Q: What qualities are needed for a long-term, successful relationship?

A: Before the moaning and groaning begins from those of you who know me well, yes, there will be Princess Bride references in this Q&A. Because, for better or for worse, Buttercup and Westley are the measure of fairytale romance for me – yes, even bigger than Snow White and Prince Charming or Beauty and her Beast – and I see this as a fairytale romance question. Really, what’s the point of marriage or long-term relationships if you don’t still get a little giddy getting ready for a date night now and then, right?

I first fell for Buttercup and Westley in junior high; my English teacher was reading a book while we were diagramming sentences and she was so engrossed I just had to know what she was reading. So I peeked, noted the title and looked it up in the library. Our library had the Good Parts version of the book and later that year the actual movie came out. Yeah, I should have outgrown fairytales by then, but I was hooked – a love that even death couldn’t beat? You’ve got to love that as a pre-teen girl! Plus they were all giddy about one another – there was plenty of hand-holding, a reference or two to breasts/muscles and that kiss at the end.

For me, the qualities needed for a long-term, successful relationship are (in no certain order): a good sense of humor (because sooner or later he’s going to do something that will make you wonder if a butter knife is a good weapon), a healthy dose of adventurous spirit (because he’ll know your stories and you his before long and adventure is the only way to keep new stories coming) and attraction, not just to the physical but to the quieter, inner soul of your mate.

So, those are my qualities…readers, what would you add?

–Kristina Knight, author of What a Texas Girl Wants

3 thoughts on “Q: What qualities are needed for a long-term, successful relationship?

  1. Micah Persell

    I’m with you on the Princess Bride. I make my students watch it every year under the guise of studying Westley as a modern hero who follows Joseph Campbell’s hero quest, but secretly, I just want to hear Westley whisper, “As you wish”!

  2. Tara Mills

    They just had a Princess Bride reunion and theatrical showing this past week – for the 25th anniversary. I saw the before and after pics on Yahoo. I love that movie too.

    I adore how Westley oh so casually scoops up Buttercup whenever there’s going to be a flame spurt on their way through the fire swamp. Talk about swoon. Even as the Dread Pirate Roberts, he’s the consummate gentleman. Works for me.

  3. M.J. Schiller

    Okay, you’re going to shoot me, but I’ve never seen or read Princess Bride. (I’m ducking now as I’m sure you’re hucking something my way!) But, having been married for twenty-four years, I’d say you were right on the money with your qualities. The only thing I’d add is a willingness to sacrifice for the person you love (even if it’s just to sacrifice a little pride by apologizing after an argument). Thanks for getting us thinking today!