“A healthy relationship, whether it’s romantic, brotherly, or friendly, is when each person is allowed room to grow, unjudged, and still loved.” ~ Mama Zara
The question to ask
“If I want to be in a relationship, why do I want it?”
Odds are you’re a good person who wishes to share your life with another. Some people, however, seek out a relationship for the wrong reasons. When it comes down to it, being in a relationship is a huge commitment – and it’s beneficial to examine your motivations carefully.
Dr. Margaret Paul, a renowned relationship expert, emphasizes the importance of self-love before committing to someone. According to Paul, the most common unhealthy reason why people get into relationships: not receiving enough love, and needing a partner to give it to them; somehow feeling that a partner will make them feel worthy and complete.
“People who want a relationship for this reason are generally very disappointed, because if they are not loving themselves, their partner’s love cannot fill the empty place within.”
That said, what are the HEALTHY reasons for wanting a relationship?
1. Giving and receiving love and care
There is a vast difference between desiring to share love and wanting to receive love. Resolving deep-seeded issues prior to finding a romantic partner is probably best.
It’s when you love and care for yourself that should determine when you’re ready to meet someone. When you love yourself, it’s much easier for a potential mate to love you back.
A relationship wherein two people love and value themselves opens the possibility for experiencing the joy that encompasses the sharing of love and passion.
2. Mutual support
As social beings, most of us want someone reliable and trustworthy to see us through life. Support, in the context of a relationship, is multi-faceted. We need emotional and spiritual support from our partner.
Having a loving partner who also supports your dreams and passions is crucial to relationship happiness. When someone is “all in” on what you want to accomplish in life, things are that much easier and that much more enjoyable.
Financial support is also an important part of living a comfortable life together.
The truth is we are transformed, to some degree, by who we allow into our lives. Our partners are huge influences on our life and our life’s outlook. Many people have changed for the better by a conscientious partner who, lovingly and firmly, points out both our strengths and our weaknesses. We also learn by observing our partner. We “mirror” the things we admire about them – a fact proven by science.
(we mimic the actions of those we respect.)
The cool thing is that each person has different things to offer. The intimate nature of a loving relationship, combined with these differences, is enough for us to become a better partner and individual.
4. Family and children
For people who want a family and children, this is a major factor in a happy relationship. Fortunately, we discover whether a person wants children early in the dating process. In fact, most online dating sites have a questionnaire that asks if children are in the cards (a “Yes/No/Maybe” sort of thing.)
Anyways, having a family is a beautiful thing. Having children while remaining with your partner is deeply satisfying for a couple of reasons. First, parenting can be a challenging endeavor, and having a partner who shares these challenges makes things a bit easier.
Studies show that children raised in partnerships are generally better off. For instance, there is a direct correlation between a stable family environment and the development of personal and psychological problems.
5. Friendship and fun
You hear people all the time say, “My spouse/partner is also my best friend.” Of course! You’re intimately involved with a man or woman who knows you better than most friends ever could. So, the “My spouse/partner is also my best friend” thing, while on the surface a bit cheesy, is nonetheless true.
Anyways, it is generally much more fun to do things with a partner, especially if you share mutual interests. Being “besties” and remembering to have fun is an important part of a healthy relationship.
(Readers: What do you think are the keys to a healthy relationship? Do you have any personal insight to share? Please do!)
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