Healthy Relationships — Have you Ever Been in a Healthy Relationship?

Healthy Relationships — Have you Ever Been in a Healthy Relationship? healthy relationships — have you ever been in a healthy relationship?
Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

Having a healthy relationship is not an easy endeavor, to be honest. In fact, whenever I observe, interact with, or consider married people, I often sense that their presence in the relationship stems from obligation rather than genuine connection.

Committed relationships (such as marriage) are commonly regarded as life stages, and we’ve even normalized dysfunctional dynamics due to the perception that everyone is experiencing them.

Our parents might have been in unhealthy relationships, and as a result, we often use their experiences as a yardstick for gauging the healthiness of our own relationships. When our beliefs about relationships are deeply ingrained, it can be challenging to break free from harmful patterns in our adult lives. The roots of these beliefs typically depend on our upbringing and environment.

For instance, if you were raised in an environment where relationships were frequently marked by daily arguments and unresolved conflicts, yet the parties remained together under the same roof, you may come to believe that all relationships inherently involve such turmoil.

Without exposure to alternative perspectives, you could easily accept this as the norm. While we understand that relationships demand effort, our inherent social nature compels us to seek successful partnerships. Therefore, it becomes vital to understand what a healthy relationship truly entails, so as to avoid the stress and turbulence that can arise. Furthermore, without an understanding of what constitutes a healthy relationship, you might mistake an unhealthy dynamic for a healthy one, leading to perpetual unhappiness as you attempt to mend the unfixable. In this article, I will discuss several characteristics of a healthy relationship.

Indicators of a Healthy Relationship

  1. Effective Communication

In a healthy relationship, both individuals engage in open and honest communication. It’s a two-way street where both parties express themselves freely and attentively listen to each other, even during difficult conversations.

This involves granting each other space to deeply comprehend one another, not merely agreeing or disagreeing, but genuinely striving to understand each other’s perspectives. Healthy communication ensures that both individuals feel heard, minimizes misunderstandings, and fosters profound connections. It entails offering your undivided attention and receiving the same when conversing.

2. Trust

Trust forms the bedrock of any healthy relationship. It signifies relying on and feeling safe with your partner without resorting to emotional walls. A healthy relationship provides an environment where you can be vulnerable and transparent without fearing harm from your partner.

This doesn’t imply that your partner will always be faultless or fulfill every promise. It’s crucial to avoid placing excessive expectations on them and to allow room for genuine mistakes. Trust in a healthy relationship may waver at times, but the commitment to address and rectify issues prevails.

3. Personal Growth

A healthy relationship is a platform for personal enhancement rather than regression or stagnation. It encourages physical, mental, and spiritual development. Imagine a thriving garden where both individuals bloom, becoming the best versions of themselves.

It’s an environment where partners uplift, motivate, and bring out the finest qualities in each other, fostering growth without triggering feelings of intimidation or resentment. It’s a collaborative journey where both individuals hold hands and move forward together.

4. Authenticity

A healthy relationship allows you to be genuinely yourself at all times. You need not don a façade to fit a certain mold. It’s about shedding masks and embracing your unfiltered, unaltered self. This encompasses both surface-level and deep-seated aspects of your identity.

Rather than trying to impress your partner by adopting unfamiliar traits, many individuals hide behind such facades, ultimately leading to inner conflict. Being authentic might also entail saying ‘no’ when your partner makes requests that conflict with your genuine preferences.

Remember, authenticity isn’t synonymous with denying your flaws; it involves acknowledging and working on them openly. It also doesn’t mean acting without consideration for your partner’s feelings; rather, it involves finding middle ground in significant decisions.

5. Respect

In a healthy relationship, mutual respect is paramount. This entails deep admiration and acceptance of each other, even when differing opinions or interests arise. Each partner is recognized as a unique individual, and the understanding prevails that dissimilarities can coexist harmoniously. This respect should be genuine and organic, not merely a duty. Disagreements occur, but in a healthy relationship, they’re handled with respect, without permitting differences to fracture the bond.

