3 Signs of a Healthy Relationship
Every once in a while, a client says something to me that strikes a chord. Something that I literally have to ask them to pause for a second so I can write down what they just said.
The other night was one of those nights.
While out with a client, I asked her what she thought makes a relationship work. Her response blew me away because it was so simply stated, yet so undeniably true, that I couldn’t believe that I had never worded it the way that she did.
Her response was: “For a relationship to work you need three things. You need to like the person, you need to respect them and you need to trust them. When you have that on both sides, then you have a worthwhile match."
She went on to say, “In most relationships you can usually find one or two of those things, but it’s rare that you get all three. And if you do, it's not always reciprocated."
When I quickly thought back to my own relationship history, I realized how right she was. Most guys I ever dated I really liked. But respect and (or) trust were always the two areas that were up in the air. And then in the cases where I trusted and respected someone that was interested in me, I usually wasn't attracted to them like that.
See how this can get messy?
To complicate things further, think about the cases where you might actually have the trifecta: you like the person, you respect them and you trust them. Awesome right? Sadly, not always, because sometimes these feelings are unrequited. Perhaps this person doesn’t have as strong of feelings towards you; or perhaps they don’t see a future with you. Perhaps the physical relationship escalated too quickly so they don't truly respect you.
Consequently, what ends up happening when you're not on the same page as the person you're dating is that you either start to like the person less and less, or you lose respect for them because they're just playing a selfish game with you. This then creates feelings of distrust and usually leads to the eventual demise of the "relationship."
For a relationship to be successful, mutual trust, respect, and fondness are not only essential, but crucial. In fact, for ANY relationship - not just romantic- to be successful, these three elements are imperative. Think about some of your best friendships, do they exude these qualities? My guess is a resounding yes. Romantic relationships should be no different in this regard.
So to anyone who has ever felt uncertain in a particular dating situation, this is what I will leave you with: There will always be something to challenge or skew the trajectory of a relationship. Whether it be bad timing, cultural or family differences, excess baggage, or fear itself, a good litmus test is to ask yourself these three questions:
Do I like this person?
Do I trust this person?
Do I respect this person?
Does this person like, trust and respect me?
If you’re looking for the right person and not just the person for right now, then let this criteria help guide the way. It will save you A LOT of time and emotion.