All relationships require work. They don't just materialize and maintain themselves, and they aren't built on a foundation of convenience either. They take time and patience. And when two people are willing to put in the time and energy, the reward is much greater than the effort. A strong relationship is life changing and brings joy, fulfillment and a richer way of life.

There's nothing more vital to the bond you share with others than simply being there for them. Neglecting your relationships is far more damaging than malicious abuse. When we pay attention to each other, we breathe new life into each other. With frequent attention and affection our relationships flourish and we, as individuals, grow stronger.

We help heal each other's wounds and support each other's strengths. So stay in close touch with those who matter to you. Communicate openly on a regular basis. Not because it's convenient, but because these people are worth the extra effort.

When your intentions are good and your cause is just, honesty will always help you. When your heart comes from love and truth, your lips will not utter lies that haunt you. When people are honest with each other up front, the truth may hurt sooner, but the suffering always dies faster, and out of this suffering comes growth. Be honest about what's right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want out of your relationship and how you want to be treated.

Relationships are meant to bring out the best in you. They should never be malicious. Lying, cheating and twisting reality are extremely hurtful to your partner's emotions. You should never mess with someone's feelings just because you're unsure of your own. If you are unsure in any way, be sure to say so. Be honest with every aspect of your relationships, always!

There is nothing more sacred and special than your loyalty. Being loyal allows you to connect with your partner on a deeper level and strengthens your love and commitment. When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option, but a priority. Loyalty means the world.

Trust is the glue that holds every relationship together. The only way to build trust, or find out if someone is trustworthy, is to trust them. When you do, without a doubt, you'll automatically get one of two results: A friend for life or a lesson for life. Either way, the outcome is positive.

Always stand by those you care about in their darkest moments, not because you want to stand in the dark, but because you don't want them to either. Brave the shadows alongside them until they're able to find the light. Then you will be able to stand by these same people on their sunniest days, and you will both shine bright.

There's no such thing as a perfect relationship. Even if it seems perfect now, it won't always be. Imperfection, however, is real and beautiful. The quality of the happiness between two people grows in direct proportion to their acceptance, and in inverse proportion to their intolerance and expectations. They must appreciate their similarities and respect their differences.

Forgiveness is one of the greatest virtues to which you should always seek. The willingness to admit that we are all human, and to forgive sincerely, is a sign of your emotional strength and maturity. It sets you free from the shackles of the past so you can take the future in stride, regardless of whether you choose to bring certain people along for the ride.

If you think about the people who have had the greatest positive effect on your life and who truly made a difference, you will likely realize that they aren't the ones that tried to give you all the answers or solve all your problems. They're the ones who sat silently with you when you needed a moment to think, who lent you a shoulder when you needed to cry, and who tolerated not having all the answers, but stood beside you anyway. Be this person for the people you care about. You can't promise to be there for someone for the rest of their life, but you can sincerely be there for them for the rest of yours.

The most important trip you will ever take in life is meeting others half way. You will achieve far more by working with people, rather than working alone or against them. Healthy relationships are all about teamwork.

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