In this age of dating, conflicting narratives about love constantly bombard you. Although people give love a bad reputation, it’s important to recognize the instances where love is flourishing healthily. It’s easy to spot red flags and when a relationship is no longer serving you, but how often do you hear about spotting green flags in a healthy relationship?
The journey to love is different for everyone, and it’s easy to get caught up in society’s expectations or doubt ourselves. That’s why you must remind yourself that you deserve nothing less than a relationship that elevates, supports, and nurtures the incredible person you are. But when that love is in your face, you must be able to identify it!
We spoke with dating expert and CEO of Just Elope, Jennifer Allen, about getting past dating trauma in order to see the signs that you’re in a healthy relationship.
Identifying and Accepting Healthy Relationships
Why do you feel some people are in denial when they finally are in a healthy relationship?
Jennifer Allen: Some people have been through the relationship wringer and are used to drama, heartache, and chaos. So, when they stumble upon a healthy, drama-free love connection, it can be a bit unnerving. They might find it hard to believe things can be this good, leading to self-doubt. Also, the ghosts of past relationships can haunt us. If someone’s been burned in the past, they might be hesitant to embrace a healthy relationship. They could carry the scars of previous heartbreak, making it difficult to trust again. Finally, people think love should always be intense, passionate, and drama filled. They confuse love with the adrenaline rush of chaos.
So, why do people enter denial when they find themselves in a healthy relationship? It’s like they’ve been stuck in a storm for so long that when they finally find calm waters, they can’t quite believe it’s real. It’s a mix of past experiences, self-doubt, and societal expectations that can mess with their heads.
What are some of the signs of a healthy relationship?
JA: When you’re in a solid, kick-ass relationship, it’s like a breath of fresh air. You won’t feel like some kid caught with their hand in the cookie jar whenever things hit a rough patch. No more walking on those darn eggshells or fearing that your partner’s response will be a wrecking ball to your soul.
One of the telltale signs of a bomb relationship is that laughter is as abundant as air in your lungs. I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t love a good giggle fest? Finding joy in the little things together is the secret sauce to keeping things not only healthy but also freakin’ enjoyable. Life’s too short for dull and drab.
Now, let’s get physical (and emotional, too). Healthy relationships are like a cozy, warm hug. You’ll be sharing those bear hugs often, indulging in lingering kisses that make your heart race, and sending sweet texts that make your partner’s heart skip a beat. It’s all about speaking each other’s love language. Whether through cuddles, compliments, or whatever gets those lovey-dovey vibes flowing.
What are some tips people need to keep in mind in order to make sure they aren’t unknowingly self-sabotaging a healthy relationship?
- Leave the Baggage at the Door: Look, we all come with a bit of baggage, but dragging it into your relationship can be like lugging a ton of bricks. Deal with your past stuff, so it doesn’t wreck your present.
- Honesty Is the Policy: Keep it real, always. Lies and secrets are like relationship kryptonite. You want that trust to flow like a smooth beat.
- Communication Is Key: If you ain’t talkin’, you ain’t connectin’. Open up, share your thoughts and feelings. Don’t leave your partner guessing like they’re stuck in a mystery novel.
- Me-Time vs. We-Time: Balance is the name of the game. Don’t lose yourself entirely in the relationship. Keep your own passions and interests alive. It’ll make you more interesting, trust me.
- Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Life is full of ups and downs. Don’t blow a gasket over every little bump in the road. Keep your cool, and save your energy for the big battles.
- Quality Time, Not Quantity: It’s not about the hours spent together; it’s about the quality of those moments. Put away the phones, make eye contact, and be present. That’s where the magic happens.
What are some ways people can learn to be more comfortable and let their guard down when in a healthy relationship?
- Recognize Your Past: Start by acknowledging your relationship history. Understand how your past experiences might be affecting your ability to trust and be vulnerable in the present.
- Open Communication: Talk it out! Share your fears, doubts, and insecurities with your partner. Honest communication is the cornerstone of building trust.
- Take Baby Steps: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is trust. Take small steps towards vulnerability. Share something personal, and see how it feels. Gradually, you’ll get more comfortable.
- Self-Reflection: Get introspective. Explore your own feelings and fears. Sometimes, understanding yourself better can help you overcome those barriers.
- Therapy or Counseling: Seeking professional help isn’t weak; it’s wise. Therapy can provide tools and strategies to deal with trust issues and emotional walls.
- Self-Care: Take care of numero uno—yourself. When you feel confident and secure in who you are, it’s easier to be vulnerable with someone else.