A healthy relationship is one that involves trust, respect, and communication. It is important to regularly take an honest look at our relationships and assess what aspects are good, where we might need improvement, or if some intervention may be in order.
IS IT REALLY LOVE?
How do you know if it is really true love? Often, we thought we loved someone and they loved us, but when we looked back we maybe saw that it wasn’t love after all.
- True love is self-giving, wanting the best for the ones we love. If someone says, “I love you” but is treating you poorly, it is NOT love.
- Love is more than just a feeling. Love is a decision to put another first in good times and difficult times. If your significant other rarely puts you first, it is NOT love.
- Love sees the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. If one focuses mainly on your body (or gaining access to it), it is NOT love.
True love is selfless, puts what is best for the other first, and builds slowly. Lust is the opposite of love. It is selfish and thinks of one’s self. Lust thinks, “What’s in it for me?” Words may be used that sound nice, but they may just be words with no meaning or used to get something in return.
IS IT HEALTHY?
Maybe your relationship does have a deep emotional connection…but is it healthy?
Some traits of a healthy relationship:
- Partners can manage differences without threats or lashing out.
- Both partners can communicate wants, needs, feelings, and emotional issues freely.
- There is NO abuse: physical, verbal, or emotional.
- Both partners have boundaries: each person can say no to requests from the other when necessary without feeling guilty, and they can communicate feelings without fear the other will retaliate.
Some characteristics of an unhealthy relationship:
- They ask for access to your phone or social media accounts; this shows a desire to control.
- They encourage you to neglect things that are important to you like a friend or family member they don’t get along with, or your studies, or work.
- They get jealous when you hang with your friends, coworkers, or family.
- You feel like they constantly *need* you and that breaking up would devastate them permanently.
You CAN have healthy, loving relationships. Determine your standards, and don’t step away from them in order to date someone who pressures you to. Consider ending unhealthy relationships, and flee abuse now. And, to be fair, we should look at ourselves – are we loving with the right motives?
Remember, you are a unique and amazing person with dignity and worth. Respect and true love are possible for you 💛 Don’t settle.
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