Criteria For a Healthy Relationship

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Our future relationships may be served by our past loverships when they are remembered as a means to helping us grow as individuals. We may return to our past relationships in memory to instill gratitude for the lessons that have helped us learn more about who we are, to identify what we will accept in future relationships, and to realize what we will not accept. Once these inspiring points are recognized and replace pain-based perspectives of past relationships, we become open to receiving, giving and committing to new love, and we develop a greater sense of not what we want but need in order for a healthy connection to be formed.

As we mature into an adult way of loving, we will see that a prospective partner is only a valid candidate for a relationship when he or she is able to give and receive love, to process and communicate feelings, to commit and honour the boundary agreements set out between the two of you. When a partner is capable of rising above his or her ego, communicating compassionately and kindly through troubling emotions and times of conflict, and is able to love you for the person that you truly are, they are fit for building a healthy relationship. When you bring these same traits to the table, a strong, long-lasting love connection becomes a real possibility.

Naturally, we cannot decipher these traits straight from the get-go. These are qualities that we discover as we witness how the other person conducts themselves and moves through various situations. We cannot know if they are able to process emotions effectively or communicate kindly despite disagreements until we find ourselves in situations of emotional upheaval. However, there are signs we may look out for when getting to know someone in order to discern their availability. It is best to be honest about the answers to these questions no matter how infatuated we may be with someone at the beginning. It would be beneficial to honestly communicate about any unmet points and to discern if any unmet criteria is something you can tolerate or if it is in discord with what you require of a partner.

9 Signs Someone is Ready for a Relationship

1. They have no ties to other people that make true commitment impossible. For example, an unfinished relationship or a care-taking role with a parent or child that consumes most of their attention.

2. They have no consuming addictions. For example, alcoholism, marijuana or tobacco abuse, gambling or shopping.

3. Their desires for children and/or marriage are in alignment with your own.

4. Has a healthy relationship with money. For example, is fully capable of earning, spending, sharing and saving.

5. Has some of the same interests as you so that you may enjoy and bond over shared activities.

6. Does not project ideal fantasies onto you and expect you to live up to them.

7. Does not represent your ideal lover, which would signify you are blindly infatuated and unable to truly see them for who they are, including their shadow self.

8. Has a healthy relationship with sex. For example, is respectful, interested in mutual satisfaction and openly communicates on the subject.

9. Is interested in developing a friendship with you, not only a sexual relationship.

Identifying If Someone Meets This Criteria 

An online dating profile may reveal to us when someone is ready for a relationship if we can decipher the information being shared and how it signifies an individual’s readiness for a committed partnership.

1. Notice how often topics such as partying, drinking and smoking are referenced. This may be through photographs, listed interests, descriptions of a typical Friday night or within the general biography. While it is fine to indulge socially, be mindful of excessive partiers and implications of addictions to substances. An ideal partner may enjoy these things but will prioritize good health.

2. Decipher whether the type of relationships they have checked off as desirable matches up with what they have written. Online dating profiles typically induce a section to state whether they are looking for friendship, casual dating, long term relationships or marriage. When someone inputs this information on to their profile, it is relayed to algorithms, which then applies it in the creation of search results that align with the filter preferences set by the browsing individual. Naturally, when someone chooses all relationship types as preferences, their profile will receive more attention. Sometimes, this increase in visibility is the only intention behind putting this information on their profile. Checking off that they are looking for a serious relationship does not always mean they are looking for a serious relationship.

3. Be aware of their choice of words. If their text centralizes around personal satisfaction without speaking at all to mutual respect, growth, openness or enjoyment, be wary. If they write that a potential partner “must” or “should” enjoy or do certain things, this is a red flag. Contrastingly, writing that someone “must” or “should” work to develop healthy qualities, such as honesty, respect and kind speech is a very good sign.

4. Note if they have children and be honest with yourself whether you are ready or capable of being in a relationship that includes the added dynamic of parenthood.

5. Do not discard the importance of any referenced spiritual or political beliefs, especially if you find yourself subtly judging or opposed to their perspectives.

6. If they mention that they have just gotten out of a long term relationship, chances are they are not emotionally ready to begin a new one. It takes time to process lessons and to integrate the personal growth and emotional changes that result from break-ups. You do not want to fall for someone who is only on a rebound or may soon realize they are not ready for a relationship.

Look for this information on an individual’s profile when it is available, and do not be afraid to approach these subjects when the two of you are getting to know each other. This may be through gentle probing achieved through asking basic questions about how they spend their time, or asking directly. Additionally, be careful not to judge someone when they do not fit your criteria. Accept them as they are, and equally accept that the two of you may simply not be aligned for a relationship at this time. It is easier to step away from a relationship that is not truly compatible in the early stages of dating than it is to step away from an unhealthy partnership that has formed strong bonds of attachment. Know your deal breakers and honour them, or commit to opening up and extending specific boundaries. If you choose the latter route, remember to take responsibility for your choices and the emotions that may follow.

A healthy, committed relationship is possible only between two mature individuals who are both open to giving and receiving love fully, capable of taking personal responsibility over their behaviour, speech and emotions, and are genuinely interested in the well-being and inner-truths of their partner.



About the Author:

Stephanie Arnold is a writer, visual artist and composer who seeks to unveil the working structures of the human psyche. She works to share valuable insights that stem from personal experience and assist in the development of deeper levels of self-awareness, especially in regards to a sincere and healthy relationship to love and loving. The core of her philosophy is that self-love is the root of loving outwardly, and is therefore necessary to develop if one wishes to create fruitful relationships with others. Her evolving portfolio may be found at

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