Life as a single person offers many rewards, such as being free to pursue your own hobbies and interests, learning how to enjoy your own company, and appreciating the quiet moments of solitude.
For many of us, our emotional baggage can make finding the right romantic partner a difficult journey. Perhaps you grew up in a household where there was no role model of a solid, healthy relationship and you doubt that such a thing even exists. You could be attracted to the wrong type of person or keep making the same bad choices over and over, due to an unresolved issue from your past. Whatever the case may be, you can overcome your obstacles and find a healthy romantic relationship.
The first step to finding love is to reassess some of the misconceptions about dating and relationships that may be preventing you from finding lasting love. While there are health benefits that come with being in a solid relationship, many people can be just as happy and fulfilled without being part of a couple. And nothing is as unhealthy and dispiriting as being in a bad relationship.
This is an important myth to dispel, especially if you have a history of making inappropriate choices. Instant sexual attraction and lasting love do not necessarily go hand-in-hand.
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Emotions can change and deepen over time, and friends sometimes become lovers—if you give those relationships a chance to develop. Women have different emotions than men. But both men and women experience the same core emotions such as sadness, anger, fear, and joy. True love is constant or Physical attraction fades over time. As we age, both men and women have fewer sexual hormones, but emotion often influences passion more than hormones, and sexual passion can become stronger over time.
People only change if and when they want to change.
Over time, and with enough effort, you can change the way you think, feel, and act. Disagreements always create problems in a relationship. With the right resolution skills, conflict can also provide an opportunity for growth in a relationship.
Expectations about dating and finding love When we start looking for a long-term partner or enter into a romantic relationship, many of us do so with a predetermined set of often unrealistic expectations—such as how the person should look and behave, how the relationship should progress, and the roles each partner should fulfill.
These expectations may be based on your family history, influence of your peer group, your past experiences, or even ideals portrayed in movies and TV shows.
Retaining many of these unrealistic expectations can make any potential partner seem inadequate and any new relationship feel disappointing. Distinguish between what you want and what you need in a partner. Wants are negotiable, needs are not. Wants include things like occupation, intellect, and physical attributes such as height, weight, and hair color. For example, it may be more important to find someone who is:. Needs are different than wants in that needs are those qualities that matter to you most, such as values, ambitions, or goals in life.
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These are probably not the things you can find out about a person by eyeing them on the street, reading their profile on a dating site, or sharing a quick cocktail at a bar before last call. When looking for lasting love, forget what looks right, forget what you think should be right, and forget what your friends, parents, or other people think is right, and ask yourself: Does the relationship feel right to me? Concentrate on activities you enjoy, your career, health, and relationships with family and friends. When you focus on keeping yourself happy, it will keep your life balanced and make you a more interesting person when you do meet someone special.
It always takes time to really get to know a person and you have to experience being with someone in a variety of situations. Be honest about your own flaws and shortcomings. Besides, what you consider a flaw may actually be something another person finds quirky and appealing. The dating game can be nerve wracking. But no matter how shy or socially awkward you feel, you can overcome your nerves and self-consciousness and forge a great connection.
Focus outward, not inward. Staying fully present in the moment will help take your mind off worries and insecurities. No one likes to be manipulated or placated. Rather than helping you connect and make a good impression, your efforts will most likely backfire. Make an effort to truly listen to the other person. Put your smartphone away. Online dating, singles events, and matchmaking services like speed dating are enjoyable for some people, but for others they can feel more like high-pressure job interviews.
What is a Healthy Relationship?
And whatever dating experts might tell you, there is a big difference between finding the right career and finding lasting love. Instead of scouring dating sites or hanging out in pick-up bars, think of your time as a single person as a great opportunity to expand your social circle and participate in new events.
Make having fun your focus. At some point, everyone looking for love is going to have to deal with rejection—both as the person being rejected and the person doing the rejecting. By staying positive and being honest with yourself and others, handling rejection can be far less intimidating.
That means you have to talk to each other! The following tips can help you and your partner create and maintain a healthy relationship:. Creating boundaries is a good way to keep your relationship healthy and secure. By setting boundaries together, you can both have a deeper understanding of the type of relationship that you and your partner want. Even healthy relationships can use a boost now and then. You may need a boost if you feel disconnected from your partner or like the relationship has gotten stale. If so, find a fun, simple activity you both enjoy, like going on a walk, and talk about the reasons why you want to be in the relationship.
Then, keep using healthy behaviors as you continue dating. Try going out with the people you love and care about the most — watch movies together, go out to eat, take a day off from your busy life and just enjoy being you! If it helps, also talk about your feelings about the relationships in your life. If you just want them to listen, start by telling them that.
Then ask what makes relationships good and what makes them bad? Along the way, if you need advice, feel free to contact us. Relationships that are not healthy are based on power and control, not equality and respect. In the early stages of an abusive relationship, you may not think the unhealthy behaviors are a big deal.
However, possessiveness, insults, jealous accusations, yelling, humiliation, pulling hair, pushing or other abusive behaviors, are — at their root — exertions of power and control. Remember that abuse is always a choice and you deserve to be respected. There is no excuse for abuse of any kind. Consider these points as you move forward:.
Even though you cannot change your partner, you can make changes in your own life to stay safe. Consider leaving your partner before the abuse gets worse. Whether you decide to leave or stay, make sure to use our safety planning tips to stay safe. Remember, you have many options — including obtaining a domestic violence restraining order. Laws vary from state to state so chat with a peer advocate to learn more.
Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call loveisrespect at or TTY Skip to content Healthy Relationships Healthy Relationships. What is a Healthy Relationship? Healthy Communication Open, honest and safe communication is a fundamental part of a healthy relationship. The following tips can help you and your partner create and maintain a healthy relationship: