Important Factors of Healthy Relationships

Does love conquer all? Well, that depends. Since individuals feel love in different ways, healthy relationships need other important factors, as well.

Honesty

In a world in which lying is not just OK but almost expected -- as evidenced from political scandals to shady marketing practices -- honesty seems to have taken a back seat. It is, however, one of the most important cornerstones of a relationship. This does not refer to the type of honesty in which you would tell a friend that her dress makes her look fat.

Instead, honesty needs to start with each individual. Many people start relationships by omitting little things and molding themselves into different versions to attract a particular person as a partner. From there, the hole just gets deeper until the relationship eventually collapses. It could take months, years or decades, but relationships that lack the most basic foundation of honesty will fail.

Honesty also means that you must share unpleasant information, such as health issues or financial problems. Even the omission of seemingly minor facts is dishonest. For example, hiding purchases in the car because partners are not on the same financial wavelength may make for funny talk-show fodder, but it's not healthy for a relationship.

Trust

Trust is important, because without it, an individual will start obsessing about what his partner is up to. Because nearly everyone has experienced dishonesty, trust may be hard to come by. However, it is not fair to a new partner to establish relations without trust. If an individual repeatedly finds himself in partnerships in which trust is violated, it may be a good idea to examine patterns in order to attract healthy relationships.

Kindness

While kindness could be thought of as an aspect of love, many who claim to love are not kind. If a person is not capable of kindness in a relationship, it is unlikely that he or she is really in love. Kindness, in a healthy relationship, extends not only to the partner but to other people and living things. When a person is kind to the elderly, infirm, animals and children, it is a good indication of character.

Commitment

While men often are accused of having issues with commitment, plenty of women find it hard to fully commit to relationships, as well. It just may be less obvious. Lack of trust and fear of getting hurt are major contributing factors to commitment issues. Other considerations, such as jobs, finances and other family members, also contribute to commitment problems. In a healthy relationship, the family unit, not external circumstances, should be a priority.

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