In our past blog entries, we have discussed core characteristics of healthy relationships. Additionally, we have discussed how important it is to be in a healthy relationship, as well as maintain it. If you have difficulty differentiating which type of relationship you are in, take a look at the list below.
These are seven quick contrasts that can be drawn between healthy and unhealthy relationships:
1. Reality vs. Fantasy
Partners in healthy relationships are characterized as living in reality. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses so there is no need to hide things. They don’t pretend or try to fake anything. They don’t tiptoe around unmentionable areas. If their partner has a weakness, they address it openly and try to help one another out. On the other hand, unhealthy relationships avoid unmentionable areas and treat them as taboo topics to discuss when problems arise. They begin to build a relationship based on how they hope it should be like.
2. Completing vs. Finding Completion
There is a big difference between working towards a unified goal of completing one another versus only completing yourself. In a healthy relationship, partners aim to be part of another’s self-growth. In an unhealthy relationship, partners are more concerned about using the other individual to fill a sense of void for their own good. Relying on someone to fill your void is unhealthy because you are co-depending on someone that might not be able to do that. Once that strategy doesn’t work out for you, you could then start co-depending on someone else or a substance. This then turns into a vicious circle of depending on others instead of on yourself. Does your partner do things that benefit them more than it would for you?
3. Friendship vs. Victimization
At the base of any strong healthy relationship- true friendship is found. True friendship is the foundation that helps relationships further blossom towards passionate and romantic marriages. Without friendship, relationships are shallows and more likely to encounter victimization. Do you feel like your partner is like your best friend or more as if our partner is somehow who oppresses you and puts you down?
4. Forgiveness vs. Resentment
Forgiveness allows the individual (forgiver or forgiven), to be free from past hurt and disappointments. It also grants the relationship an opportunity to grow from past troubles instead of being barricaded. Healthy relationships embody acts of forgiveness rather than resentment.
5. Security vs. Fear
Security is hard to come by in today’ time. Often times, people come from insecure childhoods and hope for future adult relationships were they could feel safe. Security can serve as a reassurance of love while fear can be the opposite. How do you feel when you lay in your partners arms?
6. Vulnerability vs. Defensiveness
Vulnerability happens when people feel safe. It causes the people to open-up about their deep emotional feelings and thoughts. Opening up about personal things can lead to relationship growth. If the person feels like they are in fear, defensiveness appears. Defensiveness causes people to build up barriers to protect themselves from the feeling of fear. These actions will reduce relationship growth and could lead to several other relationship problems.
7. Honesty vs. Deception
Honesty is the core foundation of any relationship. On the other hand, dishonesty, lies and cover-ups, are difficult to break. Which do you think you practice more?
If you or anyone you know is in an unhealthy relationship and aren’t quite sure what to do, please refer to this YouTube video for further information: