Attributes of a Healthy Relationship


Do you know that Disney honeymoon phase of a relationship, where the sun shines brighter, birds sing louder, food tastes better?

I bet you have experienced it, perhaps more than once.

Perhaps you have also endured the harsh wake-up call once the serotonin levels gradually return to normal, and suddenly the way your partner sings in the shower drives you crazy, their friends annoy you, soon you feel left out of the partnership you once considered impeccable.

They did not change. You did not either. Perhaps that is the leading issue: lack of growth and understanding, thus the mutual bond.

Butterflies going berserk in your belly do not suffice for the deep connection to thrive. There is more to it than passion and desire for each other.


Mutual respect

Acceptance of your partner’s little quirks, opposing points of view are crucial for a strong connection.

It is easy to get lost in the relationship drama once the honeymoon phase is over. That is where true patience enters the scene. When both parties tolerate each other’s different tastes in music, political views, even the way you organize your workspace, the authentic relationship can thrive.

Nobody is perfect, and that is marvelous because that is how we grow as human beings. With acceptance comes vulnerability. Couples sometimes begin to assume that their needs are the same. But the truth is, despite being best friends, highly compatible, in love, and happy, you are still two separate people.

How to exercise: When a peculiar trait of your partner starts bugging you, bring back the focus to yourself. Explore your interests, commit to regular exercise, take up something which makes you thrive. When you stop distracting your mind with other people’s bullshit, you become more compassionate and tolerant towards yourself and others. When you feel good, you do not engage in pettiness and unnecessary tension.



When you no longer feel the need to hide your interests, fears, eerie thoughts rummaging through your head, the relationship becomes saturated with empowering energy.

Perfectionism seems to be romanticized in the era of social media. However, our vulnerabilities and imperfections make us who we are and what makes others drawn to us. It is the way we stutter, the way we mess up the recipe for the homemade cake, how you spill your drink because you are both laughing so hard. Authenticity is sexy.

How to exercise: Realize that your partner is human. Take them off the pedestal. There is no need for you to be the cheering crowd and hide those aspects of your personality or physicality just because you deem it as flawed. For others, those flaws make us loveable. Only by elevating your self-worth and confidence do you make room for unconditional love to enter the sacred union.


Self-confident energy

All dating gurus advise unrestricted communication. I used to believe that frankness unfolds the path to a successful partnership. However, it is the culprit that trips people up.

You can say one thing but feel completely different. You start picking on the little pieces, soon mounting to big deals out of nothing. It even has a name: Woodpecker Syndrome, when a partner is not willing to let go but persist with toxic lectures. It does not lead to any constructive dialogue, but irritates both parties. Constant criticism stems from the need to control and manipulate. Is it the taste of the authentic connection?

How to exercise: Let trust and confidence take the stand. When you are sure of yourself, you do not throw tantrums, jealous scenes because you know at the end of the day you are the chosen one. You trust your partner with no fuss. When you are in a confident and positive state of mind, that is the time to communicate with your partner. Instead of an insufferable bore, you get to be a passionate and welcoming companion to enjoy life with.



Tolerance is not enough to maintain a long-lasting, balanced relationship.

You can always find those traits you admire in your partner, whether work ethic, leadership, sensitivity, generosity. Our mind is programmed to seek out unfavourable conditions. What we focus on expands. Every time you complain about the other person’s weakness, you isolate yourself further from true companionship. Not only does it show disrespect for the person you have chosen to be with, but it also speaks volumes about your character.

How to exercise: Focus on positive aspects of your partner’s personality. Remember what made you fall in love with them in the first place. When you shift your perspective, the things you look at change. Beauty truly lies in the eye of the beholder. It is up to you to bring it out. When you cultivate love within yourself, you get to seek it out in your environment. When you show self-respect, you get to exercise it from others as well.


Fair play

When you become confident in your own body and mind, any need for scheming and lying fades from the picture.

A fearless, self-assured person has no desire to play games or send mixed signals to get that person. They already are in a committed relationship. Any revenge is a sign of inferiority. You feel less, so you reach for the piercing tool in the hope to get even. The toxic wheel spins faster, only to leave both of you shattered.