6. Accountability

Both partners should take responsibility for their actions without casting blame on each other. Accountability involves admitting mistakes genuinely and taking steps to rectify them. A sincere apology must be followed by changed behavior or corrective action. Additionally, a healthy relationship involves honoring commitments to the best of one’s abilities.

7. Understanding Each Other’s Needs

Understanding and addressing each other’s needs is crucial. Avoid assuming that your partner should intuitively grasp your needs; instead, communicate them clearly. Often, individuals expect their partners to discern their desires without explicit communication.

Early in the relationship, you should ascertain whether you can fulfill each other’s non-negotiables and boundaries. These fundamental needs, such as intimacy, security, and affection, must be met for a healthy relationship to flourish. Striving to meet these needs should be a reflection of genuine care, not a begrudging obligation.

8. Letting Go of Past Bitterness

A healthy relationship demands emotional presence. Carrying emotional baggage from the past hampers your ability to fully engage in the present relationship. Holding grudges, especially after disagreements, is counterproductive.

Avoid nurturing bitterness as a form of retaliation. Complete forgiveness is essential, as it liberates you from past pain, allowing you to be fully present. This also necessitates addressing past traumas to prevent unconscious engagement in detrimental behaviors that might hurt your partner.

Healing from past trauma allows you to perceive the relationship through a present lens, unburdened by past wounds. Emotional and mental availability are paramount; without them, a relationship lacks the depth characteristic of a healthy bond.

9. Equilibrium

A healthy relationship shouldn’t feel lopsided, with one partner disproportionately investing effort. While achieving an exact balance might be challenging to quantify, both partners should contribute actively to the relationship’s success.

It should be a partnership marked by dedication and a sense of equality, devoid of feelings of enslavement or disproportionate burdens. A healthy relationship entails reciprocal support and an aversion to exploiting each other’s kindness. It transcends traditional gender roles, embracing shared responsibilities.

10. Limited External Influence

External opinions should not consistently override your decision-making in a healthy relationship. Consult your partner before seeking input from external parties. Your partner should be your primary confidante before involving others. Address conflicts together before seeking advice from parents, friends, or consulting online resources. This approach minimizes potential conflicts stemming from biased external opinions.

11. Individual Space

Allowing space outside the relationship is vital. Recognize that your partner is an autonomous individual who might require time apart. While it’s natural to desire constant companionship, granting your partner a day for personal interests or spending time with friends is healthy. This ‘me-time’ fosters personal growth, prevents unnecessary conflicts, and rejuvenates the relationship.

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12. Enjoying Each Other’s Company

In a healthy relationship, both partners should genuinely enjoy each other’s presence without a desire to avoid each other. This enjoyment extends beyond mere activities like watching movies or being intimate; it involves connecting through meaningful conversations without distractions.

A healthy relationship isn’t characterized by superficial interactions where both individuals are physically present yet mentally preoccupied. Rather, it’s marked by a profound connection where you engage fully in each other’s company, like being in the moment without distractions.

Conclusion

There are numerous signs of a healthy relationship that couldn’t all be covered in this article. However, a fundamental aspect is the depth of the relationship, which starts with cultivating a deep relationship with oneself. A healthy relationship can’t be expected if past issues and hurts still linger, anchoring you in the past.

Therefore, embarking on a healing journey is crucial, allowing you to bring your best self to the current relationship. This process requires considerable effort, and while many await the arrival of the ideal partner, engaging in self-improvement is the true path to transforming ‘not that bad’ relationships into truly fulfilling ones.

Remember, the foundation of any relationship is the individual, and this foundation mirrors one’s inner world. Amid the clamor that “good men/women are hard to find,” introspection is often overlooked. A pertinent question to ponder is, “Do I possess the qualities I seek in a partner?” Relationships encompass complexities beyond this piece’s scope, so stay tuned for forthcoming articles discussing dating strategies for attracting healthy relationships and techniques for maintaining them.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

References

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nHHBfFL8gU

2. https://www.joinonelove.org/signs-healthy-relationship/

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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