“Falling in love and having a relationship are two different things” – Keanu Reeves
Relationships are at the center of everything in our lives. We make friends, we fall in love, we connect with people all around us in the world – it all sounds kind of beautiful, doesn’t it?
Being in love can be one of the most amazing and rewarding feelings one can experience but, sometimes love can feel not-so-great or even cause you to stay in a unhealthy relationship just because you are holding on to that feeling.
How can you tell if you are in a healthy relationship? You may think that this should be a pretty obvious thing to figure out, someone should be able to tell they are in a bad relationship. As an outside perspective, spotting an unhealthy relationship tends to be fairly easy but, sometimes when you are the one involved, your emotions can cloud your judgements and create a skewed perspective of the situation.
Are you and you significant other open and honest with each other?
Your significant other should not only be someone you love romantically, they should also be your best friend. By this, I mean you should feel comfortable to talk to them about literally anything – without fearing judgement.
Communication is key to any relationship.
Communication helps build a foundation of trust that is essential in a healthy relationship. You should be able to talk freely and express a desire to learn the details of each other’s personalities and lives. This allows for the establishment of a deeper and more meaningful connection with you partner.
Not only should you be talking about your lives and things like the type of day you had, you should also be talking about any issues that come up pertaining to the relationship. This part can be a little uncomfortable for a lot of people because they may feel as if they may upset their partner or cause an unnecessary fight. If something bothers you, it is worth talking about.
Seriously – talk through issues!!
A relationship can only work if both individual’s involved are willing to work together through any issues or rough patches that come up. This can be hard to really, actually understand, especially in newer relationships where you both may seem to get along perfectly during the “honeymoon phase”. You may think that you will be able to work together but when the time comes, someone falls short.
Don’t be naive going into a relationship. Expect rough patches, expect to be mad/upset with your partner at some point – trust me, it will happen. This is all normal. But being able to talk through these emotions can help resolve any problems before they turn into a bigger issue. If you bringing up an issue that you have in the relationship is met with hostility from your partner, this is not a very good sign. They should be willing to work through things with you.
Main point – you should be able to talk to your partner about anything and everything.
Is your partner supportive?
Being able to support one another is another very important aspect of a healthy relationship. You should feel like your partner is supportive of the things you are involved in whether it’s school, work, or even a hobby. They should not be making you feel judged about the positive decisions you make in your life.
Do not let a relationship get in the way of your goals!!I have seen a lot of people that give up going away to a really great university solely because they didn’t want to be apart from their boyfriend/girlfriend or other situations such as that. This breaks my heart because no one should feel like they have to give up on their dreams or goals in order to keep their relationship.
Relationships, if they are stable and strong, can last the distance and time apart. Although it is possible, I am definitely not saying that it will be easy. There is a lot of trust involved and a lot of emotional support that is going to be needed (on both sides) to get through being apart for an extended period of time. BUT if that is was you truly want to do, you’re partner should be able to be there for you. Even if they are upset about your decision, they should still want what is best for you and be respectful of your life goals.
Don’t neglect emotional support
Relationships are all about emotions – hopefully positive ones. You and your significant other should make each other happy, truly happy. They should make you feel special in a way that you know they love you and truly care about you. You shouldn’t have to guess to question your worth to them.
If you are reflecting on your relationship and you see that yes, they do make you happy BUT… then there is an issue. Your partner being caring and loving towards you (or even just being nice) should not be a conditional thing.
Apart from simply making each other happy, you also need to know how to be there for each other. As sappy as it may sound, your significant other should be your safe place. You should be able to turn to them when times get hard and know they will be there to comfort you and do their best to help you in any way they can.
You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed about your feelings/emotions around your partner. Being able to express yourself, including your emotions, freely is so important not only for the relationship, but for your own mental integrity.
express an interest in each other
This goes beyond the physical attraction you may have towards your partner. I think one of the best feelings is when someone genuinely wants to learn things about you. Things like what your favorite color is or what weird quirks you may have; things that seem insignificant to you yet, they still want to know. Being involved and interested in your partner’s life is important – and visa versa.
Get to know each other.
Are you able to be yourself around your significant other?
As I mentioned before, your partner should also be your best friend. You should feel like you can be your uncensored, real self when you are around them – and be comfortable with it.
Having compatible personalities and shared interests is a great basis for a relationship. This may make it easier to feel comfortable talking to each other because you understand each other and have lot of things to connect with on.
You shouldn’t feel like you have to change yourself to be with them.
If you feel like you are constantly trying to appease your partner or trying to meet some sort of expectations that they have for you, you may want to rethink the relationship. I can say from personal experience, staying in a relationship where you feel like you are constantly trying to prove yourself to them and that you are never going to be good enough can be very damaging to your own emotions and sense of self worth.
I am not saying that you should cling to bad habits or that you and your partner should have everything in common. You may not agree with everything but, even if they may not share an interest you have – they should at least be respectful of it and not make you feel like you aren’t “allowed” to have that interest or make you feel guilty about it. Everyone has their own hobbies and interests, keep that in mind.
Relationships can be a beautiful thing, a personal experience shared between two people who love each other. Find someone who is willing to be there for you through the good and the bad, someone who loves you for who you are and supports you in your endeavors. Find someone who genuinely cares for you and is interested in learning everything there is to know about you.
Remember your worth, and do not accept being treated less than what you deserve. Even if you are happy sometimes or sometimes they make the relationship worth your while. You deserve to be happy loved unconditionally – remember that.