Recently a client asked me how she would know if she was in a good relationship. If she was doing a good job at her work, she would get promoted. If she was doing well in school, she would get good grades. But if she was doing well in relationships, well, what would she get?
The answer to this question may seem beyond obvious – you would have love, of course, one might say. But typically, people can’t tell whether they are in a good relationship or not. Can you?
You can learn to tell if you are in a good relationship. You don’t have to wait and see if you and your partner will make each other happy or miserable down the road. No matter what stage of the relationship you are in, you can take its pulse right now and be able to tell if it’s thriving, sick and needs help, or if it’s beyond help and needs to end.
Interestingly, your feelings are not always a good barometer of whether you are in a good relationship or not. That’s crazy, isn’t it? I mean, isn’t love all about how you feel?
Well, it is and it isn’t. People get into relationships to feel good or because they are in love – or so they think. But in reality, every person gets into a relationship to meet a complex set of deeper needs, for example:
- The need to be understood
- The need for companionship
- The need to be approved of
- The need to be wanted and cherished
- The need to care for and to be cared for
- And yes, the need to love and be loved
Besides, haven’t you ever been in love, and yet in a bad relationship? This happens to people all the time. People stay in bad relationships and marriages, lovesick over their partner yet unable to let go.
At the same time, people in good relationships sometimes feel bad and think it’s the relationship making them feel bad. For example, who among us has not been with someone who met at adultfrienedfinder who seems deeply in love with us, and yet runs? It may be a good relationship the person is running from, but one that made him or her feel the fear of intimacy.
This is why your feelings are not always a good judge of whether you are in a good relationship or not. However, I am about to give you a concrete way to measure whether your relationship is good and healthy, or should be put out to pasture. Ready?
You are in a thriving new relationship if:
- · You and the other person both want the same thing in your relationship’s future – you have talked about it and know exactly what your love sees in the future and it closely matches what you see.
- · You are neither spending every moment in touch, nor only seeing each other infrequently. Each of you has a life you value, and at the same time you are eager to get to know each other.
- · You spend time together in person, so that both of you can get to know and have tangible experiences with each other.
- · You can ask each other anything and not have to deal with defensive reactions or hostility. If one of you does something strange by the other’s standards, there is no problem in asking what it means.
- · Neither of you is going into the relationship because you “need” the relationship, attention, affection, love or validation from another person.
- · You have similar communication styles. If you like to talk, you are with another talker, or a listener. You are not with someone who thinks words are unnecessary or who rolls his or her eyes or gets defensive when you want to talk.
- · You crave a similar amount of intimacy. If you want lots of closeness, you are with someone who creates and seeks out closeness, not someone who holds you at arm’s length and only allows closeness once in a while.
- · Your partner is not emotionally unavailable and you are not emotionally avoidant. Dealing with your sweetie does not make you see red flags, nor does closeness make you want to run.
You are in a thriving mature relationship (which is where you want to end up if you are in a new relationship) if:
- · You and your partner can be yourselves with each other
- · You and your partner always ask each other the things you want to know
- · You can bring up any subject, including the relationship, and your partner will talk to you about it — maybe not gladly, but your partner will talk to you and try to resolve whatever issues you bring up. Some times the partner brings up issues.
- · You and your partner can ask for what you need from each other. This doesn’t mean either one of you always gets your way, but you can ask and be heard.
- · Your partner knows you and you know it. You feel seen and appreciated.
- · You love and adore each other.
- · You are still hot for each other.
Of course, there is more to these lists. But full lists would be too long to print here, and each person’s list varies slightly from everyone else’s, according to what you want and need in a relationship.
The bottom line is, though, that whether you end up in a good relationship or not is not a mystery dependent on time and luck. You can know the health and, to an extent, the future of your relationship. Even more importantly, you can deliberately set out to attract and create a good relationship…but that is a topic for another time.