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One of my most frequently asked questions is How can I tell the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one? In an ideal world, we humans would love to have all of the information up front, and because we can’t, we try to look for signs. This is where we get caught out by hallmarks that might turn out to be a red herring. In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I break down the landmarks of healthy relationships: balance, commitment, consistency, intimacy and progression.

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Nuggets from the episode

  • We are compatible with people with whom we share core values. It’s only when we’re living by our values and cultivating relationships that are harmonious with those, we experience the landmarks of healthy relationships.
  • While it may appear that an unhealthy or unfulfilling relationship has shared core values, the clue that there’s a problem is shown in the absence of the landmarks.
  • Relationships that have the landmark of balance are equitable and mutual. They feature two people who possess or are striving towards the four qualities of a loving partner.
  • Commitment is about choosing to show up to the relationship each day.

When someone says that they want commitment but their actions don’t match their words, something is off. Even with how they are on their best day and in the ‘good times’, it becomes clear that something is very off.

  • Sometimes we chase big-ticket commitments from a partner not necessarily because that’s what we want to do but because we want proof that we’re going to get what we want.
  • Consistency in our relationships helps us to trust in what we can expect from them and the people we’re involved with.
  • Spend enough time around someone who’s inconsistent and you discover that they’re consistent at being inconsistent. They have a pattern.

Consistent relationships don’t equal dull.

  • Inconsistency is part of the package when someone isn’t treating us with love, care, trust and respect.
  • “Intimacy is what happens when two people have gotten over the pretence that they’re perfect and have stopped being afraid that they’re going to be rejected or abandoned if they allow themselves to trust enough to get close and to be seen.” – Love, Care, Trust and Respect book.
  • Progression in a relationship is about consistently moving forward. We notice in collaborating with this person on a relationship that we (and the relationship) are better than before.
  • Healthy and mutually fulfilling relationships allow us to be more of who we really are. A relationship that grows has two people in it that are growing together.
  • When our partner says that they love us but they can’t commit or they’re still not over their ex, the relationship can’t progress. Our partner isn’t allowing us to see a future in the relationship.

Links mentioned

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