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Healthy Relationships: The Fundamentals
by Katrina January 21st 2009, 07:47 PM

Healthy Relationships: The Fundamentals
by Jer

Relationships sure are awesome! You meet someone--at a party or school event--and start talking, get to know them a little, and pretty soon you're thinking, “Wow, this person is really cool. I think I want to spend more time with them.” So you end up going on a couple of dates, or just hanging out for a while. One thing leads to another, and suddenly you're “together.” Excellent! Congratulations.

However, from the first moment you set foot on the U.S.S. Relationship, you immediately realize: “What on Earth am I doing here? I don't know how to have a good relationship!” But don't panic! Once upon a time, newcomers to relationships had it hard because there was no manual written on what makes a healthy relationship. But those days are over! Sit back and relax as we take you through the fundamental concepts behind a good, happy, and healthy relationship.


Trust

Any sort of relationship--friendship, association (ie: between a teacher and a student) or even a business relationship--will be in serious trouble without trust. This also holds true for romantic relationships. Trust is important because you are, in essence, giving someone something very important: your heart. Sometimes it's not easy to put yourself in a situation where you're exposing yourself like that. But if your partner is a good person and worth being with, he or she will be trustworthy, and you, in turn, should remain faithful.

Communication

Consistent and frequent communication is also a vital aspect of a relationship. This covers not only doing things together (see below) but also discussing your feelings, thoughts, intentions and desires. The more you let your partner know about what goes on in your head, the better he or she will be able to integrate your thoughts into what he or she does, ultimately leading to a much more enjoyable and healthy experience.

Spending time together

An aspect similar to communication is spending time together and doing things you both like. This also means making time for your significant other, and expecting that person to make time for you. Just be sure to not spend TOO much time together. Allowing your partner to take up too much of your life creates a whole new set of problems.


Commitment

Entering a relationship is essentially making a promise to your partner--the promise that you will be with them. Although couples break up all the time, nobody truly wants to break up with his or her significant other. Remaining true to this promise of commitment is important, as it establishes and utilizes trust and provides the very foundation of your relationship.

Understanding Expectations

When you have a good relationship, something between you and your partner will form: expectations. For example, relationships develop strength in agreements. You expect follow through from a new relationship--being on time to dates, calling when promised--and when your partner holds up their end of the bargain, you begin to develop trust in them. You later expect they will not break that trust, and will develop deeper, more intimate levels of trust in them. You then expect them not to break that trust. It's a circle, but not a vicious one.
Sometimes you won't "live up" to your partner’s expectations, but that doesn't mean the relationship is over! If a time comes when you don't do or say what your partner expect you to, or vice-versa, it is time to talk, that's all. Expectations are normal, so admitting to having them is okay. When you know what is expected of you, and your partner knows, too, you are doing a great job of communicating!


Patience, Compromise, and Respect

All couples will disagree at some point in the relationship. For example, perhaps you like hanging out at the beach after school, whereas he or she prefers the library. Whatever the issue, it is crucial to discuss it with your partner and work things out between the two of you.

The Golden Rule of relationships: Never do anything you are not comfortable with.

No partner should ever have the sort of leverage that allows them to control his or her partner's actions. This situation is unhealthy because it allows for the controlling partner to take advantage of the other and use them for his or her own personal gain.


Sex

Sex is another area of relationships that requires patience and respect.
Some people believe in sex before marriage, whereas some do not. If you are in a relationship with somebody who is not comfortable with having sex, your best option is to respect that and be patient. Respecting your partner's boundaries shows that you care for them and that you don't wish to infringe on their decision-making process. Furthermore, it also makes sexual relations much more fulfilling and exhilarating experience when the time does come. One final note is that compromises on sex are NOT okay if they breach the Golden Rule in any way.

You are now armed with a few basic facts on maintaining a healthy relationship. No matter what happens, believe in yourself and in the bond you have with your partner. If you follow your heart and act honorably, you are certainly capable of a happy and healthy relationship.

Last edited by Rob; March 10th 2012 at 10:22 AM.
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