We can all feel it when we’re in a healthy relationship, but we’re usually unable to pinpoint what it is exactly that makes us feel that way.
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What is behind that strong sense of connection with our partner? Trust? Respect? Intimacy? There’s so much more. The reason why we feel that way is that a healthy relationship leads to a significantly healthier life.
But developing healthy relationships is something that needs to be maintained. Keeping it strong and stable requires a fair amount of work.
Healthy relationships are not only vital to our emotional and mental wellbeing but are at the core of our survival. Our urge to connect with others is a significant part of what makes us the way we are.
As human beings, we’re constantly in search of our “place in the sun,” a place we can call our own, a place that will provide us with a true sense of purpose.
That elusive place, often marked by the term “utopia”, has also been described many times as non-existent or imagined.
Nevertheless, utopias do exist, but not as geographical locations. Rather, they’re discovered in the beauty of another human being, a soulmate.
When we feel truly needed, we immediately become a part of something bigger. If there is a significant someone who can be happier, trying to improve the world in some way becomes more than worthy.
This sense of purpose is the key thing that keeps us going in life, moving forward. All the little quirks of our partner(s) enrich our worlds, and these become the things that endear the most.
Of course, the physical plane is equally important as the emotional one. Numerous taboos have made our bodies into locked fortresses, turning our sex lives into guarded routines.
But today we’re past that, we’ve become comfortable with new approaches and physical aids that can stimulate all our erogenous zones.
Behind sexual experiments involving anal orgasms or S&M lies an absolute trust in our partners – the trust which can turn our bodies into temples as places of true worship.
If we’re ready to explore them with love and affection, each of them can become our own personal utopia – a place where we truly belong and have a unique purpose to fulfill.
So what makes a healthy relationship is when you get that overwhelming feeling that you have attained utopia.
Breaking the inner wall
Pink Floyd’s legendary album “The Wall, “especially the song “Mother,” brilliantly shows us how we’re all building the inner walls from our early childhood.
Firstly, we are often overprotected by our parents; then we continue raising these walls higher still on our own, not aware that we’re crushing our self-esteem and self-respect at the same time.
Respect becomes a form of hierarchy, and we start to hurt inside, detached from our true selves.
The benefits of a healthy relationship is that it is able to reestablish respect in its true form – as an awareness of another human being, and the appreciation of everything that makes an individual unique.
Mutual respect in a relationship leads to mutual understanding, eliminating the need to raise walls inside in order to conceal our weak spots, fears, or things we’re ashamed of.
Stress is one of the main building blocks of these inner walls, and the emotional and social support provided by partners is like taking a sledgehammer to it.
It has been proven that a healthy relationship is tied to a reduction of the stress hormone cortisol, especially in the case of cohabitation.
Of course, nurturing honesty and open communication is crucial for this process. Our inner walls will break only if we’re able to speak about what we feel and think with our partners in a transparent way.
Mutual respect and understanding come from honesty without the fear of being criticized. Secrets and lies have no place in a healthy relationship.
Knowing who you are not
Breaking the inner wall doesn’t mean we don’t need to have boundaries – they’re an equally important part of our health and wellbeing.
In order to reconnect with our true selves, we need to be aware of what we are not.
A great portion of social interactions today doesn’t allow us to let others know what makes us comfortable and what doesn’t, and we spend so much time pretending we’re something we’re not.
Subject to the expectations of others, we wear masks before so many people – our employers, parents, even our friends.
They may seem like a set of limits or rules in a relationship, but the truth is that a loving partner will always want to know how we want to be treated.
That’s why it is crucial to let your partner know when you need some space and vice versa, as well to respect each other’s needs, wants, ideas, and opinions, being able to “agree to disagree.”
We are not fully aware of our boundaries until we establish them clearly. Once we do so in a relationship, we would demand nothing less in other aspects of our life, knowing who we are and who we don’t want to be.
The other half
There’s a good reason why imaginary friends are frequent occurrences in childhood. Blood relations are one thing, but we’re in need of someone who is able to understand us on a deeper level, as the second half of one beating heart.
This is why partners are referred to as “the other half” – studies have even shown that a loving partner can even help us recover after heart surgery.
As in the case of an imaginary friend, it’s not magic. It is about having someone by our side who is able to take our mind off the pain, able to provide a true form of emotional support.
Partners in healthy relationships feel like the lost parts of themselves, finally reunited. This is why in such relationships, we’re encouraged to make changes toward healthier lifestyles – to exercise, quit smoking, eat healthily, etc.
If footsteps toward healthier behaviors are made by our soulmates, we’re more likely to follow them towards the reunion we’ve been waiting for our whole lives. So healthy relationships are not just about realizing who we are, but also who we can become.
As you can see, a healthy relationship is like our own place in the world. A place without inner walls of fears and anxiety, but with established boundaries.
A place with a clear sense of purpose where we can become the best version of ourselves. This is what true health and wellbeing are all about.
And all it takes to maintain such a sanctuary is to take a risk and share what’s going on in our heads and hearts with our significant others.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Theodora is a passionate blogger from Sydney and she is someone you would call an IT nerd. Also, she takes great interest in psychology and helping people deal with their mental and anxiety issues. Besides that, she loves martial arts and enjoying nature.