We have all heard it said the relationships are never easy, that they take work. That exact topic has repeatedly come up over and over in the past few weeks in conversations with both friends and clients.
While I agree that there is definitely effort required …. I disagree that it shouldn’t be easy. Although nothing is guaranteed, there are certain qualities and components of healthy, stable, and enduring relationships.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before embarking on a relationship:
Self-reliance – Everyone loves to be admired and validated! But neither person in a relationship should be constantly depending on the other to provide their sense of worth. There needs to be emotional maturity and stability by both parties.Unconditional Love – Too often people cling to relationships out of desperation. In a healthy relationship, one loves another unconditionally and NOT simply because of a need to be loved in return. That statement often confuses people when I say it so let me present it this way …. When you tell someone you love them, are you telling them because you don’t want another minute to pass without them knowing OR are you telling them only because you want them to say it back?
Mutual Acceptance – It is an absolute requirement! It is an essential component for a solid foundation. What does mutual acceptance mean? It means that even if you have a differing view or opinion from you partner, you have unwavering respect and acceptance for one another. If there are views or opinions that you cannot fully accept then chances are this is a BIG RED FLAG and often a sign of deep-seated fundamental differences that should be evaluated prior to delving into a relationship.
Healthy Attachment vs Co-Dependency – A conscious, healthy, stable relationship CANNOT be built on co-dependent needs. What is the difference between healthy attachment and co-dependency? Partners who have a healthy attachment see the other as an anchor providing a stability from which they can venture out independently and freely while being provided a sense of support. They feel a mutual sense of security and connectedness and also have unwavering trust in their partner. Healthy attached partners enjoy and prefer being together and experience life as a unit but understand the importance of alone time.
Co-dependant attachment generally stems from one or both partners being insecure with their own selves and transferring that insecurity to their relationships. Co-dependant attached couples often are looking for someone to save them. Co-dependant partners are most often demanding, possessive, and untrusting of their partner and these relationships are often based on what is referred to a “Fantasy Bond”.
Communication – Intentional and conscious communication is key! It is imperative in a healthy relationship that both partners not only feel that they can openly share their thoughts and feelings but also want to do so. Partners who respect and love each other listen with a desire to understand and not simply to reply.
Supporting Personal Growth – Healthy, stable relationships are comprised of two people who are fully committed to a life of learning and personal growth. These partners help each other become the best version of themselves possible and want to see the other continue to evolve and grow.
Take an objective look at yourself and any potential future partners and ask yourself where you and/or they fit into the categories addressed above and make the commitment to work on any areas that you may need to address prior to looking for a partner.