Sometimes repetition is annoying and distracting; others times it’s helpful for driving home a point. This is the mantra behind almost all advice on dating and relationships:
The relationship between two people can be no healthier than the emotional health of the least healthy person.
Here are five attributes to watch for when assessing someone’s emotional wellbeing:
Healthy people have a profound sense of significance.
They believe deep down at the core of themselves that they have great intrinsic value. They recognize that their value as a person is not based on what other people think about them, what they do for a living, their achievements or accomplishments, what neighborhood they live in, or any other external factors. Their significance is built in. They believe they have been created with great value, and nothing life throws at them—not a relationship breakup, bankruptcy, bring fired from a job — can diminish their intrinsic value.
Healthy people respect the truth.
Honesty and integrity are byproducts of a person’s deep-down character. The truth may be hard to discern sometimes, but the healthy person tries to get as close to it as possible, because he knows truth will contribute to deeper meaning, better relationships, and a more satisfying life.
Healthy people are authentic.
This means they are consistently true to who they are deep inside. Authenticity means being who you truly are, resisting the impulse to play games or put on a false persona to impress someone. People like this aren’t so judgmental, uptight, and defensive that they bristle at differences. They value individuality and uniqueness. In short, authenticity means being real — and authentic people encourage other people to be real as well.
Healthy people are flexible and adaptable.
They are not annoyed or upset by every little change that comes along. They aren’t so rigid and unbending that the inevitable twists and turns of life rock their world. Healthy people are so inwardly secure and sure of who they are that they can “roll with the punches” that life delivers.
Healthy people are unselfish.
There is simply no quality more central to love than unselfishness. If you notice that the person you’re with shows little regard for your wishes and opinions, who is intent on getting his way, who doesn’t ask about your life, who consistently displays a me-first attitude, you’re probably in the presence of an emotionally unhealthy individual. In contrast, healthy people are generous with their time, affirmation, money, praise, and attention.
Find a person who demonstrates these qualities, and you have found a gem. And while you’re looking for these attributes, try to make sure they’re evident in your own life.
Read on for similar articles in our Stages of Love road map!