July 21, 2012

Three Keys to a Healthy Relationship. ~ Alana Mbanza

Photo: Synergy by Jasmine

Having trouble finding The One?

Perhaps you have tried unsuccessfully to have a happy and healthy romantic relationship.

You might have already been in several relationships with the “wrong” ones. Maybe you feel like you’ve worked too hard and given too much. You might even be ready to throw up your hands in frustration and declare that you will never find anyone.

Stop. Breathe. Read On.

What follows are three crucial ways of interacting with potential partners that will increase the likelihood of finding and connecting with someone who is able and willing to build a healthy romantic relationship.

Be intolerant.

Being intolerant seems counterintuitive, right?

We are generally taught that relationships are about compromise, negotiation and understanding. As a result, we often suppress or ignore issues that really bother us because we don’t want to “rock the boat.” While some degree of compromise is a necessary part of healthy relationships, too much too soon can actually lead to major issues later on.

Being intolerant of qualities and behaviors that don’t work for you is an effective way of weeding out the “wrong ones” and making space for those who deserve to be in your life.

The dating stage is a time to have fun and to enjoy the company of another person. However, it is also a time to determine if you have similar values, if your rhythms sync up and if you have good chemistry.

If a potential partner is unwilling (or unable) to meet these expectations, free yourself up to find somebody who is more than happy to comply.

This doesn’t mean you need to be rude or disrespectful, just firm. For example, if your date arrives late and that is unacceptable to you, let them know. If they do it again, set the expectation that if it happens one more time, you will not continue to date them. Establish clear and consistent standards for acceptable behavior.

Photo: bravenewtraveler

Be the kind of person you want to attract.

Take a moment to list the qualities and characteristics of your ideal partner. Be as detailed as possible. Are they emotionally mature? Adventurous? Kind to animals? Family oriented?

Now look over the list.

How many of those qualities do you actually possess yourself?

Far too often, we seek partners who represent our idealized self in order to compensate for our own limitations.

This can be a dangerous pattern because it’s easy to become dependent upon that other person. Relationships between individuals who are dissimilar on important dimensions often involve an imbalance of power which can lead to serious issues.

Thus, the second key to attracting a good partner is to be the person you want to attract.

If you say you want a partner who is mature, reliable, financially stable, and able to communicate well—you need to embody those characteristics or at the very least, be actively working towards developing them.

Show up fully and don’t hold back.

The third key to attracting a good partner is to show your true and authentic self from the very beginning.

Many people mistakenly put only their best selves forward when dating in an attempt to impress the other person. However, maintaining this falsely positive image requires constant vigilance and can be emotionally and mentally exhausting.

There is no sense of peace and honesty in the relationship due to the fear that your partner would disapprove of your perceived weaknesses or negative qualities.

Waiting until you are invested in the relationship before revealing your true self is a flawed strategy.

Photo: hmomoy

Not showing up fully and being honest with yourself or the person you’re dating only results in misunderstandings, power struggles, resentment, and a lack of true intimacy.

I recently worked with a client, a man, whose female partner of two months asked, “Are you in love with me?” The man made himself nervous with the question. Out of fear that she would disapprove of his answer, he sidestepped her question, leaving it unanswered.

He missed an opportunity to show up, he justified not being honest as a way to “avoid conflict and hurt feelings.” By not being honest, he missed the chance to clarify the direction of their relationship which would have been the kind and respectful thing to do.

Developing intolerance, becoming the person you seek to meet and showing up fully require a major shift in the way you interact with and relate to the people you date.

Rather than giving you strategies to manipulate others, this approach empowers you to be authentic and to attract other people who are also authentic.

If you find yourself skeptical of this approach,

Ask yourself how well your strategy—the one you’ve relied on for years—works.

The reality is, if it worked all that well you wouldn’t still be searching for a good partner.

Implementing these changes will make living, partnering, and relating easier.


Alana Mbanza is the Content Editor of Green Psychology, a site dedicated to effective communication skills, healthy relationships and personal development. Connect with Green Psychology on Facebook or follow on Twitter @GreenPsychology.



Editor: Elysha Anderson


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