What does it mean to be in a healthy relationship?
Following on from one of my blogs around, ‘Who are you when it comes to being in a relationship?’ I began to think about the way people identify with what is a ‘healthy relationship’, and how to find out if you are in one, before getting in too deep.
It is the hardest thing in the world once you have fallen for someone to get out of it as emotions take over, even though we are all too aware logically that it may not be right for us in the long run.
I am sure we will all have a different interpretation of what a ‘healthy relationship’ means. For some it will mean the need to feel safe and secure. This is a very broad sweeping statement and gives no real breakdown of what this really represents to each individual. This will depend on their ideas and on what they have experienced growing up by their parents—such as if it is a secure home or an insecure home environment.
You may be amazed to know that if you have experienced an insecure home environment that this environment is what represents safety to you. Since insecure environments are the ‘norm’ for some— due to this being all the person has known as a child—they will replicate these experiences in adulthood within relationships.
Let’s just think about some of the key aspects of what makes a ‘healthy relationship’ and then you can consider how this applies to your own experience.
This is my own personal interpretation of what I believe a healthy relationship is to me. How would you define these areas differently for yourself?
Communication- being able to share information both practically and emotionally to gain an understanding where the other person is coming from.
Support- for a partner to encourage your aspirations, to lend a listening ear, be there for the difficult times that we face to cheer you up and share the good times.
Respect- to never undermine or belittle the other person, to be non-judgmental even if we get it wrong and allow us to make our own mistakes criticism to be kind and caring of the other. To be able to forgive the others failings.
Equality- no one person is better than the other.
Love- to make the other feel safe and secure in their relationship with the person, come what may.
Common interests- to share some similar interests and spend time doing these interests with each other.
Fun-to enjoy one another’s company and be able to laugh with each other, to be spontaneous and ensure you add different adventures in to your lives.
Intimacy-to have affection and sexual connection, whereby you are considerate of each other’s needs.
Honesty & trust-to be open about any concerns, worries, feeling even if it is not what the other person may want to hear
Boundaries- to allow the other person to know what you think is acceptable or not and communicate this with each other on a regular bases, to support the other person to be mindful of the other.
Once you read the above, I am quite sure you could add many other comments to the existing ones I have listed, but it is not until you start to deconstruct the meanings that you realised what they represent to you personally!
I like to think of the key areas as a bit of a check list that you can compare to potential or current relationships you are involved in. If they are not meeting some of the above key areas, then the chances are that you need to question if you’re being valued in your relationship.