Everyone wants a healthy relationship, but not everyone is ready for what they entail.
We talk about the date nights, holidays, and instagrammable moments, but never the deeper processes that create a lasting union.
While the long term benefits can be rewarding, the truth of the matter is: relationships are hard work.
And no matter how compatible two people may be, it’s not always going to be perfect, and that’s okay.
What matters most is how you move forward and allow those uncomfortable moments to shape you.
That instead of letting them become a barrier, they help you better understand each other, and yourselves.
Because a partnership isn’t just about one person, but rather learning to love another.
And as someone who’s been in a relationship for 4 years now, it’s the things in between that I talk about in this post.
Here are the uncomfortable truths about healthy relationships:
A Healthy Relationship Requires a Lot of Inner Work
1. You have to own up to your bs
One of the most common traits in human nature is our pride. Whenever we do something wrong, or offend someone else, it feels like an attack on our character.
That’s why, for a lot of us, our first instinct is to deny our flaws.
But when you’re in a relationship, this can become problematic. Especially if your behavior is harmful to the other person.
While our lack of acknowledgement may actually be from not wanting to admit we’ve hurt the person we love,
refusing to understand only adds salt to the wound.
So when this happens, instead of avoiding the inner work it would take to fix the problem, love your partner enough to face yourself and your patterns that might be hurting them.
You’re not a terrible person for being imperfect, but you might be toxic if you can’t own up to your sh*t for the sake of the relationship.
It’s through the process of submission that you truly learn to give yourself to another person, and in a relationship, this often means your love must be stronger than your pride.
2. You bring out the best and the worst in each other
If your relationship is anything like mine, your partner is the person you go to for practically everything.
Sure, your friends and family may be there too, but this person deals with you on a daily basis. Therefore, this is also the person who probably knows you the best.
That’s why, you might notice your partner brings out the best and the worst traits in you. Not in a toxic way, but the real you.
It’s through those arguments and uncomfortable conversations that you understand your biggest flaws, and through those everyday moments that your partner reflects back your greatest traits.
For me, I find that becoming aware of these things helps me to become my best self. Not just for my significant other, but in my other relationships as well.
3. You have to constantly work on yourself to work on the relationship
We often go into our relationships with an “I am who I am” mentality. And it’s true, your relationships should never have the goal of changing who you are.
However, the right partner will inspire your growth as a person.
By this, I mean that in order to make it work, you must constantly reflect on your negative traits that might be impacting the relationship.
This could be your everyday petty insecurities and quirks, or the deeper issues from past experiences that influence your views on relationships as a whole.
When both you and your partner focus on showing up as your bests for each other, you’ll find it not only creates a deeper sense of trust and respect, but that both of you are happier and healthier for it in the long run.
A Healthy Relationship Means Communicating, Even When it’s Uncomfortable
4. You have to communicate openly
We all have heard how important communication is in a healthy relationship.
However, no one ever talks about how hard it is when you are overthinking or believe that your thoughts or feelings are irrational.
When you’re feeling crazy or insecure, it might be hard to open up to your partner without thinking it might turn them off or push them away.
However, these are probably the most important times to talk about the things that are bothering you because it opens the door for trust and reassurance.
Insecurities are normal in a relationship, and the right person will never make you feel bad for simply being human.
Instead, they should try their best to address your concerns with compassion and understanding, and vice versa.
In addition, it’s so important to heal any doubts or insecurities while they’re still fresh.
You’ll find it not only limits resentment in the future, but it actually makes your bond deeper knowing you can be vulnerable without being judged.
5. You won’t always agree on everything
With that being said, it won’t always be that simple and pretty and you won’t always understand each other, no matter how hard you might try.
You’re two different people, with two different opinions and perspectives and that’s okay. You’re both entitled to that.
However, you have to make sure not to invalidate the other’s position simply because it doesn’t align with yours.
Sometimes, it’s not a matter of right or wrong, you just don’t see it the same way.
