What is a healthy relationship? Often when I ask this of single people or even couples who come in for counselling they do not have a definitive answer. There are a few things which I like to call relationship fundamentals which really need to be in place to have a healthy relationship. Couples who have these relationship fundamentals handle the stresses of life and the natural challenges of a relationship with more ease than those who don’t.
Dr. Les Parrott who is an author and motivational speaker offers this intriguing statement to reflect upon;
“If you try to find intimacy with another person before achieving a sense of identity on your own, all your relationships become an attempt to complete yourself.”
I believe what Dr. Parrott is saying is that we must come to a place where we are comfortable and confident in who we really are or at least in who we are striving to become. When we know and love our self we are more inclined to form relationships that aren’t self-seeking or needy and create relationships which are more balanced or mutually beneficial.
So before we begin to search out the relationship that is right for us, we may want to take the opportunity to look at who we are and what it is that we really want from a relationship and life. This assists us in being clearer about the kind of relationship we want to attract into our lives. In attracting the right relationship, it is also very important that we are learning how to be the right kind of partner or to be our best self. When we can learn to meet our own needs without relying on someone else. When we can form relationships from a space of completeness verses a space of needing our emptiness to be filled. We have a sense of our intrinsic value, separate from what someone else might be reflecting back to us. Getting to know who we are and learning to love ourselves creates a solid foundation of self that we can bring to any relationship.
So, perhaps the most basic of basics in a good relationship with another person is the kind of relationship that we have with ourselves.
Let’s explore that! Below are some questions which you can ask yourself and your willingness to be honest with yourself may be challenged here. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being not at all and 10 being yes this is totally me answer these questions.
- Do you feel you need a partner to complete you?
- Are you uncomfortable doing things solo?
- Are you okay being alone with yourself?
- When you are in a relationship, do you tend to lose yourself?
- Do you have difficulties setting boundaries?
- Do you have difficulty saying no?
- Do you avoid conflict at all costs?
- Are you very concerned about; people liking you, other people’s approval?
- Do you feel compelled to fix things, make things better for others?
- Do you feel other people’s opinions are more important than your own?
- Do you feel like you want to be rescued?
- Do you believe that you are enough, worthy, lovable and desirable?
- Do you find yourself justifying everything?
- Are you an authentic person who shares your wants and desires, who can ask for what you want?
- Are you an authentic person who can share your feelings good or bad respectfully and truthfully?
Your answers here are a guideline for you to know if there are any areas in your relationship with yourself that may need a little work.
If you feel you are worthy, lovable and enough. If you feel that you are an authentic person, who sets appropriate boundaries, that you say no when you mean no, and yes when you mean yes. If you know that you allow others to fix their own problems because they are learning from doing that. If you are not overtly concerned with having people like you or in seeking their approval. If you deal with conflicts as they arise and can enjoy doing things solo. If you stand up for the things you believe in and speak your truth even when it is difficult to do so. If you are taking responsibility for yourself and your actions then you are most likely very comfortable and confident in your own skin and in your relationship with yourself.
If, however you feel your relationship with self is in need of a little tune up. I suggest that seeking appropriate help can save you a lot of heartache. The first step to having a really satisfying and healthy relationship is first having that relationship with self.
Doing your own inner work allows you to be okay even when you are not in a relationship. It allows you to come from a clearer space about the kind of relationship you truly want. To attract the right relationship, it is also very important to know what it is that you really want in a relationship. When we can learn to meet our own needs without relying on someone else. When we can form a relationship from a place of self-love and completeness. The neediness disappears, the second guessing ourselves disappears, the justifying ourselves disappears and the need to prove ourselves disappears.
When we are clear in what we truly want in a relationship from that healthy place, we attract healthier partners. Which in turn create a healthier relationship.
I hope you find this useful and my wish for you is to be healthy and to create a healthy relationship!