You’re finally dating someone! That’s great! It doesn’t matter if this is your first or your nth date. What matters is you don’t settle for anything less than you deserve.
But how can you tell if you deserve the person you’re dating? What are good relationship standards should a couple make?
According to dating coach Charlie Nox, “…when it comes to what they [client] want, what their heart really aches for and longs for, their deepest juiciest desires, most people just don’t know.”
It’s not because you haven’t set any standards but it’s because you aren’t sure what you want exactly. This is why we decided to consult with relationship and marriage counselors to round up 5 quality standards of a healthy dating relationship that every dating couple should have.
Best Minimum Dating Standards for A Healthy Relationship
Everyone wants a healthy relationship with their loved one. But more often than not, most dating couples miss the idea that a healthy relationship is always composed of 5 pillars or usually observes these top 5 bare minimum dating standards:
Having respect is the most important pillar in a healthy relationship and it sets a connection between 2 individuals.
Having trust in the person you’re dating with gives you a sense of safety and comfort. Couples that rely on each other to look out and look after each other has the potential to build a strong foundation for a long-lasting relationship.
Every type of relationship, regardless if it’s romantic or not, must be open to communicate to work. Couples should learn how to speak openly from their heart to achieve genuine happiness and stability.
Love is the binding material of every healthy relationship, a product of a healthy relationship that practices respect, trust, and communication.
Intimacy is the secret ingredient to a long-lasting relationship. It doesn’t have to always be through physical contact but acts and thoughts as well.
Recommendations for Healthy Relationship Standards
The presence of the 5 pillars in a relationship signifies that a relationship has the potential to be a healthy, long-lasting one. But it doesn’t just end there because people who are genuinely in love usually go the extra mile.
According to Laura Braziel, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, “…the secret to lasting love is YOU, not the other person. Relationships have the potential to strengthen with time and experience if you are willing to grow.”
But what are good relationship standards?
Understanding of What’s Ahead
A healthy relationship is an up and down roller coaster ride and understanding that a healthy relationship isn’t just about smiles is very important. When you’ve put all your hopes into a dating relationship, it’s easy to forget about yourself.
Remember that love is an ebb and flow, and it can take some time to truly get to know the person you’re dating unless you’re setting standards you’ll strictly follow.
All relationships will undergo trials multiple times. But these trials are a fundamental part of a healthy relationship. If you don’t understand or like something your partner has done, take a moment to ask them about it and why they did it.
Most of the time, those who are hurt will put up defenses right away and perceive the action as a hostile move. But there are always two sides to a story, and hearing both sides before making any accusations usually keeps any issues from ever going out of hand.
Taking a step back from time to time to observe your partner, rather than jumping to conclusions right away, is an effective way to really know the person you’re dating.
While it’s true that early dating couples tend to feel a rushing feeling, it’s not permanent. More often than not, knowledge over emotions when dating is usually the smarter move to understand your date better.
Respect Each Other’s Boundaries and Privacies
There are plenty of misconceptions about boundaries in a relationship. And more often than not, people in a relationship think these unnecessary things, thinking that partners should already know and act with these in mind, or else the relationship will be in grave danger.
But boundaries are actually what keeps the relationship afloat. You see, boundaries are healthy in a dating relationship as these allow both partners to feel comfortable and develop positive self-esteem.
To put up healthy boundaries in a dating relationship, partners have to be very vocal about what they want, what they believe in, what they value, and what their limits are. It may sound counterintuitive but it’s a way for individuals in a relationship to be their genuine self.
Setting boundaries that represent you and what you want to be will help the relationship in the long run. But always remember that no matter how big or small the boundary, it’s important that this is recognized and respected.
To effectively establish boundaries with your dating partner, you have to communicate your thoughts with one another. Just be honest but respectful when sharing your thoughts after you’ve gathered enough thoughts and feelings to talk about it.
Always ask how your partner would feel about things and never assume their feelings. People in a dating relationship usually assume and misunderstand feelings but a healthy one always acknowledges the other person as a sign of respect.
