I was rattling in my head what I wanted to do with my life to feel truly at peace in the end. The first thing that came to mind was just getting all the lessons out of me and available to as many people as possible. Today I want to get into an important lesson. It’s both a life lesson and a love lesson. How to know if you’re in a healthy relationship and my tips for having healthy relationships.
If you need to know anything about me, you should know that I had a long line of very unhappy and unhealthy relationships. Then I got serious about studying and asking older happily married people questions. I went from a total relationship moron to helping others with theirs. Yes, I also have a degree in psychology and worked in mental health for many years. (For more on that see here)
Now if you’re struggling with relationships I just want you to know, it’s not your fault! Pretty much everything in movies and you are told is just not correct. Or you’re only get part of the story. Most people in successful relationships really have no idea how their relationship came about. It was just luck, right mindset at the right time. Then there are those that KNOW exactly what they were doing from day one. Those are my favorite people to talk to. They have the secret sauce to cultivating healthy and happy relationships. I’m going to share some of these tips for having healthy relationships, so get your pen and paper ready. You’ll want to write these down and keep them some place safe you can look at when you’re in doubt or thinking if a relationship is right for you.
First I’ll tell you how to recognize if you’re in a healthy relationship, then we’ll talk about how to have one. It’s a way of life, not a crash diet, but a lifestyle. That’s going to shake you up a bit. Just a warning. I’m starting with recognizing what a healthy relationship looks like hoping you’ll get pumped to have that and put in the lifestyle changes it requires.
How to Know if You’re in a Healthy Relationship
1. It will be EASY
Healthy and happy relationships are just easy. You don’t have to work on them. They just work all on their own! You’re just hanging out with your best friend. If you’re feeling like you have to work on a relationship, you’re probably just in the WRONG relationship.
2. You Can Share Anything and Feel Safe and Heard
No matter what you have turning in your head, you feel comfortable and safe sharing it with your other half. They listen to you. They hear you, process, then speak. Being vulnerable is a non issue. Your relationship is home base. You are on the same team and never on opposing sides. They side with you, even when you both know you’re in the wrong. And when they don’t because they and YOU are not always going to be perfect, you are comfortable talking about how they didn’t have your back and they feel bad about it and want to try better next time. It’s not perfect, but it always has the best intentions.
3. They Respect You
They will not talk down to you, publicly or privately. They admire you. You’re job, your personality, they just totally respect you and all you do. You cannot completely love someone you do not have total respect for. Your relationship has a mutually respect in 99.9% of areas at least. Perhaps you hate how they are not as decisive, good at negotiating, etc. But overall in the general sense of everything, you respect them and their choices. You may even have strong sense of pride you are with them. A silly grin comes to your face when they succeed. Their success is your success and vice versa.
4. No One is Trying to Change the Other
You love them just as they are and accept them as-is. They feel the same for you. You are not actively trying to mold them into some image of the perfect partner. They are not trying to turn you into someone you are not. Two people who accept each other just as they found them, knowing neither is or ever will perfect.
5. You Do Not Depend on the Other Person to Make You Happy
This is a big one. The realization that you and only you make yourself happy. You take responsibility for your own happiness and they take responsibility for theirs. You are two imperfect people finding happiness within yourselves and sharing your lives together.
6. You Both Have a Sense of Purpose Outside the Relationship
You are not obsessed with each other. You both have lives outside each other and a higher purpose. You have respect for each other’s purpose. Your lives are bigger than each other. Love is one area, but there are so many others and you both understand this.
7. Your Extended Families Respect Your Partner Or They Are Removed From Your Life
Both you and your partner have made it clear and known that anyone who disrespects or makes your partner uncomfortable is not allowed in your life. If they have to choose between their own parents to be with you, they do so immediately and with no remorse. If you feel any animosity between you and their family it is immediately resolved by your partner. You need not get involved because if they mess with you, they mess with them.
8. They Cut Down Anyone Who Cuts Down You
This respect extends to all areas and all people. Should anyone disrespect you, you know your partner will defend you. From someone flirting with them to someone talking down to you. Your partner will not ignore this or allow it.
9. You Don’t Feel Jealousy
Not of your partner’s success, not of their past relationships, and not of anyone else getting close to them. You are secure in yourself and the relationship. This has as much to do with your attitude as your partner’s. You know in your heart that you cannot control them, but you trust them out in the world to make good choices. You also know that if the relationship does end, you will be fine on your own. Because of this jealous is not really felt anymore. There is no anxiety and fear to cause it.
10. You Let Things Go
Sometimes you’ll fight, but give yourself a moment to think about the fight and decide it’s not important enough to carry on about. You’ll let it go. Even if you don’t win! You’re OK with not always winning. In fact you both are. You both can let things go that are not worth the fight. Agree to disagree and move on. You or your partner do not always have to be right or have the last word. If you see a fight carry on because you both are trying to win or have the last word you bring it up, make a joke and let it go. You don’t bring up the past and past mistakes to win new arguments. You actually let things go, not just pretend to.
Tips for Having Healthy Relationships
Yup! You can’t love anyone else truly until you learn to love yourself. Once you know and believe in your heart you are awesome and fantastic to have around will you be ready to get into a relationship. Any fears you are not enough will prevent you from ever making a relationship work. You need to work on you until you KNOW beyond any doubt that you are great. Once you know that, you’ll be strong enough to leave anyone else that doesn’t treat you as such.
Find Someone You Respect and Admire
Don’t sell yourself short by choosing someone you have to compromise too much to be with. If you are not excited about being with them and respect them for who they are right now, don’t bother. You deserve someone you admire and feel great about. Keep looking until you find them! Better to be alone than in a bad relationship. Relationships are about adding to your life not taking the fun out of it.
Don’t Try and Fix Anyone
Yes it sucks that so many people out there are broken and hurt. They cannot commit, they are depressed, they have problems communicating their feelings. But once you fix yourself, you need someone who’s already done the work on their own too! It’s not your responsibility to heal everyone. I would go out and say it’s not really even possible. People have to do this on their own because it’s a problem to them. You cannot help them along. Sometimes the best thing for them is to leave them alone to figure it out.
Don’t Stand By Anyone Who Won’t Stand Up For You
If they don’t stick up for you and stop others from putting you down. It’s time to put the relationship down and move on. Do not stand for that! This isn’t something you should have to teach someone to do, when this isn’t working don’t waste time trying to fix it. This is a sign of no respect for you and we don’t respect people who don’t respect us.
Get to the comments and let me know what your tips are for healthy relationships. If you’re in a healthy relationship, let us know the moment you realized it. On the flip side, when you were in an unhealthy relationship what sign did you get to let you know you had to end it? I love hearing back from you!
To our success!