You will always reflect what you manifest through your choices. Honest partnership requires vulnerability, tenacious self-confidence and arrogance knowing that you deliver your best to the table.

How to exercise: Become the bigger person. When you feel the urge to react on the spot, take mindful breaths, calm down, even exit the room if you need to. The key is to stabilize your racing emotions. Once you start thinking clearly, harmonious feelings follow. When you react with pettiness, the next destructive argument will blossom. However, when you act from the place of compassion and understanding, you get to translate that unconditional love into a more deepening relationship.


Practice letting go

People make mistakes. We stumble, but we also have the privilege to learn from the missteps.

Holding on to grudges and past grievances only disrupt your stability and clear judgement. You cannot be of service to yourself or anyone when all you have to give is resentment. The letting go technique does not mean you forget and allow for the ill-treatment or unfairness to continue. It means you are no longer attached to the negative energy it carries.

When you are overthinking or analysing, you hold back negative emotions, which materialize as a disease or sabotage your relationship. When both individuals are able to let go of the past and are willing to work towards a better future, even if it means being apart, you can thrive.

How to exercise: Meditation and mindfulness are great tools. Engaging in the present moment as an observer of your thoughts, rather than a frantic participator, allows you to experience a non-attachment state. When you do not cling to your relationship as the source of your happiness, you do not fret about losing it, either. Because of that, your partnership with yourself strengthens, and so does all relationships in your life. Instead of blaming your past for any grievances, you become a mindful creator of your present and future connections.



It is the crucial component of every deep and genuine partnership. It brings you closer to people. It makes you more sensitive to the beauty of the world.

Pure compassion does not entail suffering together, but acknowledging the feelings of another being. It is an extension of love. To be compassionate does not mean taking action, fixing others’ problems, but giving them full attention: I see you. I understand you are going through rough times. I am here if you need me. According to a new study published in the journal Emotion, compassion is the most important quality to have in a happy marriage.

There needs to be a healthy balance when it comes to compassion, though. To serve others, you need to become immune to pain and projection of their suffering. Yes, some people enjoy drama and would like very much to drag you in it. However, to lift somebody, you need to be stable in your emotions and firmly stand your ground.

How to exercise: Start from the beginning. Go inward. Honour your emotions. Get to know yourself. You can accomplish this through mindfulness as it affects the amount of grey matter in your brain, which can strengthen your memory, compassion, introspection, and self-awareness. Deep connection with yourself allows you to better understand others, and maintain profound relationships.


You both prioritize yourself

Call it selfish. I call it empowerment.

When you tend to your good feeling thoughts, engage in activities that help you thrive, you grow as a human being and become of service to the world. Whenever you feel like silencing your mind, moving your body, go on. Meditate, take that walk of solitude in nature, read a book. You do not need to explain yourself, but the fact alone, that you need to replenish your energy and focus, is enough to spend quality time for self.

When two individuals are healthy in body, mind and spirit, they can cater to the shared and sacred relationship. You show undeniable respect for each other boundaries.

How to exercise: It all starts with a decision. Make up your mind that from now on you will not:

  • lower your standards,
  • bring yourself down with negative self-talk or a contemptuous glance in the mirror.
  • say yes to anything which does not align with your values,
  • make yourself smaller for the comfort of somebody else.



When your self-care flourishes, you become a strong foothold for the relationship’s foundation to advance. Many people forget that part when they enter a dreamy relationship. We are quick to elevate a partner on the pedestal and neglect our needs, only to wake up one day and realize that the partnership no longer brings satisfaction and fulfillment.

The desire to grow and expand as a human being is never-ending. It is going to catch up with you sooner or later. Why should we sacrifice an individual’s success for mutual development when you can have both. It all boils down to your perception of self as a solid brick in the construction of the relationship itself. You cannot wobble or fall apart because the other person will not suffice for the prosperity of the companionship. But when all components are kept in perfect condition, the structure remains united.

This post was previously published on Medium.


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The post Attributes of a Healthy Relationship appeared first on The Good Men Project.

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