Let's face it, some people are naturally better at picking partners and negotiating relationship boundaries than others. Those people are generally those who grew up being fed healthy messages about relationships, dating, marriage and the opposite sex. As a result, for them, being in a healthy relationship is as natural as waking up, and breathing.
For those not in this category, understanding if a relationship is healthy is not as innate. So how do you know how to evaluate whether a relationship is worth pursuing?
It's important to recognize that it is a process, and one that takes time. And while there is not always a definite answer as to whether a relationship is to unhealthy to continue, these questions may be helpful in deciding if you should keep working, or cut and run.
1. Does this person treat me the way I deserve to be treated?
2. Am I important enough to them that they adjust when I give them feedback about how I desire to be treated?
3. Do they want the same things out of life that I want?
4. Does this person respect, value, appreciate and like me as I am?
5. What things are they doing that show me how they feel about me?
6. Do they ask me to do things that at my core make me feel uncomfortable?
7. Is this person moving at a pace that is reasonable and logical?
8. Does this person take the time to do things they should in a relationship (make time to meet my friends/family, introduce me to their friends/family, arrange dates, answer calls, spend time with me) at a reasonable pace?
9. Am I giving myself enough time between dates and phone calls to analyze my feelings about this person and this relationship?
10. What are the negative things this person has said/done in the past or present that gives me insight into their character?
11. When I think about this person, and relationship as it is right now, and not how I want it to be, am I okay?
12. Am I discussing the boundaries, concerns, issues in this relationship with a mature, wise friend, mentor, coach to get feedback?
13. Am I clearly communicating my boundaries, wants and desires, and does this person respect what I have communicated?
14. Have I continued to value my priorities, relationships, and goals outside of this relationship?
15. Does being in this relationship give me the feelings that I desire (peace, joy, fulfillment)?
16. What do the people I know, who have healthy relationships have to say about this person and our relationship?
And the most important question of all
17. Does this person say they want to be in a relationship with me, and are their actions consistent with their words on a daily basis?
Keep in mind that relationships change quickly from week to week for the first few months. You'll want to reevaluate the relationship and ask yourself these questions again at least every other month for the first 6 months.
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