Healthy Relationships

In healthy relationships, there is a balance of power. Each is open to respectful influence by the other. They each care about what is important to the other.  One or the other might slip occasionally into inconsiderate behavior but responsibility is taken if this happens.

Having healthy relationships doesn’t mean there is never conflict. Conflict is normal. No two people will always agree; in fact our differences are often what attract us to others. Managing disagreements constructively is an important skill.

The following characterisitics are important to harmony and happiness in any relationship:

  • Acceptance and tolerance of differences
  • Openness to negotiation and compromise
  • Willingness to let go
  • Ability to trust
  • Honesty 
  • Personal responsibility for expressing wants and needs
  • Respectful limit setting
  • Humor and taking things lightly
  • Positive expressions of caring
  • Knowledge of partner’s history and personality – who the person is
  • Sense of “we-ness” as a couple – common vision of the future

Relationships are wonderful teachers in our lives. We are drawn to those people who help us to grow, whether they are long term commitments or brief encounters. A wise person once said to me:

“If your relationship isn’t growing, it’s dying.” I believe that.

Sometimes relationship therapy is helpful in working on growth in some or all of these areas. Future posts will go into more depth with each of these qualities.



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