Lasting And Healthy Relationships All Have This One Ingredient In Common

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Joined: Nov 2022

Photo: Ave Calvar | Pexels Lasting And Healthy Relationships All Have This One Ingredient In Common

When relationships are shiny and new, you often wear rose-colored glasses, and everything seems perfect.

You are a bit nervous and anxious and get butterflies just thinking about your special someone.

You’re almost giddy with happiness and excitement.

Then, the glow fades, and you begin to see things you didn’t see before. You wonder, how can this last? Can you have a healthy relationship full of love?

You feel restless, resentful, or taken advantage of. You have strong feelings of guilt and anxiety. Fears of abandonment and rejection take over your thoughts.

You say “yes” when you want to say “no”.

If you are committed to a healthy relationship but experience a lot of problems, you may be lacking what can take your relationship to the next level.

One ingredient all the best relationships have:


Boundaries are essential to a healthy relationship and a healthy life.

The feelings described indicate that you lack boundaries, have weak boundaries, or have trouble maintaining your boundaries.

Just what are boundaries? They’re the emotional and physical separation or distance between you and another person.

Boundaries are tools that allow you to do three important things.

1. Define yourself.

2. Define your responsibilities.

3. Define (and set) your limits.

We’re not born with set boundaries. We learn to set boundaries as a vital skill to build happy and healthy relationships.

Without them, you can be taken advantage of, manipulated, and abused.

You can suffer from feelings of low self-esteem and low self-worth.

By not valuing yourself, you can be undervalued and underappreciated by others.

You can become resentful, angry, and feel like a victim.

Fear of rejection, abandonment, and disappointing others can turn us into people-pleasers.

While there is nothing wrong with wanting to help or please others, doing so without any regard for your feelings, needs, and wants leads to burnout, overwhelming anxiety, and even depression.

In healthy relationships, valuing the other person’s needs, wants, and opinions equally with our own is a sign of emotional intelligence and maturity.

However, consistently and regularly undervaluing and ignoring our own is damaging.

It’s a sign of toxicity and co-dependence.

Learn to value and respect yourself at least as much as you do other important people in your life.

In some cases and with some people — value and respect yourself more than you do them.

Practice makes it easier. The learning curve for developing healthy boundaries is easier to practice right from the beginning of the relationship.

If your rose-colored glasses are still in place, consider if you could be manipulated by your new love to commit a crime. Or harming someone?

Could they convince you to go against your own better judgment, ethics, and standards?

And if they could (or would try), are they a good relationship prospect for you?

If it’s easier for you to imagine saying “no” to critical issues like this if they arise right away in your brand-new relationship, then you’re off to a great start!



What are your deal makers?

There are things we like and want in our daily lives and our healthiest, happiest relationship with ourselves.

These standards we set for ourselves serve as our do’s or deal makers in our romantic relationships.

We may ignore or minimize shady behavior while in the first rosy glow of a budding romance, but we know when something is off if we’re willing to listen to that inner voice or that uncomfortable pit in our stomach.

Indeed, people communicate differently, but we’re all human, and some basics facilitate healthy human interaction.

They apply no matter our gender and no matter what stage we are in developing a relationship.

Think about the things that make your best (non-romantic) relationships work.

What makes them enjoyable, desirable, fun, and worthwhile?

You can write these down in a shortlist. Be specific. Your list might include:

Mutual honesty: You two may not share everything, but what you do share is truthful.

Consistency: Doing what you say you will do, others doing what they say they will do.

Consideration: You take your feelings and those of the other person into account, and they do the same.

When both people in a relationship — any relationship, including a romantic one — bring these qualities and behaviors to the table, a healthy relationship is usually the result. Also, in this healthy relationship:

You can say “no” without the other person guilt-tripping or manipulating you to change your mind.

You are not the only one doing the heavy lifting — there is mutual give-and-take.

You are not the only one calling or making plans — the other person makes time for you and the relationship.

You are not the only one doing favors or being asked to contribute — the other person is available.

