4 Signs of a Healthy Relationship (He’s a Keeper)
Have you ever been in a relationship that was so exciting, where you never knew what was going to happen next? One that felt like a roller coaster?
That guy was totally unpredictable, wasn’t he?
Him: Man, I love you! I just want to be with you forever…
You: [totally smitten] I love you too!
Him: …But I need to go to Mexico and tame wild horses for a couple of months. Maybe I’ll see you when I get back?
And because a relationship like that is full of erratic emotional energy, you become even more addicted to it. You fantasize that the roller coaster will stop sooner or later, but in the meantime, you’re kinda enjoying the ups and downs, in a sad way.
As time goes on, however, you realize that those hot and cold qualities that first attracted you to this guy are starting to drive you #^[email protected] crazy in the relationship.
Let me break some news to you: this is not a healthy relationship.
Over the past ten years of helping sexy, single ladies like you find love, I’ve learned one very important principle: healthy relationships are boring.
But you know what? That’s a really good thing, and I’m going to explain why in this article and video.
I want to share a story about a client I used to coach. When we were working together, she was dating a musician. He said all the right things to her:
…how much he loved her…
…how he wanted to have children with her…
…how he wanted to buy a house with her…
…but then he’d disappear on a gig for months at a time. Sometimes he’d take her to shows, but not that often. She told me that this was the most exciting time in her life. After all, she was dating a rock star! It was fun and exciting…but she could tell something was off.
One night, she was at a venue where he was performing, and she couldn’t find him anywhere. So where was he? In the bathroom having sex with a random woman he met at the bar.
Exciting, yes, but also maddening. And definitely not love or a healthy relationship.
Healthy relationships tend to be boring. They don’t evoke these crazy, emotional fits because they are, by nature, stable. If you love that roller coaster feeling, you may not want or need a healthy relationship right now. And if that’s where you are, that’s okay. You may not be ready to settle down after divorce. Maybe you never really dated or played the field before you were married, and you want to take the opportunity to do so now.
But there will likely come a time in your life when you value stability, security, and long-term monogamy. And that’s when your relationships will lose some of that shiny new toy feeling. But the good news is that healthy relationships are rich with love. And guess what? RICH is an acronym for the components of a healthy relationship:
Let’s look at each so you know the signs that you’re in a healthy relationship.
A Healthy Relationship Has Respect
If you’re in a healthy relationship, your partner will respect your privacy, your space, and when you want to get physical or not. You won’t have to defend your right to hang out with friends instead of him or feel bad that you’re not in the mood for sex one night.
And this respect goes both ways. If you are really in love and ready to commit to this man, you will respect him, his opinions, and his decisions. You won’t belittle him or make fun of him (light joking is fine, but if you’re doing it to hurt him, that isn’t respect).
If you feel you are being disrespected in a relationship, and you don’t feel like you can communicate that fact to your partner, then you’re not in a healthy relationship. In the example I gave about my client dating the musician, you clearly see that he didn’t respect her or the relationship.
- Do you feel respected in this relationship?
- Does he support things you do, or mock them?
- Do you find it easy to respect him, or do you struggle with it?
A Healthy Relationship Makes You Feel Important
You should feel important in a healthy relationship. Period.
I had another client who was in a relationship with a guy she didn’t see often because he was “busy with work” (or so he said). When they did see each other, it was always at her house, where they always had sex. They never went out for dinner, and she never met his friends. You see where I’m going with this.
Needless to say, she felt incredibly unimportant to him. I told her that for all she knew, he was married! Whether he was or not, he didn’t carve out time in his life for her beyond the occasional bootie call, and she needed to value herself more than that.
- Do you feel like a priority in his life, or an afterthought?
- Does he choose to spend time with you over other important options, or are you at the end of the list?
- Do you communicate how important he is to you?
A Healthy Relationship Includes Commitment
It’s impossible to trust someone unless you know that they are monogamous.
I know these days, it’s more common to start a relationship with something casual, and maybe you don’t want to rock the boat by asking for more. But it’s important for you as a powerful single woman to put your foot down and set boundaries about what you’re looking for in a relationship before this “casual thing” goes too far and you start to have feelings for him that he can’t return because he doesn’t want a relationship.
If a man is ready to commit, there’s a much greater chance your relationship will thrive long-term. In a study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, researchers found that people who were ready for commitment were 25% less likely to break up over time. The opposite is true, too. If the man you’re dating is reluctant to commit to you, you should see that as a sign that he’s probably not The One, and that you won’t be able to force him to commit.
And remember: Never commit to a man unless he is fully committed to you.
- Have you discussed commitment and monogamy? What was his reaction?
- Does he have excuses about why he can’t commit right now?
- Are you ready to be monogamous?
A Healthy Relationship Brings Happiness
In a healthy relationship, you both want the other person to be happy, and you’ll do anything you can to make that happen.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you always put his happiness before your own, or that you have to give up important things so he can get what he wants. But it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice for you to put his needs first sometimes, and he’s balancing that by doing the same for you.
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But are most couples happy, you ask? According to eHarmony’s 2019 Happiness Index, 83% of American couples are happy. Some of the things these couples had in common include an equal, monogamous partnership, open communication, and healthy sex life.
- Are you happy when you’re with him?
- Does he make an effort to make you happy?
- How do you feel about compromising occasionally so he can be happy?
So those are the four components you need to be RICH in love in a healthy relationship.
Even if you don’t think you’re in the right relationship now, I need you to know that you’re on the right track. You are reading this article right now because you’re ready to change your life and find something good. You’re here because you want to change the trajectory of your love life from the disappointments you’ve had in the past. And just showing up and being ready for change is half the battle. You’ll find the man that is perfect for you. Trust me.
Keep these RICH elements in mind as you date so you can ask yourself whether you’re in a healthy relationship or on a roller coaster that you need to get off of.
It may not seem sexy to be in a boring, healthy relationship, but trust me: you’ll love it. Once you get away from that drama—which I know can be addicting—you’ll find that staying in and watching Netflix with a man you can truly trust with your heart is so much better than crying over a cheating, lying musician in a bar!
Leave a comment below and tell me that you’re ready for a healthy, boring relationship!