By BARTON GOLDSMITH
Scripps Howard News Service
November 24, 2005
1. Life. Life is a gift, and life with love is heaven on Earth. To be able to share whatever you have with those closest to you is one of the best feelings any human being could ever experience.
2. Laughter. Being with someone who makes you laugh every day is healing, enriching and just downright fun. It is also one of the signs of a healthy relationship.
3. Trust. To be at peace, partners must trust each other. Knowing your partner is there for you and will remain faithful on all levels takes a lot of the stress of daily living away.
4. Tears. To be able to cry on your loved one's shoulder if you need to is one of the treasures in a good relationship. For a man, to be able to let his guard down and release the pain is nurturing and emotionally healthy. For a woman, having someone who will listen and hold her helps her feel safe and secure.
5. Sharing. Dealing with the ups and downs of life and love will bond you as a couple and make things easier. Life is sweeter when you share it, so don't hold back.
6. Serenity. Tranquility is one of the most underrated experiences in life.
7. Happiness. Feeling like Snoopy at suppertime or grinning from ear to ear because the right person loves you is a rare and beautiful gift.
8. Health. If you have ever dealt with a serious or chronic illness, you know how important your health is. Knowing you are with someone who will care for you if you ever have a physical crisis gives you a powerful sense of well-being.
9. Faith. Believing that there is a higher power you can turn to, when things become too difficult for you to deal with on your own, is a blessing. We all have our doubts about this from time to time, and most seem to return to the idea that something much more powerful than we are has had a hand in making this all happen.
10. Friendship. Being with your best friend is one of the most romantic things I can think of. As the years pass, having someone who understands you is far more important than money, looks or sex. Friendship in a relationship is a winning combination.