Being in a Healthy Relationship
Recently, I read an article from The Times and shared it with the Comedian called 14 Signs You're in a Healthy Relationship. I love sharing articles like this with him because we can talk about it and how we can improve our relationship. The best thing about finding someone with the same goals is that they understand what it is to continue growing TOGETHER. I can happily say that we were able to check off the majority of the 14 signs. The Comedian has always said that we need to have a solid foundation before bringing kids in the world.
There a few points that really stuck out in my mind.
First, Have Your Own Space
It is so important to still keep who you are intact. It kind of ties into another point to love yourself. Before you got into this relationship, you were you're own person. You had you're own friends, family, hobbies, and so on. You might have to give up some of your SSB (Secret Single Behaviors) like eating crackers while standing but that's okay. You can do those habits when you're loved one is away. They might be curious as to why the cracker box is empty but hey, old habits die hard. You should not lose who you were before you were in a relationship. Yes, you will grow and change as you are with your significant other, however, you should still have you intact. Never forget to make plans with your girlfriends for a night out, call a old friend from time to time, and let your partner know who they are.
I think the most difficult part of having my own space is battling gender roles and knowing I have really good guy friends. Yes, I sincerely believe you can have friends who are guys that don't want to sleep with you. These friendships come few and far between. They are not common at all but they exist. If a friend crosses that boundary of friendship with sex and you're in a relationship, its best to cut them off because a true friend would want you to be happy and they wouldn't come between your relationship. I know, I know, it's easier said than done. This is where you figure out what is more important, the relationship with your friend or your significant other.
You Like Yourself and Your Partner
"You must love yourself before you can love anyone else"
It is so important to have a good handle on who you are as a person before getting into a relationship. I had bouts of depression all through my 20's and I don't think I really figured out what it was to be happy with myself until I watched The Secret. I realized that I am the only one responsible for my happiness. When I discovered what that felt like, everything changed. Magically enough, it led me to The Comedian which goes to show you that when the Universe is ready, it will give you what you pray for.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect. I still battle with insecurities, however, I try not to let it overpower my happiness. When you are happy with yourself, then it will resonate. People will be drawn to your happiness simply because they like to be around happy people. This also applies to your relationship. You should like or even love your partner as well. They will get on your nerves and you will get frustrated with each other (it's inevitable) but at the end of the day, they have to be the person you want to lay next to you at night.
Talk to your Partner not Other People
I will honestly say, I struggle with this the most. With my girlfriends, it seems so easy to just slip into talking about your relationship and what's wrong with it. They complain about their husbands and arguments and what they do and don't do. Sometimes I feel compelled to share my frustrations but it's not right. First, you are not one to judge only God can. You should not judge your partner. Yes, you might not agree with how they do things but that is who they are, that is who you fell in love with. Second, its difficult to be in a group and not want to be a part of the conversation. I really make an effort to keep my opinions to myself and let my girlfriends just go on and on about whatever ails them. I have to remember, in my mind, The Comedian is really the best person I could have ever dreamed of and he treats me amazingly well. After all the frogs I have kissed, I have finally found my prince. I don't want to go back to kissing frogs any time soon!
Finally, Say I Love You and Thank you
It is so important to thank your significant other for whatever they do. Especially if their love language is words of affirmation. I mean, he could take out the garbage for the 50th time but I still say "Thank you". Something as simple as acknowledging the small things can make a difference by leaps and bounds. Plus, if you have children, it is important that they see how you and your partner respect each other. If you make it a habit now, then in the future, you will see all of the small things come to light.
All in all, relationships are built on just loving each other for the small things. Over time, the bigger reasons why you began might disappear but the small things you do day to day will always be there. You have to remember that this list from Time Magazine is just a framework to having a healthy relationship. I can say, mine is not perfect and we work at it every day but I know it has a really healthy foundation.