Everyone has an idealized image in their head of what the perfect relationship looks like. Maybe it’s a noughties rom-com or a scene from Star Wars — whatever it is, we all have that gold standard. As a result of Hollywood magic, however, these images are often hyper-sexualized and lacking in genuine intimacy. We all want love, but we’re missing out on what the true crux of a healthy committed relationship is. Read on to find out more…
Honesty is key. So many times in relationships I’ve reflected on old exes and realized that I wasn’t really comfortable enough to speak my mind or assert boundaries. As it is, when you have it, you finally realize all that you’ve been missing out on. Having a person you can spill your soul to without fear of judgment or disgust is magical. You get it to a large degree with friends, but having people look you in the eye and see all of you and want to plan their lives around you is truly a fabulous feeling. As such, you can breathe easy around them and avoid secrets.
You communicate your insecurities. Rather than internalizing the issues you face in your life, you share them together in a committed relationship. Because you’re a pair, you share these experiences rather than struggling alone. You don’t feel like you’re burdening your partner either because they do the same in return. It’s all very egalitarian. That’s the secret, really — there should never be inequality in relationships. It cultures resentment and negativity.
Boundaries are in place. You’ve been together with your partner for so long now that you don’t have to worry about speaking your truth. Even if things that you had previously discussed change over time, you have no qualms about discussing it in a committed relationship. This means that you can both grow and develop as individuals without putting your emotional life on hold for another person. If you want to take up some hobbies alone or have tea with a friend for some added enrichment, it’s no problem.
You’re open to experimentation. Don’t mistake being together and committed for having a dull life. If anything, I find that sex, much like wine, improves over time. This accounts for our increased experience as we get older, but also our understanding of what the other person likes. You are more likely to take risks when you feel comfortable because the benefits outweigh the potential negatives. You feel safe, therefore there aren’t risks in a committed relationship. If there are, you can communicate them as and when they arise. When you’re with the right person, this dating lark is suddenly quite fun.
You can still have time apart. You might not be obsessed with each other in the same way that you were in the early stages, but you can value time apart too. For some people who are consumed by relationships, they stop appreciating time where they aren’t together. This can risk friendships declining and people isolating themselves. This means that truly committed couples have established this life balance and can remain well-rounded individuals. It comes with trust.
You take trips together. These adventures don’t have to break the bank, but they are a way of having leisure time and treating yourselves. It’s often fun to see how other people vacation and pick up fun new habits and tactics to maximize your enjoyment. Plus, who doesn’t love great weather and cocktails? If your guy hasn’t booked your first mini-break together then he’s not planning to commit any time soon.
Everything feels easier. This is self-explanatory. All the songs start to make sense. You feel at peace with yourself and you’re able to develop yourself too. There is space for all of your interests and you aren’t trading off important aspects of your life to be with someone.
You’re excited for the future. Maybe you’ve started to doodle your initials together like in middle school, but what’s wrong with that? Embrace your love and commitment. Don’t shy away from big feelings.
You are your best self. When the right person is committed to you, everything feels warm and fluffy. You love them, but you also love how much they love you. At the moment, it’s a perfect situation. Who can say what the future will hold, but you’re excited.
Maybe it’s time to reassess your conception of what a healthy and committed relationship looks like. You can’t force feelings, but there are ways to get better at committing to people, and encouraging them to commit to you, in return. There’s a lot more to it than boom boxes and running through the airport with flashcards…
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