What is a Healthy Relationship?
Written by HealthyPlace.com Staff Writer Nov 05, 2008
Find out what constitutes a healthy relationship and the things you need to keep a relationship healthy.
There are reliable tools that can be used to create a healthy relationship, many of which have not been taught in our culture. If you want to have a really healthy relationship, follow these simple guidelines.
1. Do not expect anyone to be responsible for your happiness. Accept yourself. Respect yourself. Love yourself first. Take good care of yourself. If you really want, you CAN always find something to do that makes you feel good about yourself right now. Love yourself, so pursue your true needs. Light up your true desires. Ask yourself why you didn't? Too often relationships fail because someone is unhappy and blames their partner for making them that way. Your life is ONLY under your control. Keep reminding yourself you are GOOD ENOUGH to have a happy life and a healthy relationship. Make yourself happy, and then share with one another.
2. Make and keep clear agreements. Respect the difference between yourself and your partner. Don't expect he or she agrees with you on everything. Reach mutual agreement or plan, and then commit to it. Leave the partner if you can't reach any agreement or you find he or she always makes excuses for breaking the agreement or plan. If you say you're going to meet your partner for lunch at noon, be on time, or call if you're going to be late. If you agree to have a monogamous relationship, keep that agreement and/or tell the truth about any feelings you're having about someone else before you act on them. Keeping agreements shows respect for yourself and your partner, as well as creating a sense of trust and safety.
3. Use communication to establish a common ground to understand different points of view and to create a mutual, collaborative agreement or plan. You can either choose to be right, or you can have a successful relationship. You can't always have both. Most people argue to be "right" about something. They say. "If you loved me, you would..." and argue to hear the other say, "Okay, you're right." If you are generally more interested in being right, this approach will not create a healthy relationship. Having a healthy relationship means that you have your experience, and your partner has his or her experience, and you learn to love and share and learn from those experiences. If you can't reach any mutual agreement, that doesn't mean either of you is wrong or bad, it only means you don't suit each other.
4. Approach your relationship as a learning experience. Each one has important information for you to learn. For example, do you often feel 'bossed' around in your relationship, or do you feel powerless? When a relationship is not working, there is usually a familiar way that we feel while in it. We are attracted to the partner with whom we can learn the most, and sometimes the lesson is to let go of a relationship that no longer serves us. A truly healthy relationship will consist of both partners who are interested in learning and expanding a relationship so that it continues to improve.
5. Tell the unarguable truth. Be truthful to yourself and your partner if you want true love. Many people are taught to lie to protect someone's feelings, either their own or those of their partner. Lies create disconnection between you and your relationship, even if your partner never finds out about it. The unarguable truth is about your true feelings; your partner can argue about anything that happens outside of you, but he or she cannot rationally deny your feelings. Here are some examples: "I felt scared when I saw you talking to him at the party," "I feel angry when you hang up on me," and "I felt sad when you walked out during our fight and didn't want to be around me.
6. Do not do anything for your partner if it comes with an expectation of reciprocation. The things you do for your partner must always be done because you chose to do them and you wanted to do them. Do not hold your