Guidelines for having healthy romantic relationships

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Healthy Romantic Relationships guidelines

A healthy romantic relationship is a relationship that results in personal growth and happiness for both people involved in it.

If the relationship pushed both people forward in their careers, social life or studies then it’s said to be a healthy romantic relationship. On the other hand, if the relationship resulted in suffering, brought much pain or slowed down the life progress for the couple then it’s an unhealthy relationship.

Intimacy & Healthy Romantic Relationships

Most probably you have noticed before that you get a different feeling when you watch the same movie you watched before in the presence of a friend.

This happens because sharing good emotions, like excitement in this case, increases the intensity of these emotions. I am sure you have also noticed that it feels much worse to face a problem alone than facing a problem that you and your friends are involved in together. (like thinking about the next hard exam you are all going to take). This happens because sharing bad emotions makes them less painful.

In healthy romantic relationships, bad emotions are reduced as a result of sharing them and good emotions are increased as a result of sharing them as well. So a healthy romantic relationship should make you feel better if you are already feeling good and should make you feel less bad if you were already feeling bad.

Unfortunately, in lots of cases, what happens is the quite opposite. The relationship results in more pain and suffering to the extent that it leads to depression. If you found that your life is not becoming better after being involved in a relationship then know that this may me an unhealthy relationship.

Guidelines for Healthy Romantic Relationships

If you followed these guidelines you will increase your chance of encountering a healthy romantic relationship. If you are already in a relationship then try to stick to these guidelines and you will notice a significant improvement as the relationship becomes healthier.

  • Is it Real love?: This question is not hard to answer. If the relationship was based on dependency, love addition and the desire to compensate then most probably its an unhealthy relationship. While if the relationship was based on unconditional love and a little amount of dependency then it’s a healthy relationship. For more information on real love check the article “what is real love”
  • Is intimacy Increasing Or decreasing?: if intimacy is increasing by a little amount every few days then it’s a healthy relationship but if intimacy is decreasing along the way then its an unhealthy relationship. The more you keep your private life away from your partner the more will intimacy decrease and this is one of the reasons that makes maintaining a long distance relationship a hard task. For more information on intimacy and loneliness see the article “how to stop feeling lonely”
  • Do you have realistic expectations?: if you expect the relationship to only have beautiful moments or if you expect your lover to bring you flowers everyday then you are at risk of facing relationship disappointment. The media has badly programmed our minds into believing that relationships are the solution to all problems and that life becomes perfect after starting a relationship. This belief is the main reason people become disappointed when the relationship becomes a serious one or when it becomes a long term relationship. If you want to have a healthy relationship then you should have realistic expectations. Avoid day dreaming and stick to reality, certainly a relationship can help you feel better but its not the solution to all problems.

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