Have you ever questioned your love for someone?
Do you feel as though your relationship is not growing or evolving?
There are telltale signs of an unhealthy versus healthy love. Let’s take a look at both.
Falling in love and staying in love both require giving a part of yourself away, but healthy love is not demanding or uncompromising.
Healthy love allows you to be your best self and socialize with colleagues, friends, and family.
Healthy love is not controlling or dependent.
Healthy love is ever-changing and growing in subtle ways.
Positive love encourages and is kind and thoughtful of the other. It is honest and supportive.
If you are in love with someone who requires you to alter your personality, goals or wants you all to themself, this is not healthy.
If you are staying in a relationship purely because you are afraid of being alone, this is not real love.
When either of the partners in a relationship is always controlling or untruthful, this is unhealthy.
In a healthy relationship, communication and honesty are vital players.
There is lots of trust and little room for jealousy. Jealousy is a tricky emotion. It can fool people into thinking - "He must love me because he is jealous."
Unless your partner has given you a reason to feel jealous, for example, he/she is a chronic liar, has been caught cheating, you should be able to manage your jealous feelings. It's normal to feel a twinge of jealousy on occasion.
If you are experiencing jealousy 24/7, you need to look into the reasons. Often jealousy is a sign of insecurity or lack of knowing and accepting yourself. Healthy love includes loving yourself, as well.
If you are obsessed with the person you love and have no interest in spending time with anyone else, that is not healthy.
Most of us want to spend a good portion of our time with the person we love, yet there needs to be a balance. Each of us needs to cultivate friendships that are healthy, genuine, and interesting. Obsessive love is all-consuming and is based on negative emotions such as fear, jealousy, anxiety.
In healthy relationships, you can disagree without fear of the person leaving or retaliating. It is not normal or healthy to feel you have to be agreeable all of the time, or else. Loving another is about the give and take. Lopsided love is unbalanced.
When two healthy people are in love, their relationship does not wholly define them.
You want to be developing yourself, both interior and exterior. If all of your self worth is wrapped up in your relationship, this is not healthy. Partners each bring something to share at the table. If you have neglected yourself, it is time to rediscover who you are as an individual. Develop your likes and passions, give yourself credit, take risks, and make changes that are important to you.
“A healthy relationship will never make you give up your friends, your dreams, or your dignity…” Dinkar Kalotra.
Be honest with yourself when it comes to your love relationship.
Is it healthy, or does it need modifying?
Is there mutual respect?
Remember, too, that no relationship is perfect. It is often about loving through imperfections and knowing the difference between healthy and unhealthy love.
If you're struggling with healthy vs. unhealthy love, we are here to help with Imago Relationship Workshops and Relationship Therapy. We also have Online Couples Therapy and Online Couples Workshops right now!
Discover more about Imago with our Imago Professional Membership, Imago Professional Facilitators, Imago Professional Training, and Imago Educational Webinars.
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This blog post was written by Mara Fisher, LCSW, MCC.
Mara is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Master Certified Coach. She is also a Certified Imago Therapist and Advanced Imago Therapist.
Mara's career has grown out of a gift of intuition – which she's been aware of since childhood – and a natural inclination for using that gift to help empower others. Guiding and coaching feel as adventurous to her as the way she's lived her life. Born in New York City, Mara took European trips in her youth and has lived in England, France, and New Mexico in the United States.
Mara believes the boldness and confidence she gained through taking risks and expanding boundaries have contributed to her personal and professional successes. She loves seeing the joy in her clients when they find the courage to challenge themselves and transform their lives as well.
Mara has been a perpetual student, always exploring her inner self by learning new skills and techniques that help her to understand herself, other cultures, and what it is that makes us human. She applies that learning in a way that enables her clients to live fully in the present, to face the challenges in their futures, and to live their dreams.
For nearly three decades, Mara has focused on methods that help her clients realize that they already have answers to their questions. Instead of letting them give their power to her because she can often intuit what is going on in their lives, she can help them claim their power and solve their own problems.
Today Mara serves clients all over the globe through telephone and email communications. Her approach with each individual is uniquely shaped by who the person is and by their circumstances and needs. Tools and techniques selected for each client come from the expertise she's built during her career.
Check out Mara's website too!