What is a healthy relationship?
How do I effectively merge my life with someone else’s?
Who is responsible for what in a relationship?
We may grapple with some of these questions when developing or nurturing an intimate relationship and/or partnership with someone. Trying to find answers to these questions may feel overwhelming, baffling, or even unattainable.
Many, like myself, who grow up in single-family households may find it challenging to be a part of a healthy relationship and make sure it thrives. There may also be gaps in knowing how to parent or co-parent. The romanticized and mythical portrayal we are exposed to in television and movies may enforce unreasonable expectations. These messages generally do not teach us skills to navigate the complexities of relationships and how to work through conflict as a team. These skills are vital as we pursue romance, love, or marriage.
Going through these challenges is normal, and does not mean that you are broken or unable to have fulfilling and loving relationships with others. It can mean that whether we want to or not, we unconsciously internalize things that we are exposed to and they become our practices and expectations. If the lessons that we are exposed to are negative or relatively unhealthy, then we are likely to inherit mindsets, practices, and expectations that impact our current and future relationships.
If you feel like this may be your reality and you struggle to connect or stay connected, there is a way to break through this pattern. You are not a “lost cause.” You do not have a heart of ice. And you certainly can move forward toward the love that you want and deserve!
Contact Scott today to learn more about fostering healthy relationships.
Scott Bristol is a Licensed Clinical Graduate Counselor at Aha! Wellness Center. He works with individuals, couples, and families with a focus on ways that families of origin, past trauma, and other factors impact the health of relationships.