May 9, 2023

4 Striking Quotes that Explain what a Healthy Relationship Should Look Like.

Healthy relationships don’t come easy.

As most of us may already know by now, love is not enough to sustain them.

This is why most marriages fall apart and many couples become strangers after being together for many years.

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all model for healthy and permanent relationships; there are many ways to build a long-lasting connection. However, there are some core components that might help us to overcome major issues and establish a strong relationship that can last for decades.

Here are four quotes from Neil Strauss that perfectly explain everything we need to know about healthy partnerships:

1. Fall in love with a person—not an illusion.

“Your partner hasn’t changed. They’ve just gotten more comfortable showing you who they are.” ~ Neil Strauss

 

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It’s not necessarily a bad thing when a partner slightly changes. I think it’s normal and extremely common, especially when two people have been together for a long time. How we impress our partner significantly changes throughout the years, so if we’re aware enough, we’ll recognize the new tactics or patterns they’re using to impress us—and be grateful for it.

They might not buy us cards or flowers anymore, but they might prepare a delicious meal or run errands for us. During the early stages of dating, we tend to be perfect; however, with time, we become more of who we really are, or as Strauss puts it, we get more comfortable showing our partner who we are.

That being said, don’t fall in love with the image that your partner might have shown you during the first year. It’s not deception or lying. It’s simply a normal transformation that all couples go through. Instead, fall in love with who they show you from moment to moment. The image might not always be perfect, but it should always maintain your core values.

2. Focus on the behaviors that bother you. 

“Avoid generalizing your partner’s behavior in disagreements. Using the words ‘always’ or ‘never’ are usually an indication of this:

‘You never listen to me.’

‘You’re always late.’

If what you’re saying isn’t factually true, you’ll most likely receive an emotional response.” ~ Neil Strauss

 

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When an argument gets too heated, we might say things we don’t really mean. But some things, if repeated overtime, have the capacity to hurt our partner and possibly push them away from us. Consequently, when we repeatedly generalize our partner’s behavior, they might automatically feel bad or guilty. They might think they’re a failure for not doing enough.

Stereotyping our partner can damage the relationship in the long run. Instead of using hurtful words that might not be true, we should focus on the behavior or situation that bothers us. If we succeed in communicating effectively about what’s bothering us without disrespecting our partner’s general efforts in the relationship, we will connect with them on a deeper level.

3. Accept your partner for who they are. 

“A healthy relationship isn’t, ‘I’ve seen this person at their best, and I’m waiting for them to be like that again. It’s, ‘I see who this person is, and accept them even at their worst.'” ~ Neil Strauss

 

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We should not accept the “worst” that’s hurtful, draining, or abusive. But when it comes to the little flaws that we all naturally have, we can’t always fundamentally change them. We all lack qualities that might annoy other people, but it doesn’t mean we don’t deserve love or respect.

That being said, accept the imperfections of your partner while also focusing on the qualities that you admire about them. Acknowledge that you, too, are flawed, and they, too, have to accept you at your worst—as long as it’s not draining or wrecking your relationship.

4. Create emotional safety in your relationship.

“‘I understand and I love you. Thank you for sharing.’ When a partner is allowed to share uninterrupted, to truly empty themselves and let all their thoughts and feelings out—and be seen, understood, and safe—they will be in a much more receptive state to listen and to love.” ~ Neil Strauss

 

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When we understand and fully accept our partner, they will naturally feel more comfortable around us, be vulnerable, and open up about their struggles. This is what emotional safety feels like. However, if we’re defensive or judgmental, our partner might shut down or become hostile. This will block effective communication and create an unsafe dynamic.

As Strauss says, let your partner “empty themselves.” When they’re met with love and understanding, your intimacy levels will skyrocket.

~

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