10 Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship ~ Jennifer Twardowski

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We all desire to have a relationship that is filled with happiness, joy, and — most importantly — love.

Unfortunately, for many of us, we’ve been exposed to so many unhealthy relationships in our lives that we don’t know what a truly healthy relationship even looks and feels like. So here are 10 characteristics of a healthy relationship:

1. Both partners know that they are responsible for their own individual happiness.

Many people unfortunately fall into the bad habit of believing and expecting that our partner is meant to be our source of all happiness, love and fulfillment in our lives. However, in a truly vibrant and healthy relationship, neither partner expects the other to be the source of all their happiness in life. Both people know and understand that they themselves are responsible for their own happiness and well-being. They each know that they are there to support and help one another, but they both know that they are ultimately responsible for themselves.

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2. Neither person is really trying to control or “fix” the other person.

If one person is more of a procrastinator while the other always gets their work done early, the other person isn’t going to try to “fix” them by pushing them to get their work done early in a healthy relationship. Both people respect one another’s differences. One doesn’t try to force the other to change or be anything different then themselves.

The reality is that nobody wants to be changed or fixed — especially if it’s unsolicited! If the person really truly wants to change, then they will ask for help on their own terms and in their own way. Change isn’t going to happen through nagging or force.

3. The relationship is balanced.

No one person has any more power over decisions made as a couple than the other. Both people have an equal say and have equal control over decisions made and both equally respect each other as a different and unique human being.

Now, it may be that the decisions made are different for each person. Such as, one person is more focused on interior decorations while the other is more focused on finances because it better highlights each person’s strengths. But, aggregately, everything is 50-50.

4. Conflicts are dealt with head-on and then dropped.

In a heathy relationship, conflicts aren’t a deal breaker. Just because a conflict happens, it doesn’t signal that it’s time to just check out and move on to something else. Rather, the conflict is seen as an opportunity to learn and grow. Both sides openly share their feelings and views honestly and with respect.

Conflict is accepted as a natural part of life and any frustrations are dealt with early rather than repressed and brought back up time and time again.

5. Feelings are shared honestly and openly.

Both people share their genuine feelings with one another freely. Both partners respect and accept the other’s feelings. Expressing one another’s true feelings aren’t repressed because both partners know that by not sharing them and that by not accepting the other person’s feelings it will cause conflicts later on.

6. Each person makes time to take care of themselves.

Both people in the relationship understand and know that self-care is an absolutely vital component for a healthy relationship. They know that if they don’t take care of themselves and do things for themselves that they will be stressed, drained, and exhausted. They know that when they don’t take care of themselves, they have little love to give to their partner.

7. Both partners are willing to put the relationship before themselves.

In a healthy relationship, both partners are able and willing to consider their partner when making decisions. They don’t just go off and plan a trip for themselves without discussing it with the other person. They make room in their lives for the other person and are willing to work together as a unit.

8. Both people understand and accept that they’re not going to agree on everything.

In a healthy relationship, both partners know that it is perfectly okay to agree to disagree. They know that just because one partner has one viewpoint, it doesn’t mean that the other has to completely agree. They know that having differences in opinion and beliefs doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.

9. They both truly value the relationship.

Both partners are loyal to one another and willing to work through conflicts together. They both truly believe in the relationship and are committing to the lessons and growth that come while being together — despite the challenges that come up.

10. They want to be together simply for the sake of being together.

For some of us, we can find ourselves staying in a relationship because we want some kind of security. That can be emotional, physical, financial, or whatever. In a truly healthy relationship both people want to be together because they genuinely want to be together for the sake of living a life with the other person. Security isn’t a primary motivation to be in the relationship, as the motivation of genuine love runs so much deeper than the security that can be gained on a physical level.

Take action now!

Ask yourself: What characteristics on this list are you amazing at? What characteristics could you use some work on? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Jennifer is a self and relationship coach, writer, and spiritual teacher. She is the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com and the creator of Ignite Love from Within: Meditations to Create Relationships and a Life Filled with Love, click here for a free meditation from the album. Her mission is to help women create loving relationships with both others and themselves. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-twardowski/10-characteristics-of-a-healthy-relationship_b_8578954.html

 

 

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30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties ~ Shannon Rosenberg

Dating and relationships can be a special type of shit show in your twenties.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties

Between trying to be a real adult and figuring out what you want to do with your life, how does anyone have time to find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties

The struggle is too real. So we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what they wish they knew about dating and relationships when they were in their twenties. Here’s what they said:

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

1. “Assume that you can get anyone to fall for you if you want them to.”

