5 Essentials to Having a Healthy Relationship
Here at One Love, we are dedicated to helping everyone understand the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship. Healthy relationships feel good and bring you up while unhealthy ones don’t feel great and can sometimes make you unhappy. While much of our #ThatsNotLove content focuses on defining unhealthy behaviors, we also want to show you what healthy relationships are all about.
You’ve definitely heard the very cliché “communication is key.” But here’s the thing – it’s a cliché for a reason. Good communication is one of the most important aspects to having a healthy relationship. When starting a new relationship, it’s important to be able to talk about what you both want and expect. Sometimes this means being honest and having uncomfortable conversations, but if you’re in a healthy relationship your partner will be receptive and listen (and you should do the same). Listen to your partner what he or she needs to say.
Listening to your partner (like actually listening, not just waiting to speak) and trying to understand their perspective is a key way to show respect in your relationship. Even if you disagree on the next POTUS or if you’re Team Kimye and they’re Team Taylor, respect your partner’s choices and opinions. Don’t try to persuade them to change their mind about things that are important to them, like going abroad for a semester or where they want to live post-graduation. In a healthy relationship, both partners will have mutual respect for one another. Just because you don’t always see eye to eye.
We all have personal boundaries on what makes us feel good, comfortable, safe, etc. In a healthy relationship, you should feel 100% comfortable communicating those boundaries and know that they will be respected (and vice versa for your partner). If you only want to hang out 3 times a week – that’s fine; if you want to wait before getting intimate – totally cool; if you want to keep your Monday Funday night with the biffles – do it! Remember that you shouldn’t feel nervous or scared to set personal boundaries in any relationship.
This is a big one. All healthy relationships require mutual and unguarded trust between partners. Regardless of what either partner has experienced in the past, like a cheating ex or a parent’s divorce, in a healthy relationship your partner will trust you completely. DO remember that it takes time to build trust in a relationship (it usually doesn’t come right off the bat!) and that when your partner fully trusts you with their feelings, you should respect them and not betray their trust. Cheating on them or doing things to make them jealous isn’t right.
One of the best things about being in a healthy relationship is having a supportive partner who you know has your back. Whether it’s sticking up for you when someone says something mean about you, or always being that rock you can rely on, in a healthy relationship you and your partner will support each other and treat each other as equals. Your partner won’t use tactics to manipulate you, control you or put you down. They will be protective of you, but not overly possessive.
The best way to help a friend, family or loved one is to talk about it. Use our conversation starters and this article to get the people in your life talking.
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