A positive outlook is one of the four qualities of a loving partner, along with emotional availability, ownership, and commitment to self. Good mental attitude can be the difference between being with someone who sinks the relationship whenever the wind changes and someone who has a team mentality and doesn’t treat negative feelings or experiences as a permanent statement of the future. 

Let’s be clear: Having a positive outlook isn’t about us or our partners needing to be hearts, flowers and My Little Ponies all the time. The reality is, though, that someone who has a consistently positive outlook has trust and faith. We have a more positive approach, not because we’ve never been through anything painful but because we’ve started to figure out how to take care of ourselves. We’ve figured out how to have some semblance of healthier boundaries.

We can’t make commitments with people more committed to forecasting doom and scepticism than they are to the relationship’s health, purpose and direction. They will always have one foot out the door or be ready to squawk, ‘I told you so!’

Someone with a positive outlook raises you both instead of being draining. They don’t want to be in a victim role, so they don’t keep blaming others for their actions and circumstances. Rather than being a pro-complainer who resists improving the situation, they are solution-orientated. They accept that circumstances might not be great right now, but they trust that things will get better and will work with you.

Conversely, having a positive outlook isn’t about being naive and unquestioningly trusting people. It’s not about gaslighting or emotional bypassing or any of that guff. You (or they) don’t need to be hypervigilant about your thoughts as if you’re Jedi mind tricking life if you think anything remotely negative. We’re all only human, after all.

Even though someone with a positive outlook will go through things that cause them to feel far from positive (Hello, life!), a general habit of being trusting and positive means that the relationship is emblematic of this; it reminds them of what matters. To have a positive outlook is to feel hopeful for yourself. You’re being more of who you really are, so you believe you can and will grow and change along the way. As such, the old stories of your emotional baggage don’t dictate your life.

For more on authentic, loving relationships, check out my book Love, Care, Trust and Respect.

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