Updated: Jul 6, 2020
This post marks the end of the All About Relationships Series! Last week's post about surviving a breakup, #ItsOver, was a bit heavy, so I wanted to end the month on a lighter note and talk about what a healthy relationship looks like.
When 2 people develop a relationship that is based on MUTUAL respect, trust and honesty it is considered a healthy relationship. I’d like to emphasize the word MUTUAL, which means that a feeling is experienced by each of 2 or more parties involved.
What Makes a Relationship Healthy?
It’s very important to be able to identify what an unhealthy relationship looks like as well as a healthy relationship
Good communication - both of you feel comfortable with telling each other honestly how you feel - the good, bad and the ugly, without fear or hesitation.
Mutual respect - you show that you care for each other by the way you treat them and vice versa. You show kindness, are polite, you affirm each other and you listen to each other.
Trust - when your partner tells you something, you believe them. If you ask questions or express concerns about what they said, you believe them
Support - whether times are good or bad, your partner is willing to assist you and not make you feel bad about it or use their support against you
You Love Yourself - your partner makes you happy, but if you weren’t together, you’d be ok with that. You know you’d be happy without them and that your partner adds value to your life.
Compromise - when there is a disagreement, both of you reach an agreement that is reached by both parties making concessions. The relationship is not one-sided, meaning only one of you makes a sacrifice.
Connection - to have a connection with someone means that there is a ‘thing’ between you and them and no one else. Every couples’ ‘thing’ is different and unique to them, but both of you know what that ‘thing’ is.
Consideration - you both do something for the other when needed, there is no score that is being kept. There is a give and take, and you know that it won’t ever be equal and you're both good with that.
Forgiveness - we all make mistakes and sometimes hurt our partners, but you are able to stop feeling angry or resentful towards them for the offense.
Boundaries - your partner respects the limitations you have in your life and does not demand that you change them nor do they violate them.
Please remember that both of you are active participants in this healthy relationship, and that the above is done mutually.
YOU in a Healthy Relationship
I mentioned before that you should be in love with you and you're content with life whether you are in a relationship or not. You should be living your best life without fear or anxiety! While you’re in a relationship, you should maintain the following:
A life outside your partner - have a life outside of your relationship, your partner adds value to your life
A healthy self-esteem - love and accept who you are without apology
Privacy - you keep some part of you or some things to yourself
Independence - you are free from outside control or another's authority, you are in charge of your life.
I could list so many more ways you should be maintained while in a healthy relationship, but the post would never end. I felt that these four were the most important. What else would you add to the list, shoot me an email and let me know!
YOU in an Unhealthy Relationship
A few weeks ago, I posted a blog, #YoureToxic, about the characteristics of being in an unhealthy relationship. I encourage you to read it and use the Is My Relationship Toxic? worksheet to see if your relationship really is. However, here are few signs that you are in an unhealthy/toxic relationship:
You don’t feel comfortable expressing or asserting yourself
You feel unsafe
You feel obligated to do things with your partner
You're not practising self-care
You feel the pressured to change who you are
If you feel this way, get out now! If you are making your partner feel this way, stop. Of course it’s easier said than done, so I encourage you to seek professional counseling to get to the bottom of why you feel the need to be controlled or be controlling.
My 2 Cents
If you have found someone that makes you happy and meets some of the qualifications mentioned above, enjoy the journey. Brown Girls, you deserve to be happy, whole and loved!
If you’ve read the blog post, #YourToxic, and recognize that you are in an unhealthy relationship, seek help. You are strong enough to leave and live a peaceful life!
While you are in your healthy relationship, don’t punish your current partner for your past partners mistakes. If your current partner truly cares, talk to them about what you went through so they understand you.
Did you know that I now have a podcast? It's called, For My BrownGirls! Podcast and you can listen to it HERE!
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*I am not a licensed therapist. This post does not serve as a form of therapy or diagnosis. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 or your doctor.