived, it was clear that Lola was no one’s lap dog. She loves to give her version of a hug and kiss, and will curl up for some belly rubs, but she is not about that lap dog life. And the same is true for most guys. They love affection. Rub their back, give them kisses, and they are putty in your hands. But you’ve only got a short window for the lovey dovey. They will cuddle with you and hold you, but once that arms gets tired, they’re over it.
They’re absolutely helpless when sick
Most of the time Lola feels like my little sister more than a child like I assumed she’d be, but when she’s sick, she’s as helpless as a 4-year-old. When Lola is sick, I first have to figure out what caused it, and then how to keep her away from whatever caused her to throw up all over my couch in the first place. She’s usually just a mass of sickness, laid out with only enough gumption to resist whatever medicine she needs, unless I mask it in a treat. Although most guys hate to admit they’re even coming down with the sniffles, when the flu hits, they need their mom — or their woman. It’s not the time for “I told you so’s,” it’s time to play nurse. Feed them soup, cuddle up, and soothe them Claire Huxtable style. Just make sure they give you TLC when you’re under the weather.
They need attention
If you’re looking for a companion that needs minimal attention, then you’re probably not in the market for a dog or most men. Once Lola came into my life, I had to make room for her in my schedule. She needs to be walked and fed, needs a sitter when I go on vacation, and needs my attention every day. And to be honest, that’s fair. But if she doesn’t get enough, she’s very vocal about it. The same is true for the man in your life. Take the time out to be with him and only him. Listen and hear him. Find out about his day at work, what’s stressing him, what viral videos made him laugh. Considering they’re not as verbose as we are, they’re not likely to go on and on about coworker drama like your girlfriends might, so give them attention. It’ll mean the world.
They’re persistent and stubborn
Lola is a return to the scene of the crime kind of girl. And she has a thing for curlers. Whenever she visits my family, she goes on a hunt for my mom’s curlers. Once she eyes the bag, she’s on a one-dog mission to chew on some mesh. It drives me nuts, and there’s no stopping her. And sometimes I just want her to sit down. Guys are the definition of stubborn. They don’t ask for directions, they know how to set up the HD TV without any directions, and they’ve got to be right. Just look at their Twitter feeds. No solutions for this one, it’s just the way of the world like the elements Earth, Wind and Fire always say.
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s when American’s love you, you are literally on top of the world. But eff that up, and they will not just kick you when you’re down, they’ll stomp all over you and act as though they never knew your name.
Lance Armstrong is finding that out now as virtually everything that has come to define him in the last 16 years or so is being erased from his legacy following the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to ban him from cycling and strip him of his seven Tour de France titles. Since then, Lance has also been dropped from endorsement by Nike and he has stepped down from his position as chairman of the Livestrong cancer foundation “to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career.” Though those factors alone may make one conclude that the world as he knows it has crumbled before him, it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. He still has one other entity to contend with: the American people.
Despite still being a cancer survivor and his contributions to the awareness of the disease as well as establishing a place online where those affected by cancer can find information, it seems the majority of people feel like Gawker writer Hamilton Nolan, “Take Off Your God Damn Livestrong Bracelets.” Through several expletives, Nolan advises Livestrong supporters to “cut that dirty mother**king bracelet off your wrist and throw it into the trash” now that Armstrong has been disgraced as a “lying cheater.” My question is what does one have to do with the other, while simultaneously thinking, my, how the mighty have fallen.
Armstrong’s situation is not unlike many other fallen American heroes like Tiger Woods, Mike Vick, and Jesse Jackson whom I immediately thought of watching the cyclist’s situation unravel. Because Woods could do no wrong on the green, it was assumed he also could do no wrong off of it, and so he was placed on this idyllic pedestal of perfection and once he made a misstep—albeit a pretty large one—his fame, fortune, and fanbase went the way of the typewriter; bye bye. And so it was with Michael Vick, who is now beginning to see a resurrection in his career, but back in 2007 his last name might as well have been Mike Jones because when someone said his name, Americans were like, “who?” Jesse Jackson suffered a similar fate. Once everyone knew he had a child with his staffer, it didn’t matter what civil rights work he did or what legislation he helped pass. Every career accomplishment was overshadowed by that one critical mistake.
Though I used black men for my examples, Armstrong (and many others who have befallen similar fates) prove this isn’t a racial thing. American’s are fickle in their devotion. I understand from an advertising point of view that endorsing a person whose behavior is not in line with your company values (term used loosely) is not good business, but what is frustrating is the way people turn their backs on these individuals as if they aren’t allowed mistakes. And how an error in one’s personal life comes to overshadow, and in some instances cancel out, their career accomplishments. If Armstrong did in fact use drugs then yes he should be stripped of his titles. But that has nothing to do with his work with cancer. Michael Vick’s dog fighting had nothing to do with his ability on the football field. And yes, Tiger did his ex-wife terribly wrong by sleeping with women all over the country, but what does that have to do with his ability to get a hole in one? Not a darn thing.
