Healthy relationships have more to them than just experiencing attraction to one another.
Sometimes we become attracted to people and date individuals who treat us poorly. I once dated a woman who would shame me for acting needy. She would tell me I was crazy, and it made me feel humiliated and worthless. It sucked. It wasn’t a healthy relationship at all. But as I pointed out in Attachment Theory Explains Why Your Relationships Fail, our attachment needs cause us to be insecure when they are not met. They cause us to behave in crazy ways because we’re trying to find security, even if that means not being in healthy relationships.
Unfortunately, some individuals don’t value our needs. Sometimes they neglect us. If you’re an anxious person, this can cause you to frantically dive into a toxic relationship, unconsciously drowning yourself in a love that can make you hate yourself later on as you invest more and more in the relationship, only to get a little back in return.
Getting our needs met in a relationship is complicated, even if that’s a healthy relationship. Due to conflicting emotional blueprints, using vulnerable communication doesn’t always immediately solve a problem. But there comes a time in every relationship where you will decide if your partner is actually going to help you get your needs met and make you happy, or if you’re going to have to move on.
In order to find someone who can do that, it’s helpful to learn how to judge an individual’s response to your vulnerable communication. By doing so, you can immediately tell how important your well-being is to the person that you are seeing.
- Does your significant other address your concerns, or do they shame you for bringing them up? Do they dodge the conversation altogether?
- Does your significant other find ways to make you feel better, or are they staying on the defensive?
- Is your partner responding to the facts, or actually getting in tune with your emotional well-being?
The Right Person will:
- Address your specific concerns. They will not shame you for feeling insecure and they won’t dodge the conversation.
- Find ways to work with you to make sure you are getting your needs met. They’ll make sure they are getting theirs met as well, rather than being defensive.
- Let go of the facts and address the underlying issues.
If the person you are seeing is responsive and genuinely concerned about your happiness and security, then you’ve found an awesome partner. But if your significant other makes an effort to dodge important topics, shames you for feeling the way you do, or acts defensive then you should take that cue as a warning sign of where the relationship is heading.
The one trait I look for in a partner is vulnerability. Because when push comes to shove, both of us need to show up to the table with our needs, and work with each other in order to get them met.