For the most part, people who enter into loving relationships connect for many different reasons. Passion, connection, fun, mutuality, and excitement may be some of the initial reasons couples connect into loving relationships. Although these qualities are valuable and important, can they keep love ALIVE!?
The long and short to this question is no. How does one define a healthy relationship? What is it? Who said this feature or that quality makes up a healthy relationship?
Some have defined a healthy relationship as:
Treating each other with respect
Feel supported to do things they like
Don’t criticize each other
Allow each other to spend time with friends and family
Listen to each other and compromise
Share some interests such as movies, sports, reading, dancing or music
Aren’t afraid to share their thoughts and feelings
Celebrate each other’s accomplishments and successes
Respect boundaries and do not abuse technology
Trust each other and don’t require their partner to “check in”
Don’t pressure the other to do things that they don’t want to do
Don’t constantly accuse each other of cheating or being unfaithful
Two major components of healthy relationships which include effective communication and setting clearly defined boundaries
Communication allows you and your partner to have a deep understanding of each other. Can you talk openly to your partner? Do you feel heard when expressing your feelings? Do you give your partner the same chance?
Setting boundaries is important and a critical part of a healthy relationship. Relationships are built on two distinct people. Couples require having shared goals and values while at the same time both people require having their individual needs met too. Each partner should be able to express to the other partner what they are and are not comfortable with, especially in the relational domains of their sex life, finances, family and friends, personal space and time.
According to Campbell Education, they define all of the features of a healthy relationship in a great article, Characteristics of a Healthy, Functional Romantic Relationship.
According to Mark Manson, he states healthy relationships require that:
Each person in the relationship accepts responsibility
The willingness of each person to both reject and be rejected by their partner
Many articles seem to include overlapping themes, yet Manson’s definition is quite unique in that it focuses on couples abilities to be able to “safely” reject and be rejected within the relationship. When one is able to have an open and safe relationship where being rejected or rejecting is not viewed from a threatening position, but more from an honest and vulnerable place, healthy relational boundaries are being established. People pleasing, enmeshment, and over identifications all lead to the loss of self in a relationship and for this reason, Manson’s perspective is valuable.
Be well Ian