When these are the qualities you seek in your relationships with others, you’ve defined your standards and the basis for setting boundaries for building a healthy relationship.

These apply to all relationships. Of course, you’ll want to feel attraction, desire, and chemistry, and you want the other person to feel them for you.

These are feelings that typically separate platonic relationships from romantic ones.

But, if they’re the only basis for the relationship, you could be headed for heartache once the newness wears off.



What about your deal breakers?

Everyone has a deal breaker. There are things you aren’t comfortable with and aren’t prepared to accept, dislike, or bother you when considering your potential romantic relationship — even in its earliest stages.

This list is for you alone, so be honest and specific. Your list may look like this:

No abusers (of any kind)

No married/attached people

No players, liars, criminals, substance abusers

No users — financial or emotional

Once you are clear for yourself on these, combine the two lists.

You’ll know your standards and whether the qualities and behaviors of a person you’re interested in are what you want before you become emotionally invested and involved.

As your relationship develops from the very early stage of infatuation with each other, you may see some behaviors that make you uncomfortable. Maybe your person is taking you for granted.

They ask you for lots of favors and seem to need a lot from you, financially or emotionally, a lot of the time.

They get upset if they can’t control you and everything in the relationship — there is no way but their way in all things.

Can you contain the damage before it’s too late?

How should you act?

Let’s say you’ve been seeing each other for a while and don’t like some red flags that have replaced the rose-colored glasses.

Here’s a way to get things on track if you and your person are committed to building a healthy relationship.

These tips will also help you establish a healthy romantic relationship.

Communicate and interact with them without assumptions or expectations but with a clear idea of your standards.

Use the same standards that work for you in non-romantic relationships with friends, family, co-workers, and colleagues (even the clerk at the supermarket).

Feel confident that your standards reflect who you are, how you treat people, and how you like to be treated.

If they don’t meet the standards at the get-go, or if you find they have repeatedly stepped over the line or tested the boundaries you’ve identified as unacceptable to you, you need to take action.

The real action is not a lengthy discussion or an explanation/justification of yourself or your feelings.

Run away, walk away, or take one giant step backward and stop.

Your boundaries only mean as much to others as they do to you. If you won’t honor them, it’s unlikely they will either.

Lasting And Healthy Relationships All Have This One Ingredient In Common

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Your actions speak louder than words.

Their actions will show you if you need to seriously reconsider or step back from them as a potential romantic partner.

Your boundaries are your own “line in the sand,” and knowing them before you become involved with someone can save you wasted time, tears, and heartache.

Notice I didn’t say, “Before you become attracted”?

Attraction can happen in an instant without knowing a single thing about a person. Involvement, however, is a choice.

The behaviors you accept, rationalize, accommodate, or excuse from the person in your life (or the one you’re hoping to have a relationship with), can quickly become the relationship standard or status quo.

It’s much harder to reject a behavior once you’ve quietly accepted it.

By rejecting the behavior when it first occurs, you give a person a choice — to respect you or to let you alone.

If your partner can’t respect you, what else can’t they do?

Be emotionally, physically, and spiritually available to you.

Be kind, considerate, honest, and trustworthy.

Healthy boundaries work! They affirm that you respect yourself, love yourself, and want those things in return from the person with whom you are in a relationship.

A person’s behavior will show you whether there’s real potential for a relationship that meets your standards and honors your healthy, positive boundaries.

If not, don’t waste your time trying to explain, rationalize, or excuse their actions.

Swipe left and move on to find someone who can be a source of happiness for you and enrich your life.

More for You:
Zodiac Signs That Are Terrible At Relationships (And Why)20 Little Things Women Do That Guys *Secretly* LoveThe Perfect Age To Get Married, According To Science5 Little Ways Men Wish They Could Be Loved — Every Single Day

Dona Murphy is a life and relationship coach who supplements her sessions with tarot card readings to empower clients along their journey of spiritual development and personal growth. 

This article was originally published at my website blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.

Source: YourTango


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