The real problem here is the heroism and the god-like qualities we attribute to mere men simply because they can dribble, shoot, pass, putt, catch, or throw a ball (or ride a bike really freaking fast). We give these individuals so much power and put them on such a high pedestal that when they tangentially disappoint us, their place in society, and our minds, is reduced with equal speed and agility and so they fall, almost instantaneously, to the very bottom. For some reason we like to make people perfect, only to tear them down when they prove what we, in some capacity knew all along, they are not. I get feeling cheated, I understand feeling lied to, but why does everyone forget they too are human when they point the finger at someone else’s mistakes. Why do fans and onlookers act as though these people asked to be praised and exalted and proclaimed role models simply because of athletic or political prowess and take these individual’s perfection in one arena as an indicator they are perfect overall.
Part of being a self-proclaimed admirer, fan, etc. of a person is accepting who they are totally. And if you’re only going to appreciate them for one aspect of their person then you shouldn’t shame them when they mess up in other areas. It’s easy to let the negative outweigh the positive in the moment of scandal but at the end of the day if we were all being judged with that same measure that we use on these public figures we’d be at the bottom of the totem pole too. They say you find out who your true friends are when you’re down and I’d extend that same thought to fans. If you completely turn your back on these individuals when they falter then you have no business being there when they rise again.
When it comes to “Love & Hip-Hop” in any city, the usual question we’re asking is why are you still with that man? This time around in Atlanta, the situations of a couple of different couples are bringing into question women’s loyalty and just how much should you — or could you – stand by your man?
Memphitz and Toya aren’t actually members of the LHHATL cast but they’re talked about so much they might as well be. Recently, Toya made her first semi-official statement on K. Michelle’s allegations of abuse against her husband. As expected, some people thought Toya was doing exactly what she should do, defend her man’s name or at least their marriage, which is essentially what she did by shutting down any speculation that he might be abusing her as well. On the other hand, some people sided with K. Michelle’s classic “if you’re going to ride-or-die, know what you’re riding for” statement, and questioned why Toya was speaking on things which she didn’t know of fist-hand.
Truth be told, no matter what Toya says, does, or doesn’t say or do, she’s caught between a rock and a very hard place. When you let someone else speak for you and yours as K. Michelle has been doing all season, you run the risk of letting assumptions cloud your marriage and your reputation because no one ever hears your side. On the flip side, when women are a little too overzealous in their man’s defense, people wonder if you’re riding just a little too hard and being blind to the type of man your husband really is, was, or could be. There’s also the question of why she’s speaking for her husband instead of Memphitz making his own statement on the allegations. We knew he needed more people when his first response to K. Michelle outing him was “I made you,” but I’m not so sure having his wife do his PR was the best move.
On the other end of the LHHATL spectrum are Kirk and Rasheeda. In this case, Kirk is the ride-or-die partner so to speak. He’s been trying to make the boss b****’s career happen for somewhere around 14 years I believe, but from all views, particularly his wife’s and her possible new management, it ain’t happenin’ and he’s the reason. I think it’s perfectly fine for Rasheeda to seek new management if she thinks her husband can’t take her career where she wants it to go (although a little FYI before she actually met with someone would have helped); however it’s the emasculation along the way that’s a bit of a problem in my eyes. When it comes to the couple’s interactions, Rasheeda is quick to want to separate business from personal, but as a husband, Kirk can’t help but feel personally attacked about any perceived short comings when it comes to his business sense. It’s just not that easy to take off the business cap and switch on the one of the spouse, particularly when you’re the one on the receiving end of non-stop criticism for failing to live up to your wife’s expectations as an artist.
But that’s not even the worst of Rasheeda’s offenses. She doesn’t just emasculate Kirk herself, she let her possible new manager Debra Atney disrespect and berate him as well, as we saw on this week’s episode. I understand wanting to take your career to new heights but you don’t have to knock your husband down a peg to get there. It’s fine not to stand by her man as her manager but she needed to stand up for him as a man and not allow another woman to talk down to him. Don’t ask me where his cojones were that day either, but perhaps they’d already been cut off by Rasheeda on the way to the meeting.
We’re all on the outside looking in on these relationships but there’s been some pretty sketchy behavior going on lately that calls into question women’s loyalty and just how much they have or should have their man’s backs. There’s a time and a place for riding and dying and I’m not sure both of hese ladies have figured those situations out yet. What do you think?
How would you handle the K. Michelle situation if you were Toya? Do you think Rasheeda defends and appreciates Kirk enough?
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It’s no secret Oprah is considered to not have much interest in helping the African American community excel, building a media empire largely based on content that appeals to white suburban mothers. But when a Twitter follower tried to call her out on that yesterday evening, the queen of daytime talk was not having it. Here’s how the convo went:
@awalkdatalk didn’t back down after Oprah flipped the script on him. He charged back, saying ”@Oprah but its millions of us n everybody isnt classified as african americans. Notice I said ghettos,” and then went on to send a slew of tweets about all he thinks the media mogul isn’t doing for the less fortunate.