For example, in my relationship, while Myles tends to look at things from a Black and White perspective, I tend to look at all the grey areas.
To me it depends on the circumstances and the context of a situation.
And although I mentioned in my last relationship post how important it is to have similar views and values when it comes to major topics,
it’s actually healthy for two people not to think and be exactly like each other.
It not only teaches us about understanding a perspective outside our own, but also how to accept each other’s differences.
6. You understand each other’s trauma and insecurities
Another thing to take into consideration when it comes to your partner are their deeper issues that might impact how they approach the relationship.
Like I said, you’re two different people, which means your separate lived experiences affect how you view things.
For example, maybe someone has grown up in a broken family and tends to show distrust for the opposite gender (or love in general)
Or perhaps someone who has always experienced criticism from family is sensitive to to jokes you make
Whether it’s deep rooted traumatic experiences, or issues stemming from a past relationship, it’s these kinds of things you want to be conscious about when interacting with your significant other.
While it’s ultimately up to them to work on healing their triggers, knowing what those are helps you better understand them and give them the reassurance and compassion they may need.
7. And you love eachother anyway
I think the most beautiful part of open communication in a relationship is learning to love someone unconditionally.
Not in a toxic or unhealthy way, but in a way that recognizes your partner as both flawed, but human.
When you approach your relationship from this perspective, it no longer becomes about who’s right or who’s wrong.
Instead, it becomes about learning the best way to love each other despite one another’s downfalls and insecurities.
When you do this, you automatically assume the best intentions of one another, which, in turn, allows you to see yourself in the others shoes.
And it’s through this process of compassion and understanding, that you learn to truly, and healthily, give yourself to another person.
A Healthy Relationship Makes You Love Yourself More
8. You push eachother to be better
In my last relationship post, I mentioned how important it is to be each other’s biggest fan. In a healthy relationship, you not only encourage each other, but also push each other to be better.
Your partner truly becomes your partner in crime.
For example, with me and Myles both pursuing creative passions, it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of, hold me accountable, and go to when I’m feeling discouraged.
We find that setting goals together, affirming each other often, and seeing each other succeed, inspires us to keep going.
Not only does it feel good to know you have someone cheering you on even at your lowest points,
but the constant reassurance also helps your self-esteem, reminds you of your worth, and inspires you to accomplish your goals.
9. You adore eachother
In addition to being each other’s biggest fans when pursuing our dreams, we are also each other’s hype men in general
My self-esteem has never been as high as it’s been since I’ve been in a relationship and it’s simply because Myles is constantly telling me how great he thinks I am.
It’s not that I didn’t think I was great before, but when someone’s constantly telling you, it gets to your head a little bit.
With that being said, it’s so important to reassure each other. Not just that you won’t cheat or leave each other, but also in who you guys are as people.
Let your partner know that you think they’re dope and why
Some examples could be:
- Complimenting them on an aspect of their personality you think is admirable
- Letting them know you’re proud of them
- Giving reassurance that they are the only person you want
- Complimenting their outfit, hair, or sense of style
- Telling them how attractive you think they are
- Thanking them for the little things
Not only is it simply romantic to feel like your partner genuinely thinks the world of you, but it also makes you feel secure in your position in the relationship, and in turn, more secure in yourself.
A healthy relationship should never feel like a distraction from your self-love, but an addition to it.
10. You’re best friends
Last but not least, in a healthy relationship, your partner becomes your best friend. This is because, when you invest in each other, you make space for comfort and familiarity.
You don’t feel the need to pretend, play games, or be on edge all the time. Instead, you begin to feel secure in simply being yourself.
So, even when you’re feeling stubborn or crazy, or like life has gotten the best of you,
it feels good knowing you have someone who loves you for who you are.
And while giving so much of yourself to another person can sound scary, the right one will make you want to be the best version of yourself.
So yes, relationships are supposed to feel good and be filled with picture-perfect moments, but they’re also about knowing that the person you’re choosing, is choosing you.