The great Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This quote is the basis of a healthy relationship. We can’t always predict when we will find it, but it is more than possible to sustain it once we do. The difference between a healthy and toxic connection is clear, but not always to the person experiencing it. Typically, small-minded people assume when we talk about healthy relationships that it only pertains to dating when in reality we should strive to have them with everyone we share our lives with, platonic friends and relatives included. The truth is that a healthy relationship is precisely what the individual words define: a bond between two humans that is stable, loving, and happy.
Generally, when we encounter people who have had a toxic relationship in the past, they tend to replicate similar mistakes several times before learning their lesson. This has led some to believe that healthy relationships are a scarce and difficult resource to find. Toxic ones are easier to start, and so more prevalent because the drama surrounding them is reassuring in a way, as it’s what someone can be used to. Healthy partnerships require vulnerability and force you to be your true self, a scary thought for many. While it may be true that not everyone has this solid bond in their lives, it’s entirely on us to cultivate these kinds of relationships; they don’t just appear from thin air. This is a large part of what stops people from having the stable, healthy relationships they desire.
The Essence of a Healthy Relationship
Getting into and staying in a healthy relationship is quite simple. To have one, the act of communicating with love and sharing with purpose is a must, with friends or lovers, and the earlier done, the better. This is somewhat easily achieved by actions like checking in with loved ones going through a tough time or being present when it’s not convenient for you. When cultivating a healthy bond, in the events of strong disagreement, it’s vital to forgive trite things. Do not allow space for resentment over small divisions in ideas or beliefs; the shared love for one another is all that matters. With love and respect, a healthy relationship will thrive. The foundation of a stable bond uses respect and love as it’s bricks. More often than not, when we love and respect someone sincerely, we do our best for them, and when we do better by them, and them us, it creates a mutually beneficial cycle in the form of a healthy relationship.
Signs of Healthy vs Unhealthy Relationships
In most relationships, there are simple ways to gauge if it’s a toxic or healthy one. One way in which to test the nature of your bond is to assess how you honestly feel around someone. In a healthy partnership, you know that you feel good when interacting or even just thinking about them. Your intuition tells you that you are safe and loved when they’re around. Healthy relationships are complete with good, caring auras that, in turn, help us lead better lives. Another is by how they act. If their positive actions reflect what you already do or would like to do better, they are an ideal candidate to exchange ideas and thoughts with.
Additionally, there should be an equal amount of commitment and no lasting hard feelings. You have the right to expect that your actions for someone would be reciprocated and, if need be, they will do the same for you. Healthy relationships are filled with this equal amount of commitment and feed into the cycle that helps everyone involved.
On the contrary, unhealthy relationships will give you all the opposite vibes. You don’t feel comfortable around them; the thought of interacting with them makes you unhappy; they have treated you in ways that have already left a lasting negative impression of their personality on you. If their actions are questionable by your standards, you should not continue to interact with them as this is a sign of opposing ideals; and likely the basis of a toxic relationship. When you don’t share the same morals and values in a partnership, the other person can and will do things that you dislike immensely, leading you to feel unhappy, another sign of an unhealthy bond.
In summary, although we have varying cultures and stories, we all know the difference in how someone makes us feel.
Those feelings are essential to keep in mind when looking to find and retain a healthy relationship. If your relationship brings you feelings of joy on all fronts, then it is a healthy one. If you feel like you’re fighting for something to keep it alive, it is most likely an unhealthy relationship.