All that money, create sum jobs rignt here home in America b4 u spread da wealth with others.
Still waiting for an answer not statements this isnt a campaign ad commercial.
Still not one person in America can name one hood, public housing, block, ghetto.
Its not just her its everybody “in position”
As the tweets show, Oprah had nothing else to say after she spoke on sending black men to college. I imagine @awalkdatalk, like a lot of black America, is still waiting on a response or action—and probably will be for a good while.
What do you think about this follower questioning Oprah and the response she gave?
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I’m tired. No. I’m exhausted, really. Between the tears and late night phone calls, I have somehow absorbed my friend’s issue as my own and it’s now taking a toll on me. I feel her anxiety as if it were mine; the uncertainty of what’s to come; and the overbearing sensation that this dark period will never be over. I dread when the phone rings and I realize it’s her. I choose not to pick it up just so I won’t have to delve back into that abyss with her. And yet, I also want to pick up the phone and just say straightforwardly, “Girl, listen, I’m tired!”
I think at some point in our lives, we have all experienced this issue with our close girlfriends. We try hard to live by that code of sisterhood: honesty, loyalty, and unwavering support. But in that unwavering support, we can take on too much and find ourselves overwhelmed and burdened with our friends’ issues. How do we maintain that fine balance? How do we construct boundaries that allow us to maintain healthy relationships with our girlfriends as we maintain ones with ourselves? I believe that there are three major steps that a good girlfriend must take and maintain to achieve these goals.
The first thing you should always keep in mind is that, your friend’s issue is not your issue. I know, I know. You’ve been besties since kindergarten. In the third grade, you guys became blood sisters. She was your roommate in college for all four years. I understand how our ties can make us feel more bonded and permanently entwined to one another, but at the end of the day she is still her own individual person. Know that there is only so much you can do to help her out when life comes calling with those painful knocks. You can be her shoulder to cry on, be her rock to lean on (for a while), but at the end of the day, this is her experience and her lesson that she needs to learn – not yours.
You should also remember that sometimes it’s best to not offer advice and just listen, while other times it’s very necessary (even if you’re pretending). One of the first things we do when a friend is in crisis is offer advice – whether they have asked for it or not. And there is nothing wrong with offering advice, but it can lead you down a slippery slope. Before you suggest ideas to your friend, listen to her account completely. Don’t cut off or dismiss her story. Not getting the full dish of what is going on can lead you to offer solutions that she may have tried before or might find insensitive, unrealistic, or feel that the suggestions don’t pertain to the obstacles at hand. Also, you have to be prepared for the case in which your friend does not consider your advice at all. People tend to learn from their own trials and errors, therefore your words of wisdom may go through one ear and come out the other. I’ve learned that it is best to cease with the well-meaning counsel if it has been offered more than once and been ignored. Remember, your girlfriend doesn’t have to take your advice and you definitely are not required to provide it.
Lastly, you need to be aware of how much you can take and communicate that to your friend. Let her know that every time you talk to her you don’t want to hear a story that starts with, “GIRL, let me tell you what happened!” If you find that her 3 a.m. phone calls filled with panic are wearing you down, let her know. There is a fine line in being a rock of support in times of need and being a spine. It is your job to be there to comfort, not to hold her up completely. At the end of the day, you can’t be a good friend to anyone if you are not a good friend to yourself. Remember to not over-extend yourself to her to the point where you are experiencing the same symptoms she is or find yourself face to face with her drama. If you find yourself balancing off the tip of a cliff with her, it is definitely okay to let her know the following: “Hey, I can’t do this with you. I’ve come too far. I love you, but this is not my fight. I can support you when you need it, but I can’t sacrifice my wellness to do so.” Of course, these words will most likely not be the words your friend wants to hear, but at the end of the day honesty is one of the principles that keeps sisterhood afloat.
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Some women have dreamed of being married since the age of baby dolls and pigtails, so once they begin dating, every guy becomes a potential Prince Charming. As romantic as the notion of marriage may be, most people don’t stop to think if they are actually “marriage material.” Many think that simply because you fall in love and date for a year or two, marriage is the natural next step – but it’s not for everyone. If you DO decide that marriage is in your future, make sure you’re honest with yourself about what you bring to the table. After all, you can’t attract a man who possesses the traits of a good husband if you don’t display those traits yourself (and of course the same applies to men). If you’re unsure, these signs may indicate that you may not make a good wife – and have some work to do on yourself before you walk the aisle.
Love – that all-encompassing, magnetic, passion filled word. So many of us believe that love will conquer all, that love is all you need to make your relationship last. I’m a romantic at heart, so I don’t want to diminish the power that love definitely has in our lives. But when it comes to long-lasting relationships and going the distance, is love REALLY enough? Falling in love can be easy, but staying in love requires more than a blissful, fleeting feeling. Love is mysterious, a yearning of the soul – but to have a truly successful relationship that lasts forever, you will need love as a foundation, but realistically…you need these things as well: