Trust. Communication. Empathy. Respect.
These are just a few of the attributes that are absolutely vital when looking at how to build a healthy relationship that works well for both parties that are involved.
It is important to know how to identify these aspects of a relationship, not only to be able to tell when one is unhealthy, but to also know when your relationship is a strong and beneficial one.
It is just as important to learn how to identify both the good, and the bad.
One must also note, that these characteristics within relationships are not just restricted to romantic partners, these can be used to identify the pros and cons within the platonic relationships that we have within our lives as well. No matter platonic or romantic, the relationships that we choose to surround and indulge ourselves within shape out our personal lives.
That is why it is so important to ensure that the relationships we put our energy and time within, are ones that are going to help us grow and further adapt to our most authentic selves.
So, what does a healthy relationship truly look like? Let’s dive in and see.
Trust is the foundation that is essential for a healthy relationship to grow and thrive. Without trust, the relationships within our lives become vulnerable and uncertain. The lack of trust within a relationship will increase the amount of stress on both parties and seize any potential form of growth and expansion.
Trusting relationships have a strong base -- trusting your partner or friends means being able to rely on them for the most important aspects of our lives. Having no donut in your mind that they will pull through during the most important times (or even just the small times).
Trust is by far one of the most important characteristics. Without trust, there is no foundation to build. Without trust, there is no relationship to have.
Strong communication is a characteristic within a relationship that can be difficult for some, but without it, an array of confusion and misunderstandings is a fate that is bound to occur. If someone within your relationship is not willing to communicate their concerns, their thoughts or their challenges that they wish to overcome within the relationship, this can be a sign of weak communication. We must be willing to acknowledge the conversations and the topics that may be hard to discuss with one another. This is how we grow. This is how relationships grow.
(Growth is going to be a very important recurring theme if you can’t already tell)
Bottling up emotions and concerns, instead of finding solutions to these issues by having an effective conversation, where both parties are actively listening to one another, is a sure fire way to have a relationship crumble.
Taking a walk in another person's shoes. It sounds cliche, but cliches often have some of the most beneficial lessons that we can take into account.
Having a partner or friend that is empathetic and takes the effort to see situations through your lens is a perfect way to dictate on whether your relationship is a beneficial one. Having a partner that is only restricted to their own narrative and perspective allows absolutely no growth to occur. It will trap both parties in a box of their own experiences and viewpoints.
To continue to grow a healthy relationship, one must be willing to accept the fact that they are not always correct and that their point of view is often time respecting them from arriving to a conclusion to conflict with their partner.
Empathy shows your relationships that you care about them and their experiences and emotions. Being empathetic keeps relationships from being a one party deal, and turns it into a journey that is completed by a team.
No one enjoys being disrespected or belittled. Everyone deserves to be respected in the ways that they ask and expect. Respect is not just constricted to the boxes that we typically associate the term with. Like respecting our parents, elders, teachers, etc.
Respect means valuing each other's opinions, thoughts, experiences, as if they were their own. They do not de-validate or dismiss the important values that are held high by the other party. Respecting one another means listening. Listening and understanding the boundaries that are put by the other. Not overstepping lines that make the other uncomfortable or unsure.
Respect can make or break so many relationships. That is why it is also one of the most important things to keep into account when evaluating your relationships within your life. With no respect, how can you expect any form of growth to occur? A lack of respect is a lack of consideration. And there is nothing more damning than a relationship where one does not take the most important considerations and boundaries into account.
Navigating what a true and healthy relationship may look like can be very difficult at times. But here’s the thing, a healthy relationship should never be so difficult to navigate and leave you feeling unsure, unwanted, unappreciated or unsafe. You should be able to be vulnerable and open with all of your emotions with the relationships within your life at all times.
And you may find yourself evaluating your relationships and seeing that there are some within your life that may not be as healthy as you once may thought. That’s ok. The first step is recognizing that you deserve the absolute best that a relationship or friendship has to offer and that your feelings are VALID.
Even if you may not think so, each and every single one of you are deserving of the love and companionship that you wish to receive. There are no limits to your specific needs and considerations when it comes to the people that you put your energy with.
You deserve the most authentic and true form of love. Remember that.
Are you or someone you know involved within an unhealthy relationship? Check out the resources down below for more information on how to help yourself and those around you.
Student Health Services - (513) 529-3000
Women Helping Women - (513) 846-8402
Title IX Office - (513) 529-1870
The National Domestic Violence Hotline - https://www.thehotline.org/