The primary distinction of a healthy (adult) boy-girl relationship is when each member shows mutual respect for the other.
The opposite is an unhealthy relationship when one partner exerts physical, emotional, or sexual control over the other.
When males and females start to display intense desires towards a person of the opposite gender stronger than average friendship, this constitutes a boy-girl relationship.
Usually, these feelings are sparked by a male-female friendship that has grown into a stronger bond. This bond creates a deeper connection and the beginning of a male-female relationship. For the rest of this article, we will refer to this relationship as an “adult relationship”.
There are three major components that make an adult relationship successful. These are commitment, communication, and compromise.
These aren’t necessarily listed in order of importance. The only way a relationship between two people can work is if they communicate their needs and desires.
Besides the three “C”s, there are other qualities that help to build strength in a new relationship.
Our parents teach us about love, understanding, patience, and sharing with others. These are qualities of our personality that are developed from the time we are old enough to play with others.
These four qualities are extremely important in a relationship. We put ourselves out there – heart and soul – and we need to know we can trust the other person completely.
- Feelings of mutual respect. This is the first sign of a healthy relationship. Both people have mutual respect for one another. Respect is when the other person believes in you and sticks up for you around others. They don’t overstep the boundaries you have set. These boundaries can be emotional as well as physical.
- A feeling of safety. Another sign of a healthy adult relationship is you feel safe around each other. There are no threatening feelings, and you don’t feel as though you need to protect yourself from the other person. Neither person feels that the other is a threat to their emotional or physical safety.
- Open and honest communication. Adults who form healthy relationships can talk to each other easily. Expressing one’s feelings in a healthy relationship should be easily accomplished without hesitation. There shouldn’t be any fear the other person will get angry because of opposing feelings. Each person feels the other truly listens to them and respects their opinions.
- The ability to compromise. Everyone knows that we cannot get along all the time. Even the happiest of couples have disagreements. It is during these disagreements that we must learn the art of compromise. The way a couple of compromises is by considering each other’s feelings. Together, they can come to an amicable solution that works for them both.
- A feeling of equality within the relationship. When in a healthy adult relationship, each person feels equal. One person does not make the other feel like they have control or domination over them. A sign of a good relationship is each person doing their best to make the other feel comfortable and loved.
- Maintaining each other’s independence. Adults in a healthy relationship must remember that they don’t have to spend every waking moment together. Each person must continue seeing friends and family members as well. A healthy couple allows each other to continue pursuing hobbies and spending time with their friends.
- Offering a warm support system. When life gets hard, as it often does, your partner in a healthy relationship understands. They listen to each other’s woes. Each person compassionately provides feedback and lets the other person know they care and are always available.
- Gives privacy when the other person needs their own space. We all need to have a private life. Just because the other person doesn’t share their passwords, email, or text messages doesn’t mean they don’t love you. A little privacy gives the relationship some mystery. If we know everything the other person is doing 100% of the time, the relationship can become boring and stagnate.
Now that you know the eight signs of a healthy adult relationship, we will explore the flip-side – toxic relationships. The next section covers five signs that your relationship might be toxic.
We all want our loving relationship with another person to last forever. To be a fairy tale romance that leads to marriage, children, and “’til death do us part”.
However, sometimes a relationship is anything but healthy and happy. This is when it becomes bad for us – emotionally and physically.
When you feel misunderstood, attacked, unsupported, or demeaned in your relationship it could be toxic.
When in a toxic relationship, you feel worse as time goes by. A relationship can be toxic in many ways.
Below are five signs to warn you that the relationship you are in may be a toxic one.
- The relationship is extremely intense. If your relationship feels like it is going too fast, it could be toxic. For instance, you have only been together a couple of days and are already thinking about being together for life. Healthy relationships move slowly, allowing each person to get to know the other.
- Feelings of being alone or isolated. When in a toxic relationship a person might feel isolated because they are a couple. They avoid hanging out with family and friends because they think they have to always be with the other person, or they might upset them.
- Jealousy that becomes extreme. If one partner exhibits extreme jealousy over what the other does. Such as just hearing about the other person talking to someone of the opposite sex. Accusing the other person of cheating when there is no reason to believe it is true. Sometimes this jealousy is directed at the amount of time the other person spends with family.
- Feelings of being belittled. A relationship is not healthy or might be toxic if one person belittles the other. This can be putting down the person’s opinions and views or making fun of their talents/hobbies.
- Volatile emotions. When one member of a couple exhibits volatile emotional outbursts, it is not a good sign. One day you’re in love, the next you are breaking up, then they can’t live apart. This type of behavior is not healthy.
Everyone wants to love and have that love reciprocated. Therefore, when we meet that special someone, we do whatever it takes to make the relationship work.
However, as mentioned above, sometimes our intentions create a toxic relationship. Toxic relationships are not healthy for anyone involved.
Therefore, we need to know how to have a healthy adult relationship and make it last.
The law of attraction reflects the popular expression “like attracts like”. This means that what you surround yourself with and focus on most is what you will attract.
This also holds true with the relationships you get involved in. Live life in a positive mindset. Love and accept yourself and others passionately.
When you do this, other people will be attracted to you in the same manner.
To learn how to love yourself, you need to overcome any former beliefs that limit your abilities.
You need to learn how to exhibit outward confidence and strength. This is the most vital phase when trying to build a healthy relationship.
If what you want is a healthy adult relationship, then you need to hold yourself to a higher standard. You must put in the extra effort it takes to grow alongside your partner.
If you don’t, then the relationship becomes stagnant and poisoned. Whatever it is you want from a partner you need to set the bar higher for yourself as well.
To find the ideal partner, you need to match that.
An adult relationship will become more fulfilling if each partner focuses on their partner’s core needs.
Discover what those needs are – is it feeling significant, comfortable, or needing extra security?
Propagate these feelings with an understanding that is from the heart. Don’t just know what your partner needs but take it to the next level intellectually.
Make a connection with him that is emotionally and empathetically deeper. Try to take a moment and stand in their shoes, making his emotions a priority.
While you are doing this, don’t forget to also ensure the relationship fulfills you on a personal level.
When first getting involved in a relationship, you want to find all the ways you are compatible.
Looking for all the things that make the two of you alike and “made for each other”. However, a healthy relationship is a blend of the similarities and differences between two people.
What makes a perfect relationship is not only all the things you have in common, but the things that are different.
These differences are what first piqued your interest in each other. You like to read a good book; he wants to go fishing.
So, go along with him on that fishing trip and bring your book. You will get the best of both your worlds while experiencing something new.
When you learn how to appreciate all the little quirks that make up your man, your love will grow into a more complete bond.
When we think about an intimate relationship, it doesn’t always mean physical. Intimacy is much more than physical attention.
It is experiencing life’s moments in a big way and relishing even the little things you share, like relaxing on the couch to enjoy your favorite movie for the umpteenth time or preparing a favorite meal to surprise your man after a hard day’s work.
If you are single and looking for a healthy adult relationship, pay closer attention to your current friendships.
Next time you are talking to that male friend, take a moment to listen to what he is saying. There could be something there that you have been missing.
Always follow your heart when looking for a lasting relationship. If you use these tips as a guide, a healthy adult relationship is certain to be in your future.