There’s no such thing as a “perfect” relationship.
Even rom-coms and fairy tales have to go through dragon-guarded castles, evil witches who give you a cursed apple and fight just to realize they truly love each other.
If you’re like me, who has struggled with relationships before, you've also probably wondered what a healthy relationship looks like and feels like.
Now, what does it actually mean to be in a “healthy relationship”? Especially when we see so many posts and stories on social media that manipulate our heads into thinking and questioning if we are in one. And even if we search for the meaning of a healthy relationship we’d probably get a vague answer like “A healthy relationship involves more than simply similar interests and deep affection for one another. It takes two individuals who fully understand and care for one another, as well as for themselves.”
Although this is all based on experience (mine and other people) , here's a quick list for you to check if your relationship fits into each category.
#1: Respect each other
The word respect is as vague as it can be, and oftentimes we don’t really know how to show it or describe it. But when you say respect in a relationship it would mean that both you and your partner see and understand the other person's wants and needs, in a way where you talk to them, make an effort to meet them, and/or acknowledge them.
Let me share something with you. I used to be in a relationship where my partner did not respect the time I spent with friends. He would make up stories about how I was being intimate and going on dates with someone else, and honestly I thought it was normal, until I met my partner now. He understood that there are days where I have to spend with my parents, and decisions that I have to make for myself without causing me distress.
So ladies and gentlemen, whether you’re dating someone or still finding someone, be with someone who respects you, your boundaries, needs and wants too!
#2: Be vulnerable with each other
Yes, that’s right!
That means bawling and crying, and honesty.
I know that sometimes when we’ve gone through so many relationships it gets harder to open up thinking what if this person won’t understand, judge us, or worse - leave.
Now I’m not trying to scare you, I’m just telling you how I used to feel.
Although, it is quite difficult to be vulnerable towards someone (may they be a stranger, family, a boyfriend or girlfriend or even friends) we have to sometimes let our guard down. Not everyone will hurt us, and I learned that the hard way..
If you find it hard to open up with the one you love, then we’ve got the right card game to use. Have you ever heard of life sutra co.? They have games for couples who are in the dating stage (dating connect), couples who just got married (couple connect), and couples who’ve gotten married for quite awhile now (couple reconnect). It’s the perfect way to not only be vulnerable but also to have fun while deepening that connection.
Other than our goals and dreams, when we are in a relationship with someone there are still aspects of our lives that we are afraid of showing to our significant other.
#3: Show empathy
When we’re living in a world where we have to show that we’re strong, and put together it’s hard to find someone who listens and understands.
Like empathy, where we put ourselves in the shoes of others, some people still find it difficult to do that, so when you’re in a relationship practice empathy.
I bet you’re not a stranger to listening to someone when they’re going through something, how you approach it ideally affects how they treat you too, in a way of how they trust you.
I’ve had this talk with my boyfriend before when we had talked about topics such as cheating, and falling out of love, and instead of saying “I would never do that” or “that would never happen” we tried to be in their shoes, and honestly, we ended up crying.
Relationships are supposed to be hard work, especially when the other person relies on you and vice versa. So when there are instances where you have heavy conversations, or when you have arguments, always remember to try and understand each other and the situation because it isn’t you against each other, it's you both against the problem.
#4: Be committed to each other
I think this should be a given.
Being in a relationship means that you have to commit 100%.
I saw this video somewhere where a couple got asked how much should they give in a relationship, and this woman answered, you’re supposed to give 100% and not just half and half because when you love you’re supposed to give a full 100%, because not all the time especially when there are arguments and problems that 100% decreases.
Although we are committed to someone, it can get difficult when the so-called “spark” or “honey moon phase” passes, because we’ve been told that love is supposed to be like that. But love actually means that even when things are “boring” you keep the relationship going.
Being committed also means that you are not attracted romantically towards anyone else.
#5: Give each other reassurance
Oftentimes, especially with girls or even with guys, when we’ve had a bad past, it gets to the best of us, we start to overthink and become anxious.
So the best way is to be with someone and be someone who gives that assurance.
It’s kind of like, words of affirmation. As human as we are, we would also want to be cheered up or told that we are doing a good job! We would want someone to tell us that we are loved, and appreciated. It’s as simple as that.
I know if you’d read my experience you’d think I was being overly paranoid or I am the red flag but I would constantly ask my boyfriend if he loves me or if i’m the only one, because of my past relationships.