If you really want the truth about your relationship ask an elder. Older people can give you the best advice about maintaining a healthy relationship. Whether they have had a healthy relationship or not they have a lifetime of experience so I like to listen to their advice.
Unhealthy, dysfunctional relationships can affect you physically, emotionally and mentally. They can be the difference between good and bad health, stress and peace, wealth or poverty. When you are in an unhealthy relationship it can bring you down in several ways. The trick to it all is, knowing whether you are the cause of the dysfunction. If you are the cause it is your duty to make the changes. If you are the receiver it is your duty to yourself to walk away or positively affect the other person. If you are equal it is time for you all to find some peace.
This test can help you determine the level of health not only in your romantic relationship but in all your relationships.
1. Can you be yourself? You should be able to be yourself at all times. You should not have to pretend or fake. The worst thing you could do for your relationship and your self-esteem is become someone else. In relationships if you change who you are for someone to like you, you will start to dislike yourself and resent the other person. When you can be yourself around your mate and your friends you can truly be happy. And you put yourself in a place to learn your strengths and weaknesses so that you can work on them.
2. Are you being yourself? Now this is a totally different question. The first one says CAN…meaning does the other person allow you to. This one says ARE…meaning are you brave enough to put your authentic self out there to be judged, liked or disliked. It is one thing for the person to allow you to be yourself, and another for you to feel secure enough in yourself to be authentic.
3. Do you all communicate effectively? (Understanding) This does not mean you will agree with each other all the time. It means that you will take the time to listen to each other and express your opinions. It means that you do not give your friend the silent treatment when they have wronged you or you do not expect your mate to read your mind. Tell them how you feel, listen to how they feel and act accordingly. In Prince’s song, “If I was your girlfriend” he says, “would you run to me if somebody hurt you, even if that somebody was me.” Most people do not read minds so express yourself.
4. Do you know the worst thing about each other and love despite of it? There is going to be something in every human being that is BAD. When you know the worst thing about your friend or mate and you love them through it you are in a healthy relationship. If you can not handle the BAD thing and you keep reminding them you are adding to the dysfunction. You will not let them be themselves and for that reason you should make a decision to give it up or leave. If you are not ok with who they truly are, or if they are not okay with who you truly are, you are not loving each other unconditionally. If you agree that that is acceptable then continue through it. But if you are expecting each other to change you may be setting yourself up for failure.
5. Have you had and gotten past a few big arguments? If you have not had a fight yet you do not know how things will turn our after you do. Do not induce an argument but when it happens (and it will happen) take it from there. How did you respond? How did the other person respond? How long did it take you all to get over it? Did you go to bed angry and who was willing to admit they were wrong? Try not to name call or say things that will hurt forever. When disagreements happen you get a chance to see how the other person makes decisions and you will know if you all or on the same page.
6. Are you giving your fair share and receiving it? (Reciprocity) All relationships should be give and take. You should be giving your fair share or more. You should also receive what you give out. If you find yourself giving more and receiving less check to see if you are being used. There is no reason why both parties should not be taking care of each other. In my idea of the perfect relationship I am so busy taking care of you that I am going to need you to take care of me. And we are both thankful and appreciative of each others efforts. I know that life is not “ideal” but if you try to come close to that you will find yourself in a healthy, happy relationship.
If you are not happy in your relationship chances are it is not healthy either. The first thing you have to do is figure out if it is you. The only person that you can control is yourself. If you find that you have been miserable and begging for company I challenge you to relax and love someone the way you want to be loved.
Emotional happiness…Now That’s Presidential!