“You can't go on like you're going to start really living one day, like all this is some preamble to some great life that's going to magically appear. I'm a firm believer that you have to create your own miracles. Don't hold out that there's something better waiting on the other side. It doesn't work that way.”—Perry Moore
“Most human relationships consist mainly of minds interacting with each other, not of human beings communicating, being in communion. No relationship can thrive in that way, and that is why there is so much conflict in relationships. When the mind is running your life, conflict, strife, and problems are inevitable. ”—Eckhart Tolle
Relationship Check Up
A healthy relationship means that both members of the couple are…
1. Communicating with each other: Talking about problems without screaming and shouting; listening to each other, and respecting their viewpoint; being willing to adapt and to sometimes change their mind.
2. Showing respect for one another: Valuing the other person’s culture, beliefs, viewpoints, opinions and boundaries. Also, treating each other in a kind and caring way.
3. Demonstrating and conveying trust: Each person is trustworthy and trusts the other person – because they have been shown that they are worthy of that trust.
4. Honest with each other: Both are open and honest – but are private as well; and they don’t demand the other person tells them everything.
5. Equals: They make joint decisions and treat each other well. No person calls the shots or determines all the rules.
6. Able to enjoy their own personal space: As well as spending time together, they spend time on their own. They’re respect the fact they’re different, and they need their own life, too.
7. Decisions about sex are discussed, and are consensual: They discuss sex together, including birth control. There’s no one individual sets the rules and standards here.
Signs of an unhealthy relationship
An unhealthy relationship develops where one, or both, of the partners is…
1. Failing to communicate: Problems are ignored, or not talked about at all. One or both don’t really listen, and they rarely compromise.
2. Acting in ways that are disrespectful: One or both are inconsiderate toward the other person; and they don’t behave in ways that send the message that they care.
3. Refusing to trust the other person: One or both is suspicion of their partner’s loyalty. Hence, they make false accusations, or won’t believe the truth.
4. Acting in a way that is dishonest: One or both is deceptive, or they lie and hide the truth.
5. Acting in a controlling way: One person thinks that they should set the one who rules, controls the other person, and say how things should be.
6. Beginning to feel squashed and smothered / cutting themselves off from friends and family: One partner is possessive, or feels threatened and upset, when the other’s with their family or spends time with their friends.
7. Attempting to pressurise the other into sexual activity / refusing to talk openly about birth control: One partner wants the other to participate in sex, or to engage in different practices against that’s person’s will. Or, one of the partners stops using birth control, or expects the other person to “take care of all that.”
Signs of an abusive relationship
An abusive relationship develops when one of the parties…
1. Starts to communicate in ways that are abusive: When arguments occur, one of the partners screams and cusses, or they verbally threaten or attack the other person.
2. Shows disrespect through acting in abusive ways: This is where one of the partners abuse, harms or threatens the physical safety of the other individual.
3. Wrongly accuses their partner of flirting or cheating: One of the partners is convinced – with no real grounds – that their partner is cheating or having an affair. Thus, they lash out verbally, or hurt, the accused partner.
4. Refuses to accept responsibility for the abuse: When they fly into a rage or act in ways that are abusive, they miminise their actions and refuse to accept blame. They may even blame their partner for “causing the abuse.”
5. Starts to control the other partner: One partner has no say as the other sets the rules – and arguing against that simply leads to more abuse.
6. Does what they can to isolate their partner: One partner has control of who the other person sees, the way they spend their time – and, even, clothes they buy and wear. Thus, they start to lose their confidence and personality.
7. Forces sexual activity: The frequency, type and circumstances for sex are determined by one partner – and the other must comply. If they don’t acquiesce it leads to violence or abuse. Also, sometimes violence is included in the sex.
I don’t want a normal relationship.
That’s too boring. I want to argue because making up will make us stronger. I don’t want to always call each other baby and boo because that’s played out. Let me wear your sweatshirt. Play fight with me. Don’t let me win either. Tease me. Stay up with me all night and play video games. Take pictures with me. Tell me to shut up because I talk to much. Kiss me. Text me “Goodnight beautiful”. I want that kind of relationship.
I am a proponent of relationships (of whatever kind) that include people who make life better, stronger and more fulfilling. The people who push me, but only because I truly want to be the best parts of me around them, not because I feel forced to do it for acceptance. I crave loyalty in my friends. I want relationships that encourage me to become and do everything I want to, while simultaneously making me feel lovely exactly as I am. I want people to support my choices because they respect and trust me, not those who doubt and question and dissect my decisions. While I understand the importance of a balance check on occasion, I think the majority of the time it’s important to ultimately give people their own life and help them foster it. I want the relationships that make me feel positive and warm and loved and calm and safe.
I am done with anything less than these. I have weeded out the people who make me feel anxious or self-conscious or not good enough. It takes balls to get to the point where you can just stop including people in your life who drain you, make you feel less than perfect exactly as is and drag you down to a lesser level than you care to exist at.
Sometimes I don’t even think people know that the life is being sucked out of them until they are out of the situation. And then they step outside of it and start to breath again and finally realize how stifled and suffocated they actually were. They didn’t even recognize it because it had become the norm. Luckily, as time goes on and the ratio of positive relationships surrounding you begins to outweigh the negative ones, they become easier to spot and subsequently, walk away from.
I’m happy to say I’m finally at a place where, I may not have 300 “best” friends like I did in my 20’s, but I have a group of people that I would fucking die for surrounding me. And it feels amazing.