Your partner’s feelings, emotions, desires, and wants have value.The bottom line is, mutual respect is imperative in maintaining a healthy relationship with anyone.

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Both partners should feel free to share this information or not.

Moreover, both partners should allow for time and space away from each other.

Both partners should be willing to talk openly about their problems.

Neither side should resort to yelling, calling each other names, using the silent treatment, making demands or threats, or manipulating one into what the other wants.

In these cases, the individual has mistaken intensity for intimacy – meaning the chaos or lack of healthy attachment is their ‘normal.’ In a nutshell, their brain associates pain, hurt and betrayal with love.

If the person did not have a voice that was heard, understood and valued in their family of origin, if they were required to earn love, if boundaries were wishy washy, if abuse or addiction was part of the modeling, then chances are this person will do all of the heavy emotional lifting, often overcompensating with people who are also wounded and are unwilling or unable to attach and love in a healthy way.” For example, if you developed codependent patterns in childhood, you probably learned care-taking and controlling behaviors in order to survive, and may gravitate towards a partner with addictions or mental health problems or physical impairments who you can take care of and try to “fix.” Changing your relationship habits requires work.

The first step is making sure both partners are on the same page about the relationship, and understand each other’s expectations.

Disagreements are a natural part of any relationship, but compromising and resolving conflicts in a fair and rational way will help you both listen to each other and agree on something that satisfies to share everything, including who they were hanging out with or where they’ve been.

A smart, successful, 35 year-old, Maria came to see me for therapy after her third break-up in as many years.

Things always seem promising at the start of her relationships.

You can get stuck in a self-defeating pattern of dating the “wrong” people in part due to the relationships you witnessed and experienced as a child.