Updated: Apr 2
For many of us, our parents were not the best role models when it comes down to healthy romantic love, simply as they themselves didn't have good examples either. So let's forgive them! How about society? In some movies, magazines, and media outlets you sometimes encounter wonderful examples of healthy love (the movie 'ABOUT TIME' for instance), however there are plenty of storylines out there that showcase the opposite of healthy relationships and expectations. So how are we to know what healthy love looks like? I've had to go through plenty of lessons and read a fair share of psychological literature about it, and to be honest I still feel like getting there!
Without further ado hereby a checklist to help you gain better insights and understanding if you're dealing with a keeper, or if you should politely step out of the dance.
Healthy love shows up as:
⊹ Making you feel peaceful, relaxed and calm
⊹ Unconditional mindset: "I’ll love you also when...”
⊹ A partner doesn’t claim; knows that only what’s meant for them will stay so there's no need to force things, worry or control
⊹ Slow pace in dating sequence (becoming friends first): patience and no rush, because doesn’t come from neediness / isn't need based. Comes from trust that if the person is meant to be, it will unfold
⊹ Securely attached (earned or grown up with)
⊹ Coming from a place of personal fulfilment:“I am complete and you’re a beautiful bonus"
Therefor also doesn't completely fall apart when the relationship ends
⊹ Keeping a healthy independence and personal identity within relationship, doesn't become too 'symbiotic'
⊹ A sense of healthy autonomy in the relationship
⊹ Feeling comfortable to set healthy boundaries, knowing this is an investment in the relationship
⊹ Being patient with a partner
⊹ Being compassionate towards a partner
⊹ Allowing (coming from a place of trust)
⊹ Willing to compromise, compromises without drama or retaliation
⊹ Supporting in initiatives and wishes within possibilities
⊹ Acting from the heart, not from an agenda
⊹ Encouraging career development, personal development and meeting people
⊹ Your success and growth is celebrated not criticised or neglected
⊹ Caring from a place of love, selflessly without an agenda, truly wanting to uplift, support and make the partner happy
⊹ Being kind and loyal: "If I hurt you with my behaviour I only hurt myself"
⊹ Being transparent: knows transparency creates intimacy and trust, which creates connectedness, love and a good bond (secure attachment)
⊹ Actively investing in the relationship and cherishing it
⊹ Communicating openly
⊹ Daring to love and to receive love
⊹ Being a team, you've got each other's back
⊹ Setting, accepting and respecting personal boundaries
⊹ Listening to your needs (you don't have to hide them to keep the peace)
⊹ Protecting own needs (putting a life mask first on ourselves in order to save others)
⊹ Knowing one deserves love also when not perfect
⊹ Conflict feels constructive and not destructive, you make an effort to listen to what the other has to say
⊹ A relationship that evolves and unfolds in graceful flow
⊹ Makes time for the relationship, knows it is like plant (keep watering it or it dies!)
⊹ Understanding people don't easily change, doesn't try to change the other person in order to meet personal needs and expectations
⊹ Accepts the partner for who they are
⊹ Doesn't unload emotions and stress onto the partner
⊹ And more... * Feel free to write down your own thoughts to complete the list. Which person comes to mind?
Unhealthy love shows up as:
⊹ A rocky road filled with high highs and low lows, it feels intense, grand and dramatic (which you can mistake for romantic)
⊹ Conditional mindset: "I'll love you only when...”
⊹ Fast paced dating sequence
⊹ Demanding (fear)
⊹ Looking for love outside of self (need based, "please fill up the hole in my heart")
⊹ Losing yourself in the other, 'symbiotic' behaviour
⊹ Fear of being abandoned; clingy
⊹ Fear of being attached; unavailable
⊹ Avoidant, anxious or ambivalent in attachment style
⊹ Being jealous (feeling threatened and insecure)
⊹ Cancelling last minute (fear of attachment, disrespect)
⊹ Being manipulative instead of transparent, acting with a hidden agenda to get needs met
⊹ Love bombing
⊹ Controlling behaviours: asking a lot of your time, making all the decisions, checking in too frequently
⊹ Scared to give or receive love
⊹ Scared to show true self
⊹ Being overly criticising
⊹ Being condescending (way of protecting from the pain of rejection or feeling inferior)
⊹ Care as form of control:"I take care of you so you won't leave me", "I take care of you so you can't do it yourself"
⊹ Isolating, making themselves your sole contact isolating you from friends and family
⊹ Attachment based (karmic attachments)
⊹ Playing out the old paradigm between male and female energy (male energy is dominant, female energy is being victimised, limited and controlled)
⊹ Thinking being only deserving of love when perfect
⊹ Trying to change the partner to meet expectations and needs
⊹ Promising to change toxic behaviours, with no intention of keeping this promise
⊹ Unloads stress and emotions onto partner
⊹ And more...
* Feel free to write down your own thoughts to complete the list. Which person comes to mind?
Healthy relationships start with healthy self love. Until you're ready for this you will keep materialising lessons and experiences that mirror your unconscious beliefs. Only when you’re kind, loving and nurturing towards yourself you can expect others to treat you this way. If you're not there yet no worries, at some point you'll decide you’re worthy and the worthy kind love will come to you!
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All postings by Selianthe Ka – Sweet Energy Yoga, may be used for personal, non-profit purposes only.