Signs Of A Healthy Relationship
Four Clues You Need to Know!

Signs of a healthy dating relationship are apparent from the first date. There are clues all over the place, if you are paying attention. Healthy relationships have several clues that indicate you are pointed in the right direction for finding and creating successful, passionate, permanent partnerships. Here are Four Clues that will help you understand if you are headed towards a healthy dating relationship.

Clue # 1: How are you being treated when you're dating?

Signs of a healthy dating relationship are important indicators that you want to be paying attention to. Many of us overlook red flags in the blush of enthusiasm about getting together. But looking backward, you can see how significant these seemingly small details are. Begin by noticing how easy or difficult it is to set up the first date. If it was often difficult to get a commitment for a specific time, you may be dealing with someone who has commitment challenges.

Did it seem impossible for your date to find a free slot of time? This might indicate ambivalent feelings, or just too many pulls in their life. Are promises broken in the first few weeks?

Another serious warning sign that the person may be disrespectful is if they put you down in front of others. Do you find your date trying to control your behavior or the kinds of choices you make? If so, this person may be a control freak, and unless you can stand up for yourself and your choices, this is a sign of future struggle and unhappiness between you.

Alice shrugged off a little comment Tom made after they had been dating for just a month. "You take too many vitamins," he said, "You'd never get me to swallow all those pills." This seemingly small difference in health-styles later turned into fights about restaurant choices. Soon Alice began giving up her commitment to her own body's needs. Then she started missing her exercise classes to be available for Tom's schedule. She gained thirty pounds in her eight-month relationship with Tom. Looking back she can see how significant that early comment was.

Clue # 2: Is there mutual respect for each others timing?

When you are looking for signs of a healthy relationship, you should sense that physical intimacy should never be coerced. In a healthy dating relationship your partner respects the time it takes for you to be ready for physical intimacy. How about frequency? If there are differences in the level of desire, how well does your partner understand your needs? Are you in sync with each other's desires? If not, how do you handle these different desires?

Here's where the Art of Communication comes in. If you can't talk about the differences in your love-styles and level of desire, and find win-win compromises, these problems will only accelerate. Often in relationships one person wants sex more than the other. In a healthy dating relationship, these issues are discussed, and solutions are found that acknowledge the needs of both people.

Clue # 3: Is your lover also your best friend?

Being good friends, wanting to be with each other and share and do things together is one of the signs of a healthy relationship. Good friendships are built over time, but you can deepen the friendship by creating more intimacy. To create more intimacy you need to share more of yourself. You need to speak up about your true feelings. Take a risk with your partner and tell them something that is deep inside your heart. The more you both share, the deeper the bonds of togetherness are woven. Signs of a healthy relationship include the sense that you are with your best friend.

Clue # 4 Do you feel energized or depleted when you are together?

This is such a fundamental issue in determining if you are in a healthy dating relationship that we often overlook it. Does your partner enhance your sense of well-being? Do you feel better, happier, about yourself? Or do you feel drained, less good about who you are? That is a symptom of a toxic relationship.

Tony described his relationship with Julietta: "In the beginning I felt like I was on cloud nine. I couldn't believe such a gorgeous girl would be interested in me. But after a few months, I felt like nothing I did was right. She was always criticizing little things, like what I wore, the kind of car I drove, the restaurants I chose. I began to feel beaten-up after every date." With her constant critical comments, his self-esteem nose-dived. Finally, after six months of dating, out of his last remnant of self-respect, he broke it off. Healthy dating relationships bring out the best in us. They support a basic sense of well- being and self-worth. They allow us to flourish as who we really are. We shouldn't feel diminished by our partner, but rather like a flower basking in the sun, growing each day.

If you are looking for long-lasting love, pay attention to these four important clues or signs of a healthy relationship. It could really make the difference between a healthy relationship and one that no longer serves you. Every relationship has rough moments, but overall you want to be with someone who allows you to feel an ever-deepening happiness in your life and in your sense of self. Remember, you really do deserve to have happiness and lasting love. You deserve to have a healthy dating relationship!

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