I'm not even sure how this discussion started, but the other day, I was talking to a security guard. We were chit-chatting, he started talking about his family, and he gave me this nugget about relationships: "It's all about communication, compromise, and spending time [together]."
I thought this was a nice, concise way to sum up what a relationship is all about. Clear communication is key to a healthy relationship. You need to be able to tell your partner what you're thinking about, how you're feeling, what you need from him/her, etc. Some people are naturally good communicators, others need to work at it, and a couple are simply hopeless. So choose wisely, but also keep in mind that communication skills can definitely be taught/learned! Compromise is an obvious one. A relationship involves two people, and in most cases, the two aren't always going to want the same things at the same time (this can be as menial as what kind of take-out to get to something more important like if/when to buy a house). In the smaller cases, just let your partner get what he/she wants. I know I'm used to having my way, but I've learned that insisting on which movie to watch one night is silly; only put your foot down if it's something really meaningful that's going to have a large impact on you yourself or your relationship as a whole. Spending time together is the fun one. If you're with someone, of course you should enjoy his/her company! In today's busy society it can be difficult to see your special someone all the time, so you have to make sure you dedicate time every week to being with that person. And vary what you do together! When you get to the point that all you do together is watching movies and have sex (and maybe not even the latter), you know the relationship is growing stale. So mix it up! Try different restaurants, take a day trip somewhere new, explore a new activity (might I recommend blues dancing?)...anything to keep things fresh and entertaining!
You never know where good advice is going to come from. So keep your ears open!