Not give and take. Give and give.
I believe one of the big reasons many people don’t get what they deserve in a relationship is because they’re not even sure what that even means.
Low self worth and failure to maintain boundaries can easily bring you to an unhealthy, toxic, or just plain boring relationship.
Let the points below serve as a baseline reminder for what you deserve from your partner in a relationship. If you’re not getting these, then why are you even with them?
1: Healthy communication.
I understand that not everyone is a stellar communicator. In fact, some people downright suck at it.
But, part of entering into a relationship is making the pledge to do better in many areas of life, communication being at the top of the list.
Healthy communication in a relationship requires not only the willingness to speak openly, but listen actively. Not just allow the other person to talk, but to really absorb and respond to what they’re saying (or not saying).
A couple can thrive when they both feel comfortable and safe allowing their partner to see all of them without fear of being judged. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.
It may not come natural, but communication between partners can be learned when the proper effort and attention are put in to making it work.
2: Full acceptance of your past.
When you enter into a relationship, you bring your whole past with you. Past traumas, heartbreaks, pain — also joys, valuable lessons, happy memories, and visions for the future.
For your partner to truly love you, they must fully accept and embrace the life that has led you to them.
This means not getting jealous, or bitter, or angry about the past, but seek to understand it and the role it has played in one’s development.
You deserve a partner who sees all of the greatness that lies ahead for you both and helps to show you the traumas of the past no longer need to come with them to the future.
Unless someone accepts where you’ve come from, they cannot fully be part of where you’re going.
Doyou have a history of making excuses for people’s bad behavior?
If so, you’re not alone. You share this tendency in common with others who have a hard time standing up for themselves or maintaining standards for what they deserve in a relationship.
You deserve someone who isn’t going to make you wonder whether or not they’re serious about you. Someone who shows up for you and your relationship with the same energy and enthusiasm every day because that’s what’s required to make something work in the long run.
Consistency builds trust — without it, you never know what to expect from your partner, which makes it impossible to trust them, feel safe with them, or count on them.
4: Prioritizing your happiness.
Relationships thrive when couples put “we” ahead of “me.”
This means being with someone who considers your happiness and wellbeing anytime a decision is made that could affect it.
It means pulling back on the things that make you feel uncomfortable and leaning into the things that light you up. Of course, they shouldn’t be sacrificing their own happiness or wellbeing in order to keep you smiling — the key here is mutual happiness.
It comes along with compromise and balance. Both partners must prioritize each other’shappiness in order for each to feel seen and appreciated.
5: Support and encouragement.
Have you ever had a great idea, made a great accomplishment, or gotten excited about a new opportunity — but your partner shot it down or minimized it?
This can take all of the wind out of your sails and feel defeating or discouraging.
In a healthy relationship, partners support and encourage each others’ passions and ambitions. They’ll make you feel invincible, like you can take on the world and accomplish whatever it is you set out to do — because they’ll be right there beside you the whole time.
Everyone shows affection in different ways, but how do you receive it?
Maybe your love language is physical touch, or quality time, or acts of service…
Whatever it is, a partner worth their salt will put in effort to make sure you feel the love they’re giving you in the ways that resonate with you.
It may take more effort on their part if the method doesn’t come naturally to them, but that’s what you do when you love someone — you put in the work.
You can have a friendship without a relationship, but you can’t have a relationship without a friendship.
Of course, I don’t mean platonic friendship — but friendship nonetheless.
What is your relationship like with your best friends? You can open up to them about anything. You enjoy spending time with them no matter what you’re doing. You are fully comfortable being yourself around them.
Your partner should make you feel all of this, and more.
Long term relationships aren’t just built on acts of romance, sex, deep conversations, and love. They’re also built on the mundane, boring, vanilla parts of life that you inevitably share together.
Chores, bills, errands, normal everyday tasks.
All of which become easier to handle (and even fun), if you’re doing them alongside your best friend.
Have you ever been with a partner who doesn’t seem passionate about you?
Sucks, doesn’t it?
Someone expressing passion towards you as a human being is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. You feel wanted, valued — even craved.
Passion doesn’t just exist in the bedroom, it gets shown in the way we interact with each other, how we hold each other’s hands, how we do things for each other with willing enthusiasm.
Life is too short to stay in a relationship void of passion.
The other “P” that is too often overlooked.
When you’re sitting on the couch at night after a long day — peace.
When you’re laying in their arms on a Sunday morning before getting you of bed — peace.
When you see them across the room and feel the serenity that comes from knowing they are fully yours — peace.
The right partner doesn’t rob your life of peace. They don’t throw you into chaos and make you feel like you’re trapped in a storm.
Instead, they shelter you from it and make you feel calm, safe, and cared for.
Someone cannot fully trust or love you if they don’t first respect you.
And if someone doesn’t respect your opinions, your intellect, your viewpoints, or your value as a human being — then they do not deserve your emotional investment.
11: Their own self-care.
That’s right, you deserve for your partner to take care of…themselves.
Taking care of one’s own mental and physical wellbeing is tantamount to their ability to maintain a healthy relationship.
If they will not care for themselves, how can you trust that they’ll care for you?
If they don’t value their own health, how can they value yours or that of your children?
If they don’t put consistent effort into improving themselves over time, how can you stay attracted to, and excited about them as a partner?
12: Full dedication.
I use the word dedication over commitment because I believe that it sounds more intentional. Being dedicated requires effort. It requires clarity and purpose. It requires a deliberate choice being made to show up.
People stay committed for all of the wrong reasons all the time.
But dedication — being dedicated means that you’re all in. It means that you’ve chosen this person to build a life full of love with.
And that, my friend, is exactly what you deserve.
Joseph A. Cornacchia