Photo by Valentin Antonucci on Unsplash
As a couple’s counselor and someone who studied and continues to study relationships, I am often asked how to engage in a healthy relationship and/or identify that you are in a “right” relationship. When it comes to relationships there aren’t any guarneteed certainties, however, if you are intentional in seeking and courting a partner, ask questions, and mindful of your relationship; you will learn whether your relationship is healthy and has a future. Although there are no absolutes, I have identified 6 principles that are applicable when reflecting on your relationship. These are:
1. Knowing yourself is important! The the time to know what you want, and do not want. Who do you envision as a partner (qualities not necessarily physical attributes).
2. You deserve respect. No matter what make sure you are in agreement in every aspect of your relationship (in all its stages). You have the right to say “no” at any time.
3. Have knowledge on healthy boundaries. Be aware of what behaviors cross the line and impose on those boundaries. Unsure what is healthy boundary? Then go out and talk to relationship experts on the topic. Make a list of questions and ask for a consultation.
4. Take a risk! In order to meet people you have to be willing to get out there and people. expose yourself to new things and meet a wide range of people you might be pleasantly surprised.
5. If you box people you might not notice someone who is an ideal partner. Be open to being surprised! Sometimes people get fixated on their “type” and although you should be attracted to your partner solely focusing on their physical attributes could limit you to meeting people.
6. Pay attention to how they behave towards you and others. Are they kind? Do they make (equal) time to get to know you?
Relationships are an important part of life that we are never taught. We are born straight into relationships (caregivers, families, friends, etc). Despite not learning about relationships, they are extremely influential to our wellbeing. Therefore, if you are unsure and unclear of what is a healthy relalaitonship it is completely appropriate to seek a professional’s teachings and be intntial in having a strong and healthy relationship.