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties

“It might not be true, but you should go into every date with that assumption, instead of worrying about whether or not the guy is into you.” –kristencarol

2. “Making the first move is terrifying but it will be the most awesome terrifying thing ever.”

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties

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3. “The best pick up line in the world is ‘Hi, I’m (insert your name here).’”

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties
Columbia Pictures / Via gifsgallery.com

–Joey Hamilton, Facebook

4. Follow the “Three Month Rule.”

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties

“Follow the Three Month Rule: If after three months there’s something you can’t live with then move on. People don’t change.” –Tracy Evette Paul, Facebook

5. “Don’t commit to someone who hasn’t asked you to.”

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties

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6. And feel free to actually say no when you want to.

 

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“It’s okay to turn someone down. And it’s okay if the person you turn down gets upset, that is beyond your control. I went on so many unwanted dates because I felt bad saying no.” –MrsH810

7. Don’t feel pressured to achieve any specific milestone by any specific time.

“There is no specific timeline that you have to achieve any specific milestone. Some of your friends are going to get married and start having babies early. Others will wait a bit longer. If you’re not one of the first to achieve either or both of those milestones (if that’s what you want), it’s okay. It will happen when the time is right. It’s better to be single than stuck with the wrong person.” –Jen Stone, Facebook

8. Believe people’s actions, not their words.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties
20th Century Fox / Via imgur.com

“If he/she’s not contacting you, or playing games, or being flaky, etc., it’s pretty clear what they actually think, despite what they may have said.” –Mcfly7719

9. “Don’t drink excessively on first dates.”

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties
AMC / Via wordpress.com

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10. Make sure you date on your own terms.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties

“Write a contract with yourself to date on your own terms. Be clear about what those terms are and advocate for yourself if it’s not working.” –Sean Fitch, Facebook

11. Have no regrets.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties

“Regret NOTHING!! You will learn from it all in the end.” –Justin Hilton, Facebook

12. Know that your “ideal” partner can change over time. So just do you right now.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties
Screen Gems / Via yvonneashlee.wordpress.com

“Focus on yourself, your goals, and with time, the right one will come around. After all, your 20s are the perfect time for you to explore and really find yourself. Besides, what you saw as an ‘ideal’ partner back in college may be totally different now!” –Valeria Marquez, Facebook

13. And just completely forget about dating if you’re sick of it.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties

“Ugh. Just get a cat.” –Shannon Hooper, Facebook

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

14. First, learn to be okay by yourself.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties

“Be okay with being by yourself. You’ll enjoy it so much more when you add someone meaningful to your life and even when things don’t work out, you’ll still have that joy of being with yourself.” – Danit Ehrlich, Facebook

15. And don’t feel like you need to change for anyone.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties
NBC / Via theberry.com

“Don’t change who you are for ANYONE! You can adapt and try to take an interest in things that they love, but never change the essence of you. Never lose yourself. The right person would never want you to.” –NurseTina3938

16. Just because they’re perfect, doesn’t mean they’re perfect for you.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties

“They may be the perfect person, but they may not be the perfect person for you. You’ll know when it’s the right person to stick with.” –Sharon Walles, Facebook

17. “Find someone who you can laugh with and have fun with, any time and anywhere.”

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties
NBC / Via pandawhale.com

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18. Don’t stay in a dead relationship just because you’re comfortable.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties

“Just because it’s comfortable, doesn’t always mean it’s right for either of you. Don’t be afraid to go after what you want, and do not be afraid to be on your own. You are far stronger than you think you are!” –Cait G.

19. Don’t try to find yourself through a relationship.

“Find yourself, then the right relationship will find YOU. A relationship will never work out when one or both people are only half done downloading.” –John Shinners, Facebook.

20. And don’t give SO much of yourself without getting anything in return.

“You need to both be in a position where you can sacrifice and compromise.” –Alice Louisa Davies, Facebook

21. Really take into consideration what your friends and family have to say.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties
Buena Vista Pictures / Via buzzfeed.com

“If all your friends and family tell you that he/she is a creep, hear them out. Especially if they tell you this repeatedly. They love you and want you to be happy.” –janetm43885b0d5

22. But don’t let them make the decisions for you.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties
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“Don’t let your parents pick out who to date. You’re not in high school anymore, you can tell your parents no.” –Sharon Walles, Facebook

23. “Know when to throw in the towel.”

