Relationship 201: What Constitutes a True Partnership?

Most of us long to be in a happy and healthy relationship. Songs are created about finding and sustaining love. In addition; a day has been dedicated to couples celebrating romance and love.  Dating is fun.  Falling in love, while scary, is also fun.  The “honeymoon phase” of a relationship is fun and blissful.  On the other side of this fun are challenges.  All relationships experience the normal ups and downs and ebbs and flows.  Through my observations, experiences and interviewing; I have learned that being a good partner sustains a relationship.

While there are many components to being a good partner, I have highlighted four that I find to be most impactful:

Give 100%: I often hear people say “a relationship is 50-50.” 50-50 equates to each person giving half the effort.  Can a relationship be successful with each person only giving 50% of their efforts?  Is the person you claim to love worth half of your efforts?  True partnership is giving your all with no reservations.

Selflessness: The ability to place your partner’s needs before your own.  You replace the “I” for the “we.”  When making decisions you are factoring how your decisions will impact your significant other. It is not just about you, it’s about team US.

Don’t hold grudges: Disagreements and even arguments will occur in relationships.  Use the disagreements as an opportunity to gain a better understanding of your partner.  Continue to communicate about the disagreement with each other.  Forgive and move on.  Holding grudges with your partner weakens the relationship.

You play for the same team: When your teammate is having a bad day, offer support, encouragement or give him/her the space needed to recuperate.  A good partner does not down talk their mate to others.  A good partner speaks life and has the uncomfortable, but necessary conversations with their mate.

When you’re in a true partnership you learn and grow together. As my husband says, “you become two halves of one whole genius.”

Now it’s time to hear from you! What makes you a good partner? What do you think it takes to sustain a relationship?


Sharise Hemby-Nance is a licensed therapist and award winning author with 15 years of experience in individual and couples counseling.   For more information or assistance with relationship building or couples packages please contact me at or visit




6 thoughts on “Relationship 201: What Constitutes a True Partnership?

  1. I love that you started off dispelling a myth. I learned a long time ago that 50/50 does not work. It has to be 100/100%, meaning each one of us takes 100% responsibility for the relationship. Keeping in mind your other points and a relationship can sustain the normal ups & downs. The other thing I’d add is when you disagree it is not a signal to break up.May just be a breakdown.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. debhnelson says:

    Mr. Nance is one lucky guy!! These are all excellent points, Sharise. Giving 50% just doesn’t cut it. AND – disagreements are a great time to underscore how much you value your partner – listen to his side of things and acknowledge that love is still strong even when you don’t agree on an issue. One of the things that works for my husband and me is your final point – we’re on the same team, and sometimes one of us is feeling overwhelmed. What a gift when my husband takes over a few tasks and I can focus on the issue I’m dealing with.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Being that you are newly married, I love that you have such a clear perspective on relationships, Sharise. Although I haven’t been in one for a long time, I do know that open communication is a place to start. Without the ability to listen to the other and to show understanding and compassion for their humanity, I don’t see how a relationship can actually last. We are seeing this all too often in the world today too, as more than 50% of marriages end in divorce. I think it is too easy for people to walk away from relationships. Being “all in”, means being 100% there all the time and having each others back as you mention.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 50/50, sheesh. You are absolutely right on that train of thought. Also, a friend of mine gave me a really awesome piece of gold: it is totally unfair to be angry at your partner if you haven’t told him why you are angry and give him a chance to fix things.

    Liked by 1 person

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