Plano Counseling Center - STEPS TO A HAPPY RELATIONSHIP - Plano, TX
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      How to have a Happy Relationship

Begin from within.  Only a healthy individual can enter into a healthy relationship. Develop the healthy characteristics within that are necessary to attract the healthy relationship you desire.  

1. Reality vs. Fantasy. Healthy relationships are based in reality. Each person is aware of his own strengths and weaknesses. Unhealthy relationships, by contrast, are based on fantasy. What could be or should be replaces what is.

2. Completing vs. Finding Completion. In a healthy relationship, each person finds joy in sharing in the other person’s growth, in playing a role in “completing” the other. In an unhealthy relationship the focus is on completing oneself. This selfish dynamic is at the heart of codependency. Too many people fling half a person into a relationship, expecting that it will be completed by the other. It never works. No one can ever meet such expectations.

3. Friendship vs. Victimization. A healthy relationship can be described as two good friends becoming better friends. The strongest and most successful relationships – even the most passionate and romantic marriages – have this kind of true friendship at the base. Where this base of true friendship is absent, the relationship is shallow and susceptible to being marked by victimization.

4. Giving vs. Expecting to Receive.  The joy of giving to another for the sole purpose of love feels so inwardly gratifying.  So few individuals really experience this type of joy.  When we expect the other person to give first before we make changes, we are then moving into a codependent relationship.  Starting from within and becoming the person we desire to be will help attract the true joy of life. 

5. Forgiveness vs. Resentment. Forgiveness is a beautiful gift between two people. A relationship flourishes when we are willing to forgive past hurts and disappointments. Out of love, partners take the hurt and disappointment of the past and burn it up in the flames of forgiveness.  We free ourselves to begin again.  To learn from the past and make the future even greater. 

6. Security vs. Fear.  We provide a safe environment for each person to feel safe to express self and become vulnerable.  Often people come from such insecure childhoods they do not know how to create this type of relationship.  When we truly love one another, then there is no fear.  Perfect love eliminates fear.  *When we shift from trying to use others to satisfy our security needs to trying to meet the security needs of others, we find ourselves in a new dimension. We are focusing on their needs, not ours.  We become more loving externally on the other and totally selfless. That is the kind of love that drives out fear and provides genuine security.

7. Vulnerability vs. Defensiveness. In a secure environment, a person is free to open up and be vulnerable. It is wonderful to feel safe to make mistakes and know that understanding and forgiveness is available.  Building our self-awareness to feel safe within and provide it without is the greatest tool for healthy relationships. 

8. Honesty vs. Deception. There is no way to build a lasting, healthy relationship on a foundation of dishonesty or secrecy. True honesty must be at the core of a relationship; there is no substitution.  We must be true to ourselves and therefore true to others to be genuinely happy.