Building Blocks of a Healthy Relationship
A well-developed and nurturing relationship consists of many things, not just physical attraction and sex. Though attraction is important, a relationship should be supported by things such as common goals and interests, relationships with each others’ family and friends, shared spirituality, and convictions about life. Partners must be willing to respect and encourage each other, building each other up and not tearing each other down.
True intimacy with another person is being able to share one’s own deepest thoughts, feelings, and beliefs without fearing criticism from the other person. And being intimate means one partner is equally comfortable sharing their own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs with the other.
Consider your relationship: If sex and attraction were taken out of the picture, would your relationship still stand?
Elements contributing to a lasting relationship:
Social – What is this person like socially? Do they treat me with respect when we are alone together? When we’re with friends? When we’re with their family or my family? What are they like in smaller groups? At a party? One-on-one? Do they treat me differently with different social groups?
Character – What are the character traits I see in this person? Are they kind? Considerate? Responsible? Lighthearted? What traits are most important to me, and do I see them in this person? How does this person face the challenges of life? Can I trust them to make good choices even when nobody is looking?
Emotional – How does this person process and express their thoughts and emotions? How do they approach conflict? Are they respectful of me even if they are angry or frustrated? Are they a good listener?
Spiritual – How does this person look at the world and their place in the world? Do they have specific spiritual or religious beliefs? Do those opinions or beliefs match up well with my own?