6 Fundamentals of Healthy Relationships and Why They Matter
After too many failed relationships, a lover, a spouse, a friend, the naïve moisture from my early concepts of romantic love finally feels like it has wrung dry. Perhaps failed is inaccurate, in hindsight, I learned a tremendous amount of information about myself, perhaps the most important revelation being that I am the only constant in my world.
After this discovery I began to study everything from psychology and philosophy, to tarot and astrology. I discovered a pattern. When we depend on another to fulfill our most basic needs, we feel disempowered and experience unhealthy relationships.
Through my studies, I identified six fundamental human needs we strive to meet to create fulfillment:
- Identity – knowing who we are and feeling con dent about our uniqueness.
Often we can lose ourselves in our relationships with others. The role of wife, father, boss or student can create a type of dependent identity, but if we take the time to feel into who we are, beyond our roles, we may become aware of a much deeper way of seeing ourselves. We are the only one like us. Knowing our uniqueness can liberate us from the pressure to conform to a role.
- Stability – having our physical base needs met in a way we can count on.
There is a great sense of confidence that comes from standing on our own two feet and taking care of our own life. Having the means to pay our own bills, buy our own food, essentially owning our own lives, can bring a great sense of peace and fulfillment. When we are dependent on someone else for these basic needs, power plays may show up in our relationships.
- Growth – expanding the mind or consciousness.
Personal growth through journaling, reading or engaging in philosophical conversation can open new ideas and awareness that can bring clarity and personal power. Thinking for one’s self rather than surrendering authority to others’ opinions is essential for creating a healthy relationship with ourselves.
- Belonging – feeling at home in our world.
If we have a hard time feeling at home in our own body, it may feel di cult to belong anywhere. Often we may feel a great sense of belonging with a romantic partner, fulfilling a deep emptiness temporarily. Unfortunately, this can create a dependence that can sabotage long-lasting fulfillment. Discovering how to be at home when we are alone with ourselves can be a powerful step toward being at home with others.
- Excitement – changing that engages our passion.
We all need a level of uncertainty in our lives to keep things interesting. If we feel averse to change, this may show up in the form of relationship drama, or conflict, merely to shake things up. Focusing instead on those areas of life that we know we could become stronger, like public speaking, or initiating conversations with strangers, can create that same sense of excitement by leaning in to the anxiety and overcoming it. This moves the needle toward positive change rather than hooking us into old relating patterns.
- Contribution – feeling like we have made a difference in the world.
Most of us get a great feeling of accomplishment when we feel we have truly helped someone, or our community in some way. Serving from a place of whole- ness is one of the highest forms of fulfillment. Sometimes we try to do this without having our needs sufficiently met, which can create a giving vacuum, depleting the giver and unbalancing our relationships.
Reflecting on these six fundamental needs and how they are fulfilled in our lives can bring a lot of clarity to the areas in our life so that we can become more balanced and secure with ourselves.
Christina Marie Luna works as a motivational conversation leader and massage therapist at The Change Place in Carson City. For more information, call 775-283-0699 or visit www.TheChangePlace.net.