Married or Single…What’s the One Thing That Will Make a Relationship Work…or Not?



You may have your own word to describe this quality in someone you love or the someone you want to find to share this chapter of your life. My word is humility. A relationship cannot survive and thrive unless both people have this quality.


Humility is a complex word with many definitions that span from “the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people” to a spiritual take, “…a quality of being courteously respectful of others. It is the opposite of aggressiveness, arrogance, boastfulness, and vanity. Rather than, “Me first”, humility allows us to say, “No, you first, my friend.” Humility is the quality that lets us go more than halfway to meet the needs and demands of others.”


The most important quality you can have in a relationship with someone you love is humility. You see, no relationship will ever be without disagreement, conflict and simple differences of opinions and points of view. What does that mean but the ability and willingness to compromise and to communicate, listen, stay open and drop the ego! You’ve heard the saying, “You can either be right or be married”. Even if you don’t marry, and you are just starting a new relationship, it will require that both people have humility.


What does it feel like when someone we care about doesn’t seem to have to ability to see their part in issues that arise? Have you ever been with someone who always seemed to find ways to make the problems all about you? Someone with whom you try to talk about your feelings and he or she cannot or does not hear you? It’s easy to recognize these kinds of people by how crazy you feel most of the time. You can’t always identify just how every disagreement becomes something about you, but never about them because they can weave a web so dense and complex that you feel powerless to get out of it. And the way you know is how you feel when the burden of blame piles up over time.


Without the ability or willingness to have humility and step into our partner’s shoes, someone’s voice disappears. And even if your relationship continues, like the game of “Whack a Mole”, the results will pop up elsewhere. Perhaps sex disappears. Sunday mornings get quiet. Someone gives up and finds what they need elsewhere. There is no Plan B for the lack of humility.


If you are looking for love, first and foremost look for humility. The moment you know it isn’t there, make a beeline back to yourself and take a deep breath before you begin the search again. If you are in a relationship and this sounds familiar, seek some professional help. Life is too short to live without your voice.


Please post this on your social media site so that someone you know can better understand what is making them crazy.

And, if you are in this pattern in your search for love, call me for a Strategy Session to get moving in a different direction.


Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big Red Chair




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