“You can’t strong arm someone into their potential.” –Kate Morrone, Facebook

24. And don’t feel like you ALWAYS need to be in a relationship.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties
Warner Bros. Television / Via teen.com

“Going from one relationship to another is not healthy; have a single break!” –Claire Reading

25. Absolutely don’t let anyone mistreat you.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties
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“Do not stand for bad behavior of any kind — cheating, shouting, lashing out at you and making you feel like shit — if any of this happens, LEAVE!” –Gabi Garb

26. Remember that there is such a thing as giving too much.

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties

“When you do that, whoever you date will grow a sense of self-entitlement rather than gratitude.” –Laurann Rilmen, Facebook

27. “Know that you’re good enough. Anyone would be lucky to have you.”

28. Don’t stay with someone because you think you can change them.

“You CANNOT change that very interesting ‘bad guy.’ Don’t be afraid to set limits. Don’t be afraid to communicate your needs. If he isn’t able to fulfill them or at least compromise, it won’t work out.” –kaa

29. Be with someone who genuinely makes you reallysuper happy.

“No one should make you cry more than they make you laugh.” –hanny12080

30. “No scrubs.”

30 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew In Their Twenties
Warner Bros. Animation / Via gifkeeper.tumblr.com

damnitness

Truth.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/shannonrosenberg/just-get-a-cat#.fvbm86eZR1

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False ~ Kirsten King & Alex Kasprak

This is Helen Fisher, the chief science adviser for Match.com and an anthropologist who specializes in ~love~.

This is Helen Fisher, the chief science adviser for Match.com and an anthropologist who specializes in ~love~.

TED

Every year, Helen Fisher, Ph.D., conducts a comprehensive study of singles’ attitudes toward dating and sex that surveys over 5,000 Americans. The people surveyed are NOT Match.com members, but are representative of the U.S. population at large. “We queried a representative sample of blacks, whites, Asians and Latinos, young and older, and gays, lesbians and straights from every part of the country and every walk of life,” she told BuzzFeed Science.

The data reveal a number of myths about dating, love, and sex. Here are some common myths about love that could use some debunking:

1. Myth: If you initially don’t find someone attractive, you will never fall in love with them.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False
DreamWorks

Reality: 43% of singles have fallen in love with someone they did not initially find attractive.

2. Myth: Partners are curious about your ex early on.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False
NBC

Reality: 72% of singles do not want to hear about your past relationships while on a date.

3. Myth: Singles rarely think long term on a first date.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False
Fox

Reality: 51% of men and 49% of women have imagined a future together while on the first date.

4. Myth: Romantic love is always triggered by physical attraction first.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False

Reality: 54% of singles say they fell in love with someone they didn’t initially find attractive after a great conversation, or when they found they had a lot of common interests.

5. Myth: Love at first sight only exists in the movies.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False
The CW

Reality: 34% of singles (41% of men, 29% of women) have experienced love at first sight, while 53% of singles believe in it (59% of men, 49% of women).

6. Myth: Intense, passionate, romantic love lasts no more than a few months.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False

Reality: 28% of singles surveyed were intensely in love with their last partner for two to five years, 9% of singles were intensely in love with their last partner for six to ten years, and 18% of singles were intensely in love with their last partner for more than 10 years.

7. Myth: To singles, getting married shows that you really love someone.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False
Bravo / Via realitytvgifs.com

Reality: 53% of singles don’t want to get married because they believe that you don’t need marriage to prove you love someone.

8. Myth: Single men want more nights out with friends than women do.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False
Paramount Pictures / Via tumblr.com

Reality: Single men are less likely to consider regular nights out with the guys/girls a “must-have” or “very important” (only 55% of men consider it important while 64% of women find it important).

9. Myth: Men like being single.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False
NBC / Via virtualteen.org

Reality: Only 12% of single men reported that they don’t want a relationship and would prefer to stay unattached.

10. Myth: Men are turned off by a successful woman.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False
USA

Reality: 87% of single men would date a woman who makes considerably more money, and 44% of single men think it’s important to date someone who has a successful career.

11. Myth: Men are uncomfortable when a woman asks them out.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False
Bravo

Reality: 90% of men are comfortable if/when a woman asks them out.

12. Myth: Men feel that proposing marriage is always the man’s job.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False
Touchstone Pictures

Reality: 67% of men would be comfortable if a female partner proposed to them.

13. Myth: Men don’t put in much prep time before a date.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False
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Reality: 69% of single men take between 30 minutes and one hour to prepare for a date (vs. 73% of women).

14. Myth: Men don’t want to date smarter women.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False
NBC

Reality: 87% of single men would date a woman who is more intellectual than themselves, and 87% would date a woman who is considerably more educated.

15. Myth: Women want to move in together with a new partner sooner than men do.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False

Reality: 11% of single men want to live together before six months of dating (vs. 4% of women).

