What are relationships goals and are the ones that are celebrated in modern society healthy? This may seem like an easy question to answer but it is not always easy to know what we want from our relationships, whether they be romantic or platonic, and therefore we do not know what boundaries to set.
Boundaries are critical to healthy relationships. It can also be difficult to describe what makes us feel secure in our relationships with a partner, family member, or friends When relationships are mentioned, what is imagined and established as a relationship goal? Is it romantic candle-lit dinners and waltzes under the night sky? Sleepovers and whispering future wishes all night? Calling someone at 4 in the morning because it is hard to fall asleep?
The relationships we see in the media are dramatized, and create images where consent and desire get blurry – and pushes the boundaries we create for ourselves. But may also create a sense of yearning and thoughts of “why can’t my relationship with ____ look like that?”
In this aspect, there is a sense that the standards placed on a relationship are unrealistic. People should not expect relationships to look like that, at least not all the time.
If so, what is a healthy relationship supposed to look like?
People know what is going on in their mind, but not in the mind of others. When people have an established connection, it can be easy to assume that they know what is going on in our heads but that is not the case.
Each individual has things they desire in a relationship, and sometimes things may not match completely. It is important to realize that our needs are being heard, but also listen and hear the needs of others. Communication does not necessarily mean speaking constantly. Being able to take time for yourself is important, whether it be 10 minutes or a few days. However cutting off all communication may be daunting for the other person, so sending a quick message to let them know you will be out of touch for a while can relieve the anxiety they may feel if they cannot reach you.
Respect can be found in different areas. Respecting boundaries and reaction in disagreements are two areas where respect can be observed. Once boundaries are communicated, they must be respected. It may be alright to call a friend at 4 in the morning if you need them, but probably not every night. There are bound to be arguments and disagreements in a relationship, but it is important to find the appropriate way to resolve them. There are times when people have to make compromises, but we have to note how all people feel about the decisions.
It takes two
For there to be a balance, all members of the relationship must pour into the relationship. If you find yourself putting in more work than others, evaluate the situation and note what your needs are and how it can be communicated.
Relationships can feel different based on the stage we are in our life and what we are looking for. It can feel different based on the culture we are raised in and society we experience. Some relationships shift as time goes on, passion can move to something comfortable – it does not mean the love is dwindling