By: Angelie Karabatsos, LPC, NCC, MA, MBA
Being in a healthy relationship takes a lot of work. In the article, “What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?” Psychology Today cited 13 signs to look for in healthy relationships.
There are three factors in a healthy relationship that helps relationships last. These three factors are: open dialogue, vulnerability, and trust. If one of these factors is missing, such as trust, the relationship can become tense. Often arguments can occur, which can lead to things being said no one means or worse a breakup. Many relationships improve when each partner vows to work on talking openly, showing their inner self, and looking for the good. This blog gives information on the three factors in healthy relationships.
Have you seen two people talking at instead of to each other in public? Open dialogue means the ability to share thoughts and feelings with partner or spouse without being judged. It is talking from one own view and being heard by their person. Actively listening, which means not thinking about what you are going to say next but waiting for their turn to speak and using I statements. People using open dialogue ask open-ended questions to gather information and facts before speaking. It also means leaning into a conflict instead of going quiet or just walking away. Saying nothing when talking with partner can be upsetting to the partner, thus leading to hurt feelings.
What does it mean to be vulnerable? Being vulnerable does not mean being needy or weak. It means feeling comfortable with self and partner to be able to laugh at one another’s mistakes. Taking responsibility for one’s mistake instead of blaming or trying to justify poor behavior because they action often leads to a fight, which can cause a breakup. Being free and real with self and partner. It is showing your spouse who you truly are without being made fun of or teased. Vulnerability in relationships also means asking for what you need without hesitation, such as asking for a hug when its been a rough day. Its ok to ask for some tender loving care when sick.
How does a couple that completely trusts each other act? Being trustworthy means doing what you say and when you say you will do the task. It is providing emotional and physically faithfulness. One way earn trust is not flirting with people of the opposite sex, even if we think it is just playing. Another way of being trustworthy is to show care and compassion to our partner. Providing care when partner is upset drives connection because it increases feelings of trust. Being one-hundred-percent transparent. This means not hiding cell phone, inviting your partner to look through your cell phone, being at the place you say you will be, and texting or calling if plans change.
People belong in relationship. Coupling up and means learning to live together without causing pain. All of the three factors of a healthy relationship are behaviors. All behaviors are learned, therefore old behaviors can be removed and replaced with new behaviors. To quote Shakespeare, “the love looks not with the eyes but with the mind,” thus we need to learn to use open dialogue, be vulnerable, and to trust and be trustworthy. Doing these three things will lead to a healthier and happier relationship.
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