Are You Living Happily Ever After?

At this time of year, a lot of people begin to re-evaluate their relationships. Are they happy enough in them? Should they stay or should they leave? If they are not getting the butterflies, how do they know if he/she is really “the one”?

In our society, relationships have been idealized and romanticized to epic proportions through the magic of the movie screen and tv. The media sells us photoshopped images and unrealistic expectations. Many of us buy into this romantic illusion of what is means to be “in love”.

How do you think these idealized, scripted, fantasies affect our own relationships and our own expectations? Most of the time when you compare your life with someone else’s they tend to always look better. If you are comparing your relationship with one on tv or in the movies, I can guarantee you that they will look better, more attractive and more exciting. That’s why it’s called “Entertainment”.

Making these comparisons will only make you doubt your choices and possibly sabotage a perfectly healthy, normal relationship. Forget about the butterflies, ask yourself these questions to find out about your relationship. You might be saying “no” to a great guy or girl, because you think if you don’t get the butterflies you are settling. There are better, wiser ways to evaluate if a relationship is healthy or not, if there is a possibility of a happy future or not. Don’t look towards the romantic shows or movies as an indicator of how things should be. Remember you never get to see what comes after “happily ever after”.

Is your partner a keeper?

1. Do you enjoy being with your partner, most of the time?

2. Do you laugh together?

3. Can you make mistakes without feeling judged or criticized?

4. Do you see your partner as a friend?

5. Is your partner supportive and encouraging?

6. Is he/she understanding?

7. Are you able to discuss disagreements calmly and with respect?

8. Is there a willingness to see the other’s point of view?

9. Do you each take responsibility for your share of the problems?

10. Do you feel safe with your partner even when there is anger?

11. When you think of the future, is your partner included in your vision?

All relationships have challenges. The way to measure a healthy relationship is not by never having a conflict or a disagreement. If you never disagree that just means that you don’t feel it is safe to express your real feelings and will start to harbour resentments and anger. If you believe that you have a mostly healthy relationship, but need help with your communication skills and in understanding your partner better, then I have something for you.