What is a Healthy Relationship?What do you look for in a relationship? Don't tell me, they need to be good looking, funny, brilliant and rich, right? How about trustworthy, respectful and a great communicator? Read on.
CommunicationBeing able to talk and listen to each other is the KEY to a healthy relationship. Having common interests that you can talk about and enjoy together is important. Knowing that if you need to talk, that person can support you. Sharing time and feelings together is so essential. Honesty in your communication will make a relationship work as well as showing who you are openly to your partner. Strong communication is based on the traits below, so keep reading...
Self-esteem and responsibility to yourself are the most important aspects you each bring to the relationship. It means knowing you believe in your own potential, and that no matter how close you get, you are truly responsible for yourself. This keeps the relationship from becoming an "escape" or too dependent. Feeling a sense of how important you are and having your own friends and hobbies can help keep things in check.
RespectEven if you disagree, in a healthy relationship, you should still respect the person you are with. Talking calmly and honestly about differences can help the two of you figure out how to fix an issue. The most important part of respect is having it for yourself, so you can set boundaries and feel comfortable in your relationship.
TrustYou should feel safe around the person you are with and know they have your best interest at heart. There shouldn't be any pressure to hang out with them; you should want to do so. You should be able to trust them with your thoughts and feelings. Trust is an important piece of a family relationship, a friendship or a romantic partnership.
Most of all, if you feel good about yourself around that person and there's an equal amount of give and take between you, then things look healthy. If you don't feel like your relationship has strong communication, sharing, trust and respect, it's time to talk to that person about it.
What's Unhealthy?There are two elements that are the most common "destructive" things in a relationship. They are:
JealousyThis is the result of a fear of losing someone's love. However, it's not a measure of love, but a measure of the degree of someone's insecurity. If you both come into a relationship with a strong sense of self and respect, it can help in avoiding jealousy. A little bit is natural and might come up at some time, but that feeling shouldn't be strong enough to interfere with normal functioning. If things feel out of control to you, as if someone is trying to run your life, talk to a trusted adult. Check out this quiz for more warning signs.
You can try to help with minor jealousy by trying to find out exactly what is making you jealous, putting those feelings into perspective and being sure each of you has your own separate friends and interest, and that you respect the others right to their own life.
DependencyThis is a relationship in which one person places the responsibility for their emotional happiness upon the other person. Usually it's a couple in which one or both want to be with each other constantly, when other activities and friends become unimportant, and any attempt of one of them to be "independent" is a threat to the couple. Independence is one of the most important parts of growing from a teen to a young adult, and a relationship that doesn't allow for other friends and interests is an unhealthy one.
No one deserves an unhealthy relationship. Asking a trusted adult for advice is a great idea. It can be tough to end a relationship, but sometimes that may be your only option. Learning how to navigate what is healthy and what's not early on will help you in your relationships throughout your life!