Once your relationship has progressed past the exciting early days, it can be tricky to take a step back and assess whether your relationship is a healthy one. You may still view your partnership through rose-tinted glasses and shrug off little niggles about his or your own behavior. If you have had problematic relationships in the past, it can be even harder to gauge whether your new relationship is a good one because any relationship is probably an improvement on your old one. The following are components of a healthy relationship. Consider them carefully and then review your relationship with clarity.
When you’re out with your girlfriends, do you receive calls and messages from him all evening, or do you not hear a peep from him? Similarly, when he’s out with his guy friends, are you pacing around your living room wondering what he’s up to? A healthy relationship is one which is built upon trust. Without it, the constant questioning and second-guessing can cause its destruction. If one partner, or both, are experiencing trust issues, be honest with each other and talk about it.
People in relationships tell lies for a variety of reasons. It could be to protect their partner if they had overhead nasty criticism or something positive, such as planning a surprise. When withholding the truth or lies have a more deceitful motive, it affects trust and exacerbates existing problems. If you’ve spent $200 on a dress, be honest. If you’ve been invited to lunch by an ex-boyfriend who’s in town, tell you current partner. You may think that honesty will cause arguments, but if you lie, the damage to your relationship will be far worse.
Give and Take
A loving relationship is an equal union where both partners put in as much time and effort as they receive. When the relationship sways to the benefit of one partner, it can leave the other feeling hard done to and disrespected. If he goes with you to see your mom every week, don’t be a sourpuss when he asks you to spend time with his family. If he goes for drinks every Friday night with work colleagues and then starts doing the same on Saturday, ask him to compromise and choose just one evening. When both partners are fair, reasonable and willing to give and take, the relationship will have a far higher success rate and longevity.
You shouldn’t wholly depend on one person for your emotional support, but having a partner who is supportive and willing to listen can make all the difference. When you’re going through a tough time, does your boyfriend belittle your concerns, brush them off as nothing or completely ignore your anguish? Are you there for him when the going gets tough? Do you get him to open up about his problems or convince yourself that he’s fine? A healthy relationship is one where a couple works through their problems together.
Being Your own Person
You and your partner are separate identities with your own friends, family and interests. Your relationship should not affect that. If you find yourself drifting away from friends or not engaging in activities that you once loved, ask yourself ‘Why?’ Is he disapproving or controlling? Do you both have the same freedom to do what you want within the boundaries of trust? When you can both be yourselves, you have more to talk about, less predictability and more excitement in your relationship. A controlling partner is an emotionally abusive partner. Nothing about the relationship will be fair or loving without the ability to be your own person.
A relationship should bring out the best qualities in both partners and not be a hotbed of negative emotions and behavior. Take a close, hard look at your relationship and review it with a critical eye. If there are problems, work with your partner to solve them sooner rather than later. You deserve nothing more than a healthy and happy relationship, so don’t settle for anything less.