Think of a couple that you would like to emulate in your relationship. Got one? What made you think of them? Do they hold hands? Is the quality of their smile different with each other? Do they play? Do they apologize? Are they each other’s cheerleader? Do they share responsibilities? Can you “see” their respect and fondness for each other? What else do you notice?
If you answered yes to some of these, you’re likely looking at a great example of a healthy relationship.
There are SO MANY check lists and models for a healthy relationship, that I decided I would share the key pieces from the World according to Kathryn. ☺ That World is fluidly defined by my 30 & more years of working with couples and studying with researchers and teachers.
In later conversations, I will offer you deeper understanding and how to’s for implementing each piece. I hope you find it helpful!
ATTENTION: Both partners feel seen, heard, and understood.
FUN: Play, humor, and fun are commonplace.
LOVE: Both feel loved for who they are.
CARE: That love is expressed and felt in specific, caring behaviors, which are different for each partner
INTERDEPENDENCE: There is a fluid balance of meeting your partner’s needs and having your needs met by your partner. Each have friendships, interests, and activities outside of the relationship – some shared, some not.
RESPONSIBILITY: Each accepts that feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are your own responsibility. Blaming is absent.
CONFLICT: Inevitable differences are addressed and resolved directly and respectfully, sometimes by agreeing to disagree.
FIDELITY: Both know that their partner is unquestioningly faithful.
COMMUNICATION: There is an easeful flow of sharing the stories of your lives with each other, including feelings, celebrations, and struggles.
CHEERLEADER: Both enthusiastically support each other’s goals, dreams, aspirations.
SEXUALITY: When there’s agreement to engage in a sexual relationship, it is an open, joyful expression and communication around an equal sexual partnership.
SENSUALITY: While this is a crucial part of mutual sexuality, openness to experiencing life in the fullness of our senses enriches life in general, but especially in relationships. Watch a baby’s whole body belly laugh. What goes on inside – and outside – of you? Do you smile? Chuckle? LOL? This birth right to experience life to its fullest gets squelched as we grow up. It’s not cool to show too much emotion – negative OR positive. The price? ALIVENESS! And it shows in our hum drum, sometimes numb relationships!
Before addressing these KEYS individually, what is necessary in each of us to be capable of implementing these KEYS? The next BLOG will address these critical INDIVIDUAL PRE-REQUISITES. I wonder which will be YOUR greatest challenge!