So what is a ‘good’ relationship?
It is a healthy, happy, fulfilling and stimulating relationship with another person for mutual benefits.
- “Any” relationships is not a good enough one really, is it? Even to stave off loneliness? It’s a sign of low self esteem on your part, or their part or both.
Picture by Stuart Miles
- It’s a sign of lack of knowledge/awareness of other options, other experiences for you and/or for them
Loneliness is not being alone, being on your own or not ‘in a relationship’ or having no “real” friends. Loneliness is not being seen, heard and acknowledged, respected or considered in a relationship – or not having found anyone who can give you that.
“It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company”
If you develop a relationship with someone and then start to feel less than yourself, less of worthy person or unhappy, angry, confused and hurt too often – it’s likely not to be a good relationship for you!
Sometimes we need these so that when those other helpful, considerate and encouraging people do some into your life, you can recognise them! The ones you gel with, relate to and engage with in a two way communication of speaking and listening.
Being heard is not the same as someone giving you time to speak some words, but hearing the message behind the words (or the silence …) and acknowledging what they heard from you, even if they disagree. It’s about respecting the differences between you and them, accepting their point of view and them yours; it’s about then acting in accordance with what they said, maybe asked for or shared with you. It isn’t about meeting their needs at the expense of yours, but both meeting each other’s needs as much as possible.
“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special to”
Relationship grow, they develop, they change often and regularly with each of you learning something new to bring to that relationship. Sometimes they are time limited, sometimes forever. Sometimes they bring experience, and lessons, sometimes comfort and security.
A good relationship allows you to be yourself, feel comfortable, safe to share and build you up, not knocks you down!
Relationships are with family and friend, colleagues or lovers, workmates or school pals, and the person you walk by on the street… with your children, your pets or your boss.
They are many and varied and how you treat others and are treated in those relationships really matters. A lot!
It makes or breaks you, it offers you potential and opportunity, or restriction and pain.
So make sure you can:
- Sometimes step back, away from the daily habits of the relationship as it’s developed up to now, and see it for what it is (and isn’t!)
- Regularly review it – check it out with yourself, someone less involved and if possible a little distant from their agenda with you and someone close to you and your needs too!
- Make time to review it together too. Not necessarily a formal review but a check out how things are going, feelings, thoughts and ideas. What is and isn’t working for you and ask them too.
- Know what you want, and how it’s different than “yesterday”
- Look forward to how it might be in the future too – not steadfast and restrictive, but look at ideas and options, share thoughts and feelings – and expectations of each other, the relationship and the needs it has to fill for you both!
Find the balance for you both!