Finding a #healthy #relationship.
Here are five key points that I teach my clients and seminar attendees.
1) Create a Must Have list. These are the non-negotiable characteristics that you are looking for in your next relationship. If you are looking at a characteristic that “would be nice to have”, it shouldn’t be on your list. Your list of Must Haves are the most important traits you are looking for and if even just one is missing in your potential mate, you should be moving on and continuing your search. If you don’t move on, you are settling for less than extraordinary. This list must be in writing so you can refer to it often as you are dating. The importance of this list is that it helps you to step back from the veil of infatuation which clouds our vision and often prevents us from recognizing red flags early in a new relationship.
2) Create a list of Deal Breakers. These are the characteristics that would immediately be reason to not start a relationship or end a relationship once they are discovered. It is important to have these written down too for the same reason as above.
3) It is important to be emotionally healthy before you try to enter into a new relationship. People who are emotionally healthy have:
- A sense of contentment.
- A zest for living and the ability to laugh and have fun.
- The ability to deal with stress and bounce back from adversity.
- A sense of meaning and purpose, in both their activities and their relationship.
- The flexibility to learn new things and adapt to change.
- A balance between work and play, rest and activity, etc.
- The ability to build and maintain fulfilling relationships.
- Self-confidence and high self-esteem.
If you are not emotionally healthy, you are very susceptible to falling into an unhealthy relationship because of your unhealthy emotional needs.
4) Assuming you are emotionally healthy and have made your Must Have and Deal Breaker lists, then it is time to date. When you think you have found a person that seems to have all of your Must Haves and none of your Deal Breakers and seems to be a great match, it’s time to dig deeper. First and foremost, a lot can be discerned from conversations and actions. It is often thought to be sweet or endearing when a potential mate wants to do almost everything with you. This should be a potential red flag because this could be a signal of someone that is controlling. If they insist on going everywhere and doing everything with you, you should start to back away from the relationship.
Listen to what they say about past relationships. There can be a lot of clues to their personality in conversations. For example, if they talk about how evil, hurtful or uncaring their past mates were, this may be a clue that there could be problems in your future. If they will not take or admit some responsibility in any relationship problems, this is also a clue that you my be entering into an unhealthy relationship.
5) If everything seems to be going well, there is still more research that can be done. Most states have a court website in which you can do a very basic search on legal issues involving your potential mate. This is not a comprehensive search, just one that can be done in your state at no cost. Next, there are web search services that can do minor background checks for $25 to $50. For a more complete background check, you can hire a private investigation firm to do a detailed check. These are the most comprehensive checks and could find information on multiple IDs in multiple sates. These will be more expensive but well worth the money especially if they prevent significant physical, verbal and financial abuse.
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