After years of bad relationship, you don’t have to settle for a healthy relationship for all the wrong reasons.
Emerging from an unhealthy relationship is tough enough. There is an entire process of not only grieving a harmful relationship, and all the negative emotions that go with that, but there is also the reconditioning included when engaged in a healthy relationship. If that is not bad enough, once you are in a healthy relationship you have to be emotionally agile enough to understand that the first healthy relationship you find is not necessarily the “once in a lifetime” opportunity for love.
The main problem with unhealthy (or abusive) relationships is that we lose sight of who we are, as an individual, in order to meet the unrealistic expectations of our emotionally manipulative partner. We forsake ourselves as part of the compromise to be loved or feel desired or maybe even to meet a calmly intense sexual urge. Whatever
Whatever your rationale we eventually find that we are squeezing ourselves between the bars of our self-created prison on a regular basis until we continually looking over our shoulder to see if that morbid comfort zone is within a “safe” distance of our heart.
And then we find that first truly healthy relationship. We can be ourselves, in fact; we are encouraged to be who we are. We have that freedom we always dreamed of. We are given the space to be our own person.
And then it hits you, is HE the one???
He must be, right? After all, it is a healthy relationship and things seem to be good and going great. Surely, that is signal enough that this guy is THE guy. Maybe he just doesn’t see it, yet?
Before you go dragging his mentally healthy butt down the “red-felt aisle of forever” take these few things into consideration:
1. You Still Need Sparks: Remember, you have spent a good deal of time, likely a good portion of your romantic life, in unhealthy relationships. Your “normal” for that time frame has been an unhealthy comfort zone of abuse, mistreatment and negative conditioning. While it may feel good to be in a healthy relationship that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the relationship for you. Especially if you aren’t feeling butterflies and your toes don’t curl at his very touch. You shouldn’t give up the good stuff just because it’s a “healthy” relationship.
Your partner, who happens to be a well-adjusted individual, understands that if you don’t feel the romance, the spark or the connection then they expect you to do the respectful thing and end things. Don’t get comfortable just because it is healthy – that is a version of settling.
2. Be Prepared to Not Trust: Be prepared to be on an emotional rollercoaster just don’t take unwilling passengers. For so long, you witnessed mountains generated from molehills or extreme reactions to minute situations. It is that consistent negativity that can create the illusion of safety. But, do you feel safe? After years of drama, do you question everything and cause unneeded drama?
Are you too focused on his delayed response to your text? Do you keep an eye on his Facebook page or, think if he doesn’t’ call it’s because he is with someone else?
Years of conditioning and feeling vulnerable may keep you from feeling comfortable in a healthy relationship. Because of this, you may find that you create scenarios that enable you can feel comfortable in an unhealthy way. Allow yourself to feel secure in your new relationship and recognize that you just need to get used to feeling secure instead of afraid.
3. Don’t Project! Don’t hold the new healthy guy accountable for the actions of the unhealthy one. The other guy didn’t have to prove they were romantic cretins you knew it and gave them the room to show it. The healthy guy needs some space to prove he is healthy. He will have flaws but don’t go looking for them – they will surface with time. You don’t need to seek them out due to doubts from a past unhealthy relationship.
4. Don’t Expect too Much of Him: Don’t make him just a knight in shining armor. Yeah, guys like to save the girl but they don’t want to make it a full-time job. Healthy guys are looking for girls that can work as a team, partner up and share the load. Healthy guys want to see you shine and will help lift you up into the light, not shine it down on you. A healthy guy should not have to grab for his suit of armor very often and if he knows what is good for him, meaning he is truly healthy, he will respect himself and leave you to your own devices without feeling the need to rescue.
5. Don’t Limit Yourself: One healthy relationship may not be the end all of the unhealthy relationships you will be in. If you have entered into more than two unhealthy relationships (Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me) you likely have some self-exploration and reflection to do before you take on a marriage or life-long commitment.
The 3 biggest truths about healthy relationships:
1. Understand Hollywood doesn’t know squat about realistic romance and lifelong partnerships so don’t rely on that representation. Make sure you’re being realistic when defining your healthy relationship.
2. Not all healthy relationships star Patrick Swayze (RIP), JakGyllenhaalll, Tatum Channing, Vin Diesel or Dwayne Johnson. They star heroes that seem to be similar to your big brother, your dad, your uncle, or your best guy friend. Healthy men are everyday guys that make an actual difference in your world and add meaning to your life.
3. What you see on TV is written by professionals and may not be suitable for all audiences, meanwhile, your life is written by you with love in your heart
Bottom line, your leading man may not be the next cover boy for People’s Sexiest Man Alive or he may not be a workout overlord but he is the guy that “gets” you if you let him. You may have to go through a casting call to find the one that “gets” you AND that you are “into” but it is worth it. And you do deserve it.