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Healthy Relationships vs Unrequited Love

Healthy Relationships vs Unrequited Love.

It’s no good pretending that any romantic relationship has a future if the individuals involved don’t feel the same way about each other. I’m not a therapist or relationship expert, but after nearly a decade of studying unrequited love relationships, I have learnt a few things about what keeps long-term partnerships working. Here are a few of those things that I’ve learned do seem to work towards a strong union:

Have Your Own Space

Taking time to pursue your own interests and friendships keeps your relationship fresh and gives you both the opportunity to grow as individuals—even while you’re growing as a couple. Just because you’re in love doesn’t mean you have to spend every moment together.

Speak Your Mind

Consistent communication is vital to building a lasting life together. Relationships thrive when couples can express themselves freely and honestly. That means no topic is off-limits.


When people in healthy relationships fight, they fight productively and fairly. Avoid name-calling or put-downs. Disagreements are normal, so if you aren’t fighting, chances are you’re holding back. Strive to understand your partner instead of trying to score points. And when you’re wrong, apologize.

Make Joint Decisions

Don’t let one of you take all the decisions. Make them together; from what movie to see to how many children to have, listen to each other’s concerns and desires.

Like Your Partner and Yourself

Don’t base your partnership on the hope that it will change. Chances are your relationship won’t suddenly get better if you win the lottery, have a baby, or move into your dream house. Understand that neither of you is perfect, and accept and value each other for who you are right now—not who you might become. Don’t try to change your partner. There is an old Sufi tale in which some villagers find an eagle, a bird they had never seen before. Because it was unfamiliar, they didn’t feel it was a real bird at all. So they cut its beak, trimmed back its feathers, and clipped off its talons, at last deciding that now it looked like a proper bird. Of course, it could no longer fly. You may read about this in detail in my post Unrequited Love and Choices.

Be Happy

Healthy relationships are full of laughter and fun. This doesn’t mean you’re giddy every hour of the day, or you don’t drive each other up the wall sometimes. It means that your life together is mostly happy in simple ways. Make that happen.

Treat Each Other With Kindness

If you find yourself showing more respect to people you hardly know than you show your partner, take a step back and revisit your priorities. Nothing is more important than treating the person you love with care, consideration, empathy, and appreciation.

Find Balance

Sometimes your partner needs to work longer hours while you play chauffeur and chief cook. Or you must devote time to an elderly parent while your spouse tackles the chores. That’s life. What matters is that, in the long run, your trade-offs seem fair.

Trust Each Other

Healthy relationships are built on trust and a commitment to communication without reservations or secrets. Find a best friend in each other, trust each other and try your best to keep the partner’s trust intact.

Let Go

You are both going to annoy each other at some point. You will behave inconsiderately or say things you don’t mean. The important thing is to let go of unpleasant matters. So he forgot to pick up milk for the second time? Tell him you’re disappointed, of course—then let it go.

Be Intimate

Sex is an important part of a healthy relationship, but it’s only one part, and it’s different than intimacy, which is less about physical satisfaction than about bonding, friendship and familiarity. If you’re in a healthy relationship, you’ll feel connected—in and out of bed.

Talk to Your Partner, Not People

You can use pals as a sounding board, of course, but not as a crutch to avoid hard conversations with your significant other. When you have issues and concerns, share them with your partner, not with your Facebook friends. Your relationship should be a safety net—a stable place to come home to at the end of the day. That doesn’t mean you don’t fight—it just means that when things are hard, you’d rather see your partner than commiserate with co-workers at Happy Hour.

Lastly, say the magic words more often- say “I love you”, “thank you” and “sorry” without hesitation.


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