16. Myth: Singles without children avoid dating single parents with children.

16 Myths About Love That Are Totally False
Sony Pictures

Reality: 60% of singles (64% of men, 57% of women) are willing to date a single parent who is living with children.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/kirstenking/myths-about-love-that-are-totally-false

Cantabile: A Love Story by Ren Martinez

He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale dusty air.

But, that is not where this story begins.

It begins with bird and a star.

A bird whose songs caused willows to weep. Its voice rang through dusk and the dawn and all who heard were made beautiful.

A star who burned brighter than any of its brethren. It turned its ear towards the earth and heard the bird sing.

Stars are not meant to be moved, yet the star found itself moving to listen.The bird did not notice the star captivated with each note, unable to look away.

The bird did not notice a star fall in love.

Until, one night, the bird looked upwards and saw the star, bright with adoration. The bird felt starlight kiss its wings. When next it sang, the song was so beautiful the universe wept.

It was the first love song.

That’s not how the story ends.

The bird sang songs for its beloved until it died. The star collapsed with grief, the carbon of its corpse falling from the sky into the earth. Millions of years was all it took.

He began his new life standing up, surrounded by darkness. He opened his mouth to a song. Out of that darkness, a man came forward, his eyes like supernovas.

The man, who was once a star, reached out his hand. The man, who was once a bird, took it.

That is how the story begins.

—–

My entry for Figment’s June Challenge

Ice Cream Doesn’t Have Feelings…but you do by Candice Ashley

Here is some food for thought on the matter of skin color, actually on “skin tone”.

Where does one’s skin color/tone preference come from? Is there a difference? This idea of being attracted to a specific tone recently came up in conversation with a friend, let us call her Suzanne. Suzanne likes fair toned girls. When naming the traits Suzanne is looking for in a female she expressed wanting to be with someone fair toned. This ideal girl could be of any race as long as she was fair toned or no more than two shades away from Suzanne’s own fair color.  Upon hearing this I had to ask myself, is this just a different way of saying white is good and black is bad?

Let’s ask the real question which affected me to write this, how does it feel to be on the receiving end of someone else’s preferences? Is it even allowed to say out loud you prefer lighter toned over darker toned or vice versa? Should I have an issue when people say they are not attracted to dark toned people? Should fair toned people have an issue if I say I am not attracted to them? Is this any different from saying I prefer **burly lumber jacks dressed in plaid as opposed to lean jockeys dressed in chevron? Where is the line!

It should be noted that I treat feelings as facts regardless of if they are unfounded or not. I am feeling them, they are here, and they are REAL. With that being stated, I immediately was put off by Suzanne’s comment. Now I am trying to understand why. Is it because I am outside of her ideal tone range? If I was in her ideal tone range would I feel differently?  Why do I care I’m not trying to date Suzanne! Do other people think like this? If so, are guys not choosing to date me because I fall out of their +/- 2 tone range?!

The logical side of me wants to shout out the obvious, PREFERENCES ARE REAL! Preferences for ethnicity, religion, education, financial well being, height and body type, exist. I just have never heard this preference phrased as Suzanne phrased it. It seems to be such an oxymoron, race doesn’t matter but skin tone matters. Personally I think the phrasing is a cover up by person in denial. Either way I came to my conclusion that our reaction to someone else’s preferences will depend on what side of the line we fall. Being the perfect shade of champagne toasted caramel that I am, I fell out of that range and felt some type of way about it. I was in my feelings and did not comprehend the non-inclusiveness of the comment. Ultimately we all have our preferences we just need to realize that those on the opposite side of our preference are people and have feelings too.

The excerpt below is of a g-chat conversation I had with a friend. It sums up everything I feel on this matter.

friend I gchat with: sayyy whattt, she missing out
me: at first i was like.. is that like having a preference in ice cream?! then i thought no ice cream doesn’t have feelings

** It should also be noted that I am color blind in the laws of attraction, and I really do love a burly lumber jack in plaid preferably driving a gas guzzling non-eco friendly truck!

Wanderlust Wednesday – Venice, Italy

Such a photogenic city, every shot is breathtaking. I have never seen anything like it; the whole city is a Vogue spread. Today’s adventure takes us to Venice, Italy. An ancient and artistic city, beauty and history course through its veins. A truly amazing city that we now get to visit thanks to Flickr. Enjoy!

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Venice, Itlay by garyullah
Venice, Italy by photog63
Venice, Italy by JoeDuck
Venice, Italy by garyullah
Venice, Italy by garyullah
Venice, Italy by garyullah
Venice, Italy by garyullah
Venice, Italy by garyullah
Venice, Italy by JoeDuck
Venice, Italy Grand Canal at Sunset by Navin75