• What is a Healthy Relationship?

    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
    This article was originally published in forum thread: What is a Healthy Relationship? started by OhManINeedCoffee View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. ironman's Avatar
      ironman -
      great post! for sure its a helpfull guideline
    1. suzie q's Avatar
      suzie q -
      love this! because i pretty much love all of your posts. steven and i are having a particularly difficult time with communication. that has always been our weak spot; we've had some major break throughs, but we've got a ways to go. today i really needed some encouragement and i always come back to LL to find it. you guys rule.
    1. OhManINeedCoffee's Avatar
      OhManINeedCoffee -
      Aww, glad we could give you a boost, Suzie! I thought this article was really helpful when I found it, especially #4. I approached the end of my relationship as a learning experience, but approaching my new relationship the same way has really been beneficial to me personally. Maybe it's because I'm a total nerd and I like...learning...and stuff...in general...

      #7 can be difficult for me because I have a history of being reluctant to let things go. I don't like it any more than anyone else does, and these days, I've been getting into the habit of asking myself certain questions to keep myself from getting in that rut:

      • Is this still going to be a problem next week/month/year?
      • Is this even still going to be a problem tomorrow?
      • Is this somehow going to upset the entire balance of the relationship in any way?


      If the answer to these questions is a huge, resounding "NO," I'll then ask myself another question:

      • Then what's the point of hanging onto this?


      It's been a big help.

      I hope you and Steven get things figured out. As you know, we're always here for you when you need us!

      P.S. That little boy of yours is a total cutie.
    1. suzie q's Avatar
      suzie q -
      i have definitely learned so much from you all here, which has helped our situation and miscommunications stay at a tolerable level instead of blowing up into something crazy. we are currently trying to find a balance in what we believe the role of a mother is and the role of a father. he has very traditional...no, ANCIENT...rules on caring for a baby. i have a lot of old fashioned ideals in me also, but i want/need his help and i hate that it takes me being physically, mentally, and emotionall exhausted for him to step up. we go over it and he says he'll start to help more, and he has since the beginning, but it still takes a lot for him to intervene. we are working on it! even if we have to address it over and over and over again, we make progress each time, but it gets discouraging sometimes and trying to communicate without being emotional is really hard for me.

      we've changed so much in that we don't hold a grudge from an argument the night before. we wake up the next day, we look at it as a new day to get it right and we kiss and hug and say 'goodbye' and 'i love you' before we go to work.

      we will see how it ends up! i am hoping for the best and believe it'll turn out wonderfully. we're both new to parenting, so it's a learning experience on so many levels.

      thanks again!
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