As a relationship miracle worker, keynote speaker and author I have learned over the years that certain ingredients are needed to achieve relationship success and it’s my goal to help as many people as I can.

This particular topic is The Four Must-Haves in a relationship.

I know that there are all different kinds of relationships, but in this article, I am thinking about romantic relationships, where you have a “huggable” interest in someone.

If you would rather watch or listen about this topic, CLICK HERE.


Clearly one of the things that you would want to have is love. Sometimes, when you’re first starting out, and you are new to relationships or you’ve not had a successful one, you may not know what love is.

I’ll tell you a little story about worrying if it’s true love or not. I’ve been successfully married for over 50 years to my husband. He had been married before for seven years and single for seven years prior to us meeting. Hence, I have two wonderful stepchildren and three grandkids.  

When we were dating, he said to me, “I don’t know; I’m worried. I don’t know if we can have a full-on relationship.”   

Keep in mind, he’s entitled to feel worried and to experience these feelings. It’s my responsibility to enforce my limits and boundaries. I said, ”Listen, we either get married or we don’t. It’s your choice, but if we don’t get married, that’s it, goodbye.”

He said that he didn’t want to say goodbye, which was good. He continued, “Okay I’ll marry you but you’re on probation for the first seven years.”

I was not a declared relationship expert at the time, and I was thinking, ‘I’m on probation, hmmm’. I decided to go with his actions more than his words.  He’s going to put me on probation, but he’ll marry me. I interpreted that as ‘marry’ is what his heart wanted. Probation is how he was working through his fear of failing again in marriage.

So, I said, “Fine, let’s get married” and that would be our joke for the next seven years. We didn’t celebrate when the seven years was up, but he did acknowledge that I was no longer on probation. So, I understand when you’re just not sure, but you have a sense of feeling that you love this person.


Something that you need to have even before the love, is respect. I think that’s very important. Pay attention to how somebody treats you and how YOU treat somebody else.

This applies for both men and women, if we’re not confident enough in ourselves and somebody loves us, we won’t value them or their love. Our insecurities will tell us that they can’t be such a big deal, because if they were, they wouldn’t love us. That’s how little we think of ourselves at times. Where is our respect for ourselves? Most of the time we’re not even aware that we are thinking this. If we don’t respect ourselves, we certainly don’t respect someone who loves us. So, pay attention to your relationships in case that’s what’s going on.

If that IS what’s going on, this is the time to step back and make a list of your skills and attributes. It’s easier to see your shortcomings than the wonderful gifts that you have to give to someone.

So, when you’re having those nagging thoughts: I’m awful at this and I’m awful at that, I’m just not lovable. STOP. Get back to what you excel at. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be human.

In order to love someone else – you have to first love yourself.

Loving yourself and your imperfections is stating that I can love somebody that’s also imperfect. Human beings are not perfect, none of us are. Please remember that you don’t have to be perfect to be deserving and to be lovable. Respect yourself because you are worthy of respect. If you have that respect for yourself, then you’re able to give it away to someone else.


Everyone may be deserving of respect, but only a few are worthy of your time and commitment.

Not everyone will be deserving of your time. If they don’t treat you well, then don’t honor them with your time. Stop being available and keep your boundaries. If they are worthy of your time, then there is some exchange of commitment. It doesn’t have to be a lifelong commitment. There are no specific rules except that sense that you both share the commitment and it’s been communicated. It’s a give and take that both of you are willing to make the time and effort to build this relationship. Have the conversation, never assume which is why communication is the key.


Communication is especially important and not just important in romantic relationships but in all relationships. One of the most important parts of communication that is often overlooked is listening. I don’t mean listening while waiting to respond but truly listening to the other person with calm intent of feeling their words. In that moment is where you learn what the other person is trying to say.

Great communication works both ways, take the lead in your relationship and show your partner how to listen and effectively communicate so they can match your patterns. Be attentive and also be expressive. You can communicate with just body language, a hug or even laughter.

Effective communication is the glue that holds relationships together. Without it, everything falls apart.

To recap, the 4 Must Haves in a relationship are: ‘Respect, Love, Commitment, and Communication’.


I want to remind you that no one is perfect, but there IS a perfect partner out there just for you! If you have respect, love, commitment, and communication then you have a fighting chance of having a successful relationship!