Relationships

Six Ingredients for a Healthy Relationship

Eileen Bailey Jan 7th, 2013 (updated May 21st, 2015)
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In the early stages of a relationship, everything is wonderful. You want to spend every day together. You share everything and seem to spend the whole day smiling. But as the relationship develops, you may have questions about whether it is a healthy relationship or whether it is time to say good-bye. The following are six ingredients to a healthy relationship.

 

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Mutual respect
Mutual respect

Respect is defined as “a high or special regard.” But respect within a relationship is much more. It means you value the other person’s ideas, wishes and feelings. While that doesn’t mean you don’t have to adopt their ideas as your own or do whatever they want without any regard to your own feelings or wishes, it does mean that make an effort to take their wants into consideration. Both partners within a relationship should treat each other with respect.

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Trust and honesty
Trust and honesty

Trusting another person can sometimes be hard, but in order to build and earn trust, honesty and integrity must be part of the relationship from the beginning. Trust is more than just believing your partner won’t cheat on you (although that is part of it). You need to be able to trust your partner to share intimate details of your life, without being judged or ridiculed. Deceit, even little white lies, are difficult to get over. 

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Communication
Communication

While some conversations may be difficult, it is important to feel that you can talk about any situation or feeling. You should be able to talk openly and honestly about your feelings, your dreams, your expectations, your problems and your achievements. Your partner should feel he or she can do the same. Communication is a two-way street and involves listening to the other person just as much as it does in speaking up for your needs. 

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Have a life of your own
Have a life of your own

You may want to spend every minute with your new partner but that usually doesn’t lead to a healthy relationship. You probably had a life before you met him or her and had friends you spent time with. Neither of you should be expected to give up your own life.  Your time apart will make you appreciate one another all the more and will give you something to talk about and share with each other.

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Emotional support
Emotional support

It is important to support one another – in good times and bad. You may find your partner is always there to give you a hug and support when things are going wrong but shrugs off your accomplishments or vice versa, he may be always willing to celebrate your achievements but doesn’t want to hear anything about the bad times. Both you and your partner should provide a shoulder when needed and be excited during the good times as well.

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Fairness
Fairness

One-sided relationships usually leave one partner feeling left out, unappreciated and lonely. You both have different interests and ideas and a healthy relationship takes both of you into account. For example, if you like going to the movies, do you take turns choosing the movie? Or, when you plan on spending the day together do you always end up doing what one partner wants?