If you thought that love alone was enough for a healthy relationship, you need to think again. It takes more than that for your relationship to survive in the long run. Below, therapist John Kim, writing for Psychology Today, lists the three things required for a lifelong and healthy relationship.
– My old definition of love was two people sitting in a jacuzzi in each other’s arms, drinking champagne and spending time together. Yes, that sounds wonderful. I have experienced it. But it is not sustainable. The water gets warm, you get claustrophobic and you forget who you are, writes therapist John Kim for Psychology Today.
He believes that when the new love is over, more is required than attraction, chemistry and good sex. In a new relationship, it often happens that the people try to control each other (often unconsciously) for the partner’s “best”. But what you yourself think is best for your partner does not have to agree with reality – usually the partner himself knows what is best for him.
– Nowadays, I define love as a couple taking a bubble bath in two separate jacuzzis. There both decided to live together and face life in the same direction. Where from each bathtub they look out over the world and how far they have come, writes John Kim.
Bathing from each other’s jacuzzi can of course also be seen as a metaphor for what a healthy relationship should look like. You can imagine the separate bathtubs as a space in life between you and your partner but where you still share the same outlook on life and where you feel trust towards each other. According to the therapist, a healthy relationship is more than memories and strong feelings – healthy relationships require time, work and patience. Below you can find out which three things John Kim thinks are required for a healthy and lifelong relationship.
1. Space to continue being you
The key to a healthy relationship is for two people with separate lives to start sharing their lives together – instead of trying to make two different lives become one. In the common life you start to share, it is important to continue to have your “own life”.
2. Strive towards the same direction
Striving in the same direction means supporting, listening, communicating and letting your partner be themselves and make their own decisions. It also means sharing the same values and having the same outlook on life. Working together and not against each other is important for the relationship to remain healthy.
3. Be able to trust each other
That trust is on the list is hardly news to you – it really is incredibly important to be able to trust your partner. But just like a fire, it needs to be “lit” to keep burning, and trust is no exception. Trust has to be earned and when you stop it, the fire between you will slowly die out.
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Source: Psychology Today