Emotionally healthy and happy relationships may seem like a challenging thing to master in these times and I don't want you to feel guilty or beat yourself up if you haven't got there yet, we are all a beautiful story in the present and in the making and we all take different paths in life.
After more than a decade of counselling both women and men, hearing their issues, their frustrations and their triumphs, I realised that many of us are seeking a better quality of love. Sadly we don't see examples of balanced healthy couples very often in the media, in entertainment or in day to day life, drama and anguish is romanticised, we are subtly taught that relationships are suffering. There seems to be a deep unhappiness about the state of romantic relationships among the collective, with peaceful and rewarding love seeming more and more unattainable. Many of us have suffered abusive or neglectful situations, or relationships that we attracted unconsciously and were fraught with issues, as a result we are confused at what it takes to attract, create and sustain a loving connection. Below are fifteen traits of a strong, healthy relationship. If you have found love that is fulfilling and conscious, congratulations. Treasure it. If you haven't got there yet it is good to know how to identify a high frequency connection in the future... 1. You can both be yourselves Although all relationships require compromise, In a strong relationship you don't feel that you are having to make deep and painful sacrifices or change who you are for your partner. You feel comfortable expressing your authentic self, even your weaknesses or the things you consider nerdy about yourself. Sharing yourself authentically strengthens the bond between you, instead of making you feel isolated. 2. You don't crave space from them I used to always strongly crave space, even if I really liked the person I was dating. It surprised me when I met my current partner that I didn't periodically need to pull away and recharge my batteries, I realised that it was because I was able to be completely authentic and open with him. I needed space previously in relationships because I wasn't being myself 100% I was subconsciously adjusting my preferences to accommodate whoever I was dating. As a result I had to pull back regularly to get back in touch with myself, to listen to my own favourite music, and spend time doing the things I loved. When you are able to be yourself, you don't crave space away. Healthy couples do spend time apart from each other and enjoy doing their own thing, but you also don't feel an anxious urge for time apart.
3. The relationship progresses naturally You have the space and support to grow as individuals and you also grow together as a couple, you have short term and maybe long term plans and you support each other in your combined and individual goals. You are both happy with the speed the relationship is taking naturally and it doesn't tend to stagnate for too long. 4. Even when times are tough, you don't turn on each other If disagreements do occur, you don't go on the attack with each other or resort to threats or manipulation, but resolve to solve obstacles in a considerate way as much as you can, you are allies, and don't automatically become enemies when emotions are running high.
5. You even enjoy the mundane stuff
Even running errands is more enjoyable when you are together, perhaps you laugh together in the supermarket aisles, or spend sunny afternoons wandering around the garden centre. Staying at home for the evening is just as much fun as going out. You don't need to be joined at the hip but you love each others company and enjoy a high level of domestic harmony. 6. You have kept a strong sense of personal identity
You still see your friends and pursue your passions, you make time for the things that bring you happiness, you still have a sense of independence and freedom, perhaps not quite as much as you did when you were single but you still feel that your life is well adjusted and the things that make you who you are, are still honoured. Your partner doesn't make you feel guilty for enjoying a sense of equilibrium. 7. You can communicate openly Your relationship can survive tactful honesty, you don't feel the need to conceal things from your partner in order for the relationship to remain stable. You don't fear speaking openly or worry that you will be humiliated. You also understand that not every issue needs to be discussed to death. You and your partner have found ways to communicate with sincerity, you value each others opinions and feelings. Read: The conscious path to true love
8. You don't need to control each other
These days a lot of people are misguided in the idea that it is acceptable to control our partners, to direct their lives and set rules and limits, in the name of care and concern, but in a healthy relationship there is very little manipulation or attempts to control the other. Although you will be protective of each other and willing speak out if you disagree with something. You are together because you like each other as people and don't treat each other as a project but as individuals, each with individual wants and needs.
9. You are best friends You are the first to defend each other against unfair criticism or to build each other up on the days that life beats one of you down, you have each others backs always. You have "in jokes" for most situations and you enjoy the time you spend laughing and talking. You take time to play together often, it is obvious to the people around you how well you get along. No relationship is perfect all the time but mostly it is like spending time with your best friend. 10. You can actually count on each other
Sometimes in life we get held up by things beyond our control or can not be 100% reliable, but in a healthy relationship you and your partner will be able to count on each other most of the time, you won't feel abandoned in your hour of need, you won't have a feeling of being left hanging, sure he may forget an appointment on the calendar or space out on picking up the milk on his way home, and you will absolutely mess up sometimes too. but you will both try to be there for each other as much as possible. One of the greatest indicators of a strong relationship is that you trust your other half won't let you down in any major way.
11. The love you share extends to family and friends
A great relationship is never just about two people, you both honour each others families and friends and make an effort with them as well as your significant other, you may not like every single one of their friends but you do your best to connect with their nearest and dearest and they do the same for you. 12. You feel great Honestly one of the most obvious signs of a good relationship is your inner emotional compass, how you feel inside, some people suffer through relationships where they are miserable on almost a daily basis and don't question it. All couples have their challenges and have to endure tough times, but the majority of what you share is good, your relationship isn't characterised by arguments and tension, but by strong compatibility, and open communication. Your partner may drive you crazy occasionally but you feel good 85-90% of the time. 13. It's okay not to be perfect It doesn't matter if your hair isn't always perfect or you have a dumb moment or the occasional pyjama day where you just can't do life, the relationship isn't superficial. I was always deeply shy and embarrassed about how clumsy I can be sometimes, seriously it would be comical if it wasn't so tragic, my boyfriend noticed early on but he didn't make me feel stupid and now we both laugh about it, you love each other in the good moments and the not so good ones and find each others quirks endearing. 14. There is trust Of course trust is monumentally important in a good relationship. You both generally feel secure and you don't feel suspicious of each other constantly. Neither of you play jealousy games, you are more likely to reassure each other in those moments of insecurity that we all go through at times. More than that you trust in your partners character and values and you respect them as a person. 15. It's equal
You have different strengths and weaknesses but you work together to balance obligations and to maintain the connection between you, it doesn't all fall on one person. You both make an effort to keep the affection and passion alive, you feel cherished often and you make your other half feel cherished and wanted too. If you would like to know more about attracting, cultivating and maintaining a strong, healthy and loving relationship click here