It’s easy to look around us and know “I don’t want a relationship like that.” Or, “If a guy ever treated me like that, I’d break up with him…so fast.” Pointing out what we do not want comes easily to us, but what about what we do want? More importantly, what does a healthy relationship look like? What should a non-Hollywood style, real life relationship consist of? Since it’s sometimes easier to see the unhealthy relationships, let’s talk about the 3 relationships to run from.
The “Mother, May I”
Healthy relationships are made of two independent responsible people. A partner unable to make decisions, or that requires constant *figurative* hand holding only leads to frustration and resentment.
The “My Way, End of Story”
This type of relationship is both dangerous and dysfunctional. It also runs the risk of leading to an abusive situation.
The “Fixer Upper”
While it is true that no one is perfect, entering into a relationship with someone based on what they could be is never a good idea. What if they do not ever change? Or, worse, what if you convince them to change…and that leads them to resent you? We all have potential to grow, but trying to hammer someone into the box you want them to fit into is a recipe for an unhealthy relationship.
Ok, so let’s move on to the positive side. The following are some keys to building healthy relationships:
A healthy relationship is built on a foundation of mutual respect. We must respect each other’s space, thoughts and ideas, and person. Without these three areas being respected, we begin to resent our partner, and start to look for that respect elsewhere.
Games are fun and should have their place in healthy relationships. However, mind games and manipulation tactic style games are never, ever healthy. The more we communicate openly and honestly; the more our significant other will come to respect us, and value our presence.
Sometimes our significant other can really get under our skin. After all, it is difficult to fuse two vastly different humans into a close relationship because you each have your own worldview on things. At times like this, just take a step back, and role reverse. Ask yourself, “what would I feel like if I were my significant other right now?” or, “If I were to say this right now, how would it make me feel if I were him/her?” The second part of role reversal is the taking/giving aspect. It is much easier to take. Always. The harder part of a relationship is giving. Loving on others gets tough. We get tired. We get stressed. Reverse the role, and putting our significant other’s “shoes” on temporarily allows us to enter their world and see how they need to be loved. Doing this will hopefully foster trust, and mutual respect, because both of you will be aware of the other’s needs and desires.
ACPC offers a Successful Futures and Healthy Relationship workshop for individuals who want to discover how to succeed in their relationships. We also offer Relationship Counseling. Call for an appointment today! 719.544.9312
“Without communication, there is no relationship. Without respect, there is not love. Without trust, there’s no reason to continue.” Anonymous.
By: Kate Maehler