Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship
You can have an intimate relationship with anyone -- it doesn't have to be in the context of a sexual or romantic relationship. Many people think that "intimate" means being physically intimate, such as being in a sexual relationship. However, an intimate relationship can be with anyone who you are really close to and with whom you can be completely open and honest. Being close to people helps us find meaning and gives us purpose.
In a healthy relationship between two people, each person is allowed to be an individual within the relationship. Both people are allowed to grow independently of each other and as a couple. This kind of healthy relationship involves freedom, encouragement and support of each other's efforts. It also involves boundaries, cooperation and compromise, and being considerate.
We believe that the keys to a healthy relationship are communication, trust and respect, which are related to everything else. They are the base of all other components of a healthy relationship. If the precursors of communication, trust and respect are present, then people can be aware, be balanced, have healthy boundaries and make healthy choices. With these healthy components, you can have relationships that are encouraging and supportive.
This may all sound easy, but as we all know, relationships take work, and we need to be conscious of our feelings. In a healthy relationship, you and your partner should be able to turn to each other for support.
Do you feel you can share your feelings with your partner?
- Although you may not feel comfortable sharing everything with your partner, it's important that you be able to talk to your partner to some degree and share feelings, difficulties and successes.
- Thinking about what level of support you get and give in your relationship can help you evaluate its quality and create a discussion for you and your partner. To better support your partner (or your friends), try to listen in a non-judgmental manner. Avoid providing advice unless asked and keep anything your partner said in confidence.
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