What You Learn When You're Finally In A Healthy Relationship For Once

by Lauren Martin

“Healthy relationship” seems like a clinical term. Like a tonic or a remedy, it gives the illusion of something used to cure the clinically insane and depraved.

But isn’t a relationship a sort of cure? Aren't we all a little bit crazy? Isn’t love a medicine for our aching souls? Isn’t a healthy relationship the one tonic we can’t wait to drink?

Healthy relationships are, indeed, a type of medicine. They calm us and heal us. They teach us how to love and make us strong.

They are a healing elixir after all the placebos and toxins. They are the answer to all the unhealthy relationships we’ve been drinking for years.

So what do you learn when you’ve finally taken the right dose? When you’ve finally experienced what it’s like to be in something healthy and right for a change?

Like dying and being reborn again, you learn everything for a second time. You learn what love means and what it doesn’t.

You learn what's worth fighting for and what was never worth your time.

It takes a healthy relationship to realize all the bad. It takes the right thing to realize everything else was just wrong.

It takes a healthy relationship to realize you can never go back to anything unhealthy again.

Healthy relationships aren’t formed by two perfect people. They’re two imperfect people refusing to give up on each other.

It isn't the perfect love we all dreamed about — it's this imperfect love we never imagined could be so much better.

Arguments don't tear you further apart, they bring you closer together

Unlike all those unhealthy relationships, you don't need to start fights for attention.

You get enough attention, and fights are something you deal with, not deal out.

They're something that naturally happens and always bring you closer.

You fight to further your relationship, to work through something, not further the wedge between the two of you.

You don't need to be together all the time to feel close

Spending five days apart doesn't make you start to question the relationship, but bask in its comfort. You don't feel nervous or unappreciated when you're not together.

You finally have that peace of mind that he or she loves you, and nothing, not even time apart, can change that.

You should never feel embarrassed to be yourself

Healthy couples know how to play like children and love like adults. They don't need to constantly be impressing each other and aren't afraid to embarrass themselves.

They aren't scared to show their true colors – even if that means taking the makeup off and putting the real face on.

Mundane things are enough to turn you on

Healthy couples aren't about grand gestures and expensive lingerie. They're about the little things that don't need planning or praise.

His or her smell, the little thoughtful things he or she does – bringing you food when you're sick, picking up a prescription for you, covering you with a blanket.

Because these things aren't about the pride of the act, but the unconscious devotion and love that didn't require a second thought.

The things you can't change about a person, you wouldn't change

There are always going to be things we don't love about people.

There are also going to be things you can never change because they're part of who they are.

When you're in a healthy relationship, you don't want to change a thing.

You may get annoyed or frustrated with certain aspects, but unlike in your last unhealthy relationship, those parts make your SO special, those parts are worth working with. Because those parts make him or her yours.

Being vulnerable doesn't make you weak

You depend on your SO. You love this person. You'd be devastated without him or her.

Your partner has a power over you, the kind of power that's the closest we have to supernatural.

A healthy relationship is about respecting each other and the power you have over each other.

You know the other person can hurt you at any moment, but you trust enough to offer your heart up anyway.

You will always be a work in progress

No one is perfect, and no relationship is perfect. Any relationship is work, but the right one is the most fulfilling work you'll ever do. But it's not just work on the relationship; it's work on yourself.

It's realizing there will be some things you need to compromise on and some things you really do need to change.

But it's always for the better. Sometimes it takes being in a healthy relationship to realize some of the bad parts aren't acceptable.

You'll never know everything, but every day you learn more

A healthy relationship is about learning and growing – two people teaching each other every day. You have stuff to give but aren't above learning new things.

Being in this type of relationship should reaffirm that you don't know everything.

You're happy to be taught, but you're also excited to teach what you do know. You feel proud to be a second part of the equation.

You're completely content with your choice

You're not constantly searching for something better. You're never looking around. You don't want anything better.

You've found what you've been looking for and feel relief in the closure of the chase.

You don't look around because you're too busy looking ahead – to your future and your life together.