When boundaries are set, both should follow through their set boundaries. There shouldn’t be any exceptions to your boundaries without careful consideration as this may turn on you at some point.
You will Have to Compromise at Some Point
People date to find their Mr. or Ms. Right. While it’s true that this someone may “complete you”. There will be times when we or they must have to compromise. But how much compromise is too much? Moreover, when should you compromise to attain a healthy dating relationship?
Turning down the volume of the TV while the other is on the phone is a good example of small compromises, but enough to smoothen rough edges of the relationship. The idea of affirming each partner’s needs and meeting or providing their demands is the core relationship requirements for a healthy dating relationship.
But there will be times– or things, that will tip the relationship over when it’s not provided or fulfilled by the partner. For example, emotional and physical intimacy are two of the most important things that need to be fulfilled equally.
If one disagrees to see the value of these two things in a healthy relationship, then it may lead to disagreement later. But there are certain cases when it’s totally fine to say no to compromise but you’ll have to ask the following questions to figure out if the compromise is a healthy one:
How will the compromise make you feel?
You can tell if the compromise is healthy by reflecting on how you feel deep inside. If this makes you feel more your true self than less, then it’s going to be a healthy compromise.
Will both benefit from the compromise?
Remember that a healthy dating relationship is about two individuals coming together to help each other become the best version of themselves. Needless to say, a healthy compromise is also one that benefits both, not just one.
Don’t Run from Trust Issues, Face It!
Trust is the binding medium for the deepest love. It’s an essential part of a healthy dating relationship. Without trust, fear rules, and this is not what you want in a relationship.
With that in mind, it’s easy to understand how one builds up a wall of defense within a relationship when there are trust issues. Not to mention that building trust takes time– even years in most cases, but can be destroyed in an instant.
Worse, it’s even harder to trust someone again. This is because trust issues are based on real-life experiences that are heavy and burdensome steered by fear.
But when the person you trust fails you, should you run away from it? A healthy relationship is about building something together, and running away is no different than leaving a building unfinished and exposed.
For dating couples, dealing with trust issues can be hard, but is going to make the relationship stronger when dealt with correctly.
The first step to resolving trust issues is to recognize that there is an issue. Honest admission is the first foundation to re-establish trust in your partner. Going through these feels like walking on glass and it takes more courage.
Communicate with your partner and be honest with how you felt about the situation and how you feel about the relationship. At this point, you can then talk about what you can do together to address the trust issues and find a way to put it all behind so you can move forward. Acknowledging these steps as a team will help the relationship grow stronger together.
Nurture Your Relationship by Communicating Regularly
According to Seneca the Younger, “The great thing is to know when to speak and when to keep quiet”.
Communication is probably the most important thing in every type of relationship, not just romantic ones, as this is the only way to resolve any type of conflict.
It’s through communication that dating relationships grow. And by setting some time to talk to each other regularly, miscommunication is almost always avoided.
But how can we tell if the communication is good and how do couples do it right?
Communicating regularly allows dating relationships to grow and know more about themselves. But you have to be mindful of your communication methods and styles.
In order for couples to meet a common ground, dating partners should find a communication method that best suits the relationship. This will take some time to find the right method for your relationship but can be achieved sooner by communicating regularly.
Here are tips on how to communicate effectively in a dating relationship:
- Set a time to talk without any interruption
- Plan the things you want to say
- Talk about the situation and how this affects you and the relationship
- Listen to your partner as they do the same
- Mind the tone of your voice
- Come up with a solution to move forward together
It’s hard to open up and talk about misunderstandings but this is the only way couples will be able to get through misunderstandings.
Remember that a healthy dating relationship is based on the 5 pillars of respect, trust, communication, love, and intimacy.
But in order for a dating relationship to last long, partners should learn how to face and address trust issues, understand what’s ahead of the relationship, respect, compromise, and learn how to nurture the relationship by regularly communicating with each other.