Flowers, chocolates, jewelry, dates in an expensive restaurant , thanks to the media and a increasingly materialistic society, these are all things that have become synonymous with love. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to get treated and to treat your partner in return and coming home to bright flowers after a hard day is very very appreciated. However, these days If your partner doesn’t spend all their money on you in one weekend then it’s perceived that they simply don’t love you enough. As if something to be bought, love has become something almost construed. I mean of course, if we could give our partners the world them we would, but that’s not a possibility for many people, and there are far more amazing gifts we could be giving such as support, appreciation and respect.
‘Is my relationship healthy?’ ‘Are they the one?’ ‘Will it last?’ These are all questions I see plastered in every search bar and hear dropped into many conversations. As social beings, we value our relationships with others and dedicate a lot of time to them, no more so than a romantic one.
Anyone who is in interested in having a relationship, or is currently in one will wonder, at some point if their partner is ‘the one’ and if they should continue down this road together. We all want to find that one person who is right for us, who will aid us in life instead of hinder us, and be the good when we cannot.
During my young life and very few partners, I’ve learned a lot about what makes a healthy relationship, one in which I am happy. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the falling head first down a dark road with someone incompatible that made me realise these things. No, it took walking down the right road with the right person to make me see just how important aspects of a healthy relationship are, and how we should not settle for harsh words and disrespect fin exchange for romantic gestures and headboard rattling evenings. (Which you also deserve too).
I by no means am an expert at relationships, nor do I have many relationships to draw from. However, from my own personal experiences, these are the things, that to me make a healthy and loving relationship:
- Your partner makes you happy
- They love you
- They don’t use that love as an excuse to belittle or mistreat you.
- On that note, they should never belittle or mistreat you.
- They appreciate you
- They support you in your life
- They trust you (as much as they possibly can)
- And you trust them (as much as you possibly can)
- They think of you. And not just in the romantic way of ‘Oh I wonder how they are doing? what are they up to?’ , but in the sense of wanting to help you out in stressful times and be there for you.
- They are present in your time of need. There is nothing worse and more insulting than a partner who only wants you when your clothes are off or there is a smile on your face. (Trust me, I’ve been there)
- They appreciate you.
- They appreciate your relationship and value it.
- They never pressure or guilt you into doing what they want, when they want.
- They never feel entitled to your body.
- They understand the meaning of STOP.
- Your partner is not sexist (for if you are a woman and he is, I promise you, you are no exception to the rule).
- Your partner should not exoticize, glamorize or discriminate you.
- Your partner shouldn’t want or try and ‘fix’ you, you’re not something broken.
- They value you.
- You have a balanced relationship.
- You communicate.
- Your partner should make your life easier, not harder.
- They never try to change your identity. (An ex partner once told me I shouldn’t identify as Welsh, but as British…we didn’t last much longer.)
- They should never body shame you or make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. That isn’t love.
- THEY RESPECT YOU.