"You feel like a better version of yourself when you’re in a healthy, mature relationship. That doesn’t mean your partner completes you, but they do complement your life in just the right way."
What are some other signs that you’re in the right relationship?
1. You’re free to pursue your hobbies and maintain friendships.
Nothing about your core identity should change drastically because of your new relationship status. A mature partner will recognize that pursuing outside interests is necessary and a healthy way to get some air from the relationship, said Kari Carroll, a couples therapist in Portland, Oregon.
“When a partner is too attached to allow you to enjoy something on your own, it can lead to sacrificing one’s own identity to appease the relationship,” she said. “If your partner has fears about you doing things on your own, it could turn into the self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, you may ultimately seek even more space and leave.”
In school books, I’m sure this seems like pretty intelligent stuffs. I mean, you should be able to find your soul mate and still do everything you did without them. Nothing wrong with keeping the same friends either, ex boyfriends, best friends that you had one drunken night with, flings that became friends, or just your toxic single friends that enjoy lady nights (or night out with the fellas) and hanging out. Why wouldn’t you? I mean, who doesn’t want to keep celebrating ladies night right? This isn’t toxic at all.
When you find a life partner it should be your goal to become one person with him/her. Although having your own hobbies isn’t a bad thing, there isn’t anything toxic about two people becoming one and sharing everything together. Sharing hobbies, sharing friends, and keeping a strong circle is the most important part of a relationship. And although the books may suggest otherwise, 20 years of a very good marriage is what matters. I’d argue keeping your hobbies you had while single, the same friendships while single, once you find a partner you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, is the most toxic thing in a relationship. Lack of commitment, wanting to maintain your single lifestyle, yet have the advantages of marriage. Although this can be spun both ways, I am spinning this behavior as selfish. And selfishness in marriages ends up in divorce court. Selfishness with your love and attention, ends up on “Relationship Goal” meme posters.
2. You don’t act differently when you’re around them.
Do you act noticeably different when you’re alone with your friends and family versus when your new boo tags along? In a healthy relationship, your demeanor, personality and general interactions are pretty much the same regardless of who’s there.
“If you act differently when your partner is in the room, it’s a bad sign,” she told The Huffington Post. “You shouldn’t feel the need to adjust your behavior based on your partner’s presence.”
3. Power is relatively equal.
In a healthy relationship, power and household responsibilities are pretty much evenly distributed, said Amy Kipp, a couples and family therapist in San Antonio. You can count on your partner to respect your work obligations and to help clean up before mystery odors begin emanating from your apartment. It’s all part of the deal.
“Both partners should have equal decision making power in every part of the relationship,” she said. “Toxic relationships often involve one partner that is highly dominant or two partners that engage in attempts to ‘grab’ power from the other.”
Disagree. This behavior is toxic if you have two people that want to “grab” power. Put two passive people together and the power grab is a non issue. Put a passive person with an dominant person together, again, the power grab is a non issue. A relationship doesn’t have a set idea to distributing power. If two people that are both dominant and find self worth in the power they have in their relationships, there will be problems. If you are in a relationship with a person that needs to have the power, while you feel the same need, I’d argue you were not right to begin with. This entire idea is only toxic when you have made a bad decision in choosing your partner and instead of finding someone that fit well with your puzzle, you are forcing a relationship with a puzzle that just doesn’t fit. The idea of ying/yang and opposites attract. Again, sometimes these lists are created as pure fluff and I’d argue this concept of sharing power is trash.
4. You can follow your dreams.
Your dreams and goals for the future don’t have to perfectly align, but your partner should support your big life plans. She may give you a slight side-eye when you mention opening an artisan cheese shop one day, but ultimately, you know she’d support you, Carroll said.
“Compromise should always come into effect. If your partner consistently shoots down your dreams as unrealistic or not convenient, you may not feel like you are fully supported or understood,” she said. “Over time, this can lead to giving up on one’s dreams and the relationship feeling less like a partnership.”
A shared life is complicated enough without throwing dashed dreams into the mix. To sidestep this issue, Carroll recommends talking about your plans for the future early and often.
5. Your differences are celebrated.
You grew up in the city, but she’s a country girl at heart. You are a meat and potatoes kind of guy, but she’s strictly vegan. Your differences in outlooks, beliefs and interests probably drew you to each other initially ― and they should stay interesting with time.
“In toxic relationships, couples become enmeshed with each other and differences are often seen as threats to the relationship,” she said. “In healthy relationships, differences in interest or opinion are not only tolerated, but celebrated.”
Obviously, substantial differences in values can be a problem, but otherwise, “the things that make people unique help to keep the relationship interesting,” Kipp said.
I’m 50/50 on this one. Differences can be celebrated, but becoming one person is the most complicated part of a relationship. If you can pull off this idea, you will enjoy various things in life with your soulmate that you would not be able to enjoy otherwise. Our blog has always preached a strong belief in becoming one unit, so even while entertaining threesomes, our monogamous bond is still intact. This concept is so far fetched, most people will not be able to understand it. Lastly, being enmeshed with each other is a great thing. Being enmeshed makes those claustrophobic to commitment extremely uncomfortable. With that being said, being afraid of being enmeshed is toxic to a relationship.
6. You can leave your cellphone unattended.
In a healthy relationship, you should feel comfortable leaving your phone unguarded around the house. Why? You can trust that your partner won’t go rifling through your texts and even if she did, she wouldn’t find anything worrisome, Land said.
“Everyone is entitled to their privacy but you should not feel like it’s a big deal to have your computer open or phone around,” she said. “There should be trust between the two of you.”
This is how you can tell these lists are click bait. A life changing 7 things in a relationship that are toxic, and your cell phone is on the list. Really?
But wait, what if your old hobby was being your cell phone and it’s how you keep in touch with all your friends you had prior to the relationship? Should you change your hobby and put your friends on hold now? Uh huh.
7. You can tell your partner when they hurt you.
Don’t be worried if you argue with your partner; conflict is natural and a sign that you’re open to communication, Carroll said. But you should be worried if you feel uncomfortable opening up about why you’re upset, Carroll said.
“Talking about it leads to partners feeling valued and heard,” she said. “If you don’t feel comfortable discussing a misunderstanding, it can lead to compounding resentment and distance. Learning to discuss conflict is uncomfortable but ultimately rewarding.”
Agreed. Not because this belongs on a list, but because we preach communication on every question our blog has ever received. Number 7 was an automatic, can’t miss. Of course you need communication and the lack thereof will end any relationship. Communication is the key to all issues, all lists, and all ideas. Balance of power? Communication. Wanting to keep all your hobbies and friends? Communicate prior to committing so you know where you both stand on that issue. If you are not compatible, don’t force it. Fear of being enmeshed? Communication.
I like blogging. Maybe Ill do more.