Healthy Relationships: What Do (And Don’t) They Consist Of?

by Sarah Ruhlman
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Healthy relationships aren’t mythical concepts, you know! Let’s take a look at a few things that they both do and don’t consist of.

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Healthy relationships DO consist of safe and protected sex

When it comes to your sexual relationship, protection should come first. This means protection against unwanted pregnancy, and also against STDS and infections.  There are so many different forms of contraception for women. There is sure to be something out there that suits you. You may need to experiment with a few different forms until you find the one that is ideal for you. But it is certainly worth the work. Safe sex should always be something that you are your partner are practicing also. If you are a new couple, you both should do an std test before you begin any sort of sexual relationship together. This gives you peace of mind and allows you to enter this stage of your relationship with confidence. It can also be wise to do them regularly if you break up and change sexual partner. Or, if you suspect your partner of not being entirely faithful. Of course, this should never even be a problem if you are in a healthy relationship. Which brings us neatly to our next point…

Healthy relationships DON’T consist of lies and lack of trust

No relationship that doesn’t contain trust can be an entirely healthy one. This trust should be implicit and all-encompassing. It should also be felt two ways!

If there is a lack of trust in your relationship, your first step should be to pinpoint why it is there. Is it your problem? Do you struggle to trust your partner because of your own negative experiences in the past? Or, is it something to do with them? Do they behave in a way that you feel is inappropriate with other men or women? Have they broken your trust in the past?

If it is the former, this is something that you can work through over time. Be sure to be open and honest with them about whatever it is that is holding you back. However, if it is the latter, you have a hard decision to make. Either let the past go and give them your trust… or let them go.

Healthy relationships DO consist of balance

When we refer to balance in this point, we do so in the overarching sense. The balance we are talking about is balance in all areas of your relationship. It incorporates both the small things and the big things. First, let’s look at the small things. Do you share the TV remote, watching some of their favorite shows and your favorite shows each week? Do you share difficult or time-consuming household tasks, from food shopping to dustbin cleaning? Do you each get a say on things that go in your lives, like where you go on vacation or what takeout you eat? While these things may seem significant, there should be a balance here. Sometimes you do things for your partner- sometimes they do things for you. This should also be apparent on a bigger scale. Career, money or other sacrifices one year may need to be met with other sacrifices further down the line. A healthy relationship is one that acknowledges this and is willing to promote balance in all areas.

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