I would like to talk about the components to a healthy relationship.
I teach that there are five ingredients in a healthy relationship
Love refers to wanting the best for your partner.
Friendship is to know the best and worst of someone and still like, accept and trust him or her.
Companionship is doing things together.
Sex is your physical connection.
Intimacy is expressing your vulnerability – your innermost emotions – to your partner.
It’s possible to have one element without the others. You can love someone but not be friends – not trust each other. You can be friends but never do anything together – you may talk a lot but not share activities, hobbies and recreational time. You can have an exciting physical connection but never truly open up to each other about your deepest fears, fantasies and past hurts – you don’t talk about your deepest nature and feelings. After the five major ingredients, there are six other elements that also play a significant role in building and keeping a relationship strong so that both partners feel loved and fulfilled.
1. Mutual concern
Both partners care about each other’s well being. They’re interested in each other and view each other as important. While not becoming a doormat, each partner wants the best for the other and makes appropriate compromises. Each one takes a sincere interest in the other person.
2. Joint Growth
Growth refers to evolving, developing and maturing on all levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Although each partner will experience his or her own growth, the couple also grows as a unit. If, for example, one partner advances spiritually but the other remains stagnant, the relationship can fall apart. A lack of mutual growth results in comments such as, “We don’t seem to have anything in common anymore.” Joint Growth also refers to the evolution of values: both partners’ values grow and evolve on the same levels. If their values evolve in two different directions, then the partners too, will take different directions!
3. Identity & Individuality
There is sufficient freedom and opportunity within the relationship to allow each partner to express and develop his or her identity and individuality. Identity can be defined as distinct personality; individuality as the qualities and characteristics that distinguish one person from another. In other words, identity and individuality are what make you different from everyone else. The danger for many people in relationships is trying to change their partner’s identity and individuality. Your partner may dress in a unique manner or have a unique sense of humor. If you try to change that, you may succeed but the price could be very high. Your partner could walk out if he or she feels unable to express his or her true self.
4. Open Communication
I’m fascinated when people cite communication as the most important aspect of a relationship. Communication does not, by itself, guarantee success. If your partner tells you he or she can’t stand the way you dress, that you look frumpish, cheap or easy –that is communicating but it doesn’t help the relationship. Many people unfortunately confuse open, harsh criticism and judgment for communication. What can help a relationship is open and effective communication – which includes explaining why we feel the way we do. “I’m uncomfortable when you go out in public dressed that way because I feel insecure and jealous” is effective and empowering communication because it removes the judgment and criticism and allows you both to further explore the underlying issue and thus resolve the problem or challenge.
5. Supporting each other
Support occurs on many levels – not just physical (caring for your partner when he or she is sick) or financial (providing money and material things.) Many men put marriage or commitment on hold because they feel they don’t have enough money or a well-enough established job or career to fund a relationship and their perception of what a woman wants or needs. But the primary supports most people need are not physical or financial – they’re mental, emotional and spiritual. Supporting someone to strive for his or her full potential involves encouragement and inspiration. Each partner offers the other strength, encouragement, confirmation and moral backing. True support also involves perception and intuition – knowing what the other person’s talents and passions are.
6. Fun and a sense of humor
Fun and a sense of humor are important to a successful and happy relationship. Many people think that as long as they have physical attraction and love, the relationship will be just fine. Time and experience proves that theory to be false. As the years pass, a sense of humor will help keep a relationship alive and strong. Without fun and a sense of humor, partners may become critical and bitter towards each other. As two people grow old together, the banter, wit and jovial discussions make their time more magical. Being able to laugh at yourself keeps love alive.
The above is from my book, “Soul Mates – Discovering, Sharing and Loving” and is available here: http://patrickwanis.com/blog/FindSoulMateLoveBook.asp
I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist www.patrickwanis.com