Relationship Reality Check: Is Your Relationship Unhealthy?

No matter how much you care about someone – whether it’s the person you’re dating, a close friend, or someone in your family – relationships can start to feel a little “off” over time.

I’ve talked to so many people who didn’t realize they were in an unhealthy relationship until after they had a listening ear. And I understand why. We get so caught up in checking our to-do list and doing our best to be there for people that we forget to check in with ourselves to see how our relationships are really doing.

Reality Check: How Do You Feel Around This Person?

It takes a bit of a “reality check” for me to realize how things are going. Especially if I am used to seeing or talking to someone every day. But I learn a lot from asking myself questions like:
How do I feel when I’m around this person?
Am I often stressed or worried when I see them calling or texting me?
Do I tend to feel drained after our time together?
Do I find myself more easily irritated with my friend or loved one than I used to be?
Do I find that I’m spending way more time with them than anyone else who is important to me?
If I’m answering yes, more often than not that relationship has gotten out of balance and it’s time for me to set some healthy boundaries to get things back on track.

What Are Healthy Boundaries?

When I mention healthy boundaries, I’m not talking about building a fence around yourself and not letting anyone in. It’s more about recognizing what you need and making an effort to speak and act in a way that gets those needs met.

But it’s important to remember that no matter how clear I am about my needs, no parent, partner, or friend can meet them all. In those moments, I have to take a leap of faith and trust that God knows my needs and knows how to fulfill them.

When I struggle to believe that I ask people to pray for me and spend time in quiet places (like my church, or my favorite park) that make me feel closer to God. That usually helps me to gain the perspective I need about life and relationships and gives me more peace of mind about setting healthy boundaries.

What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?

No friendship or relationship will be perfect. Having boundaries isn’t about trying to insist on perfection or “fix” each other. After all, you care about and love each other, or you wouldn’t be close to begin with.

A healthy relationship allows both of you to feel safe talking to one another about what you need, to feel comfortable asking for help, and to show each other how much you care.

Regularly checking in with people you care about is a great way to make sure no one gets too drained. If you need space, that’s perfectly okay! It’s good to have time alone now and then to gather your thoughts, and you’ll only be that much happier to see your friend or loved one when you next meet up.

But knowing where, when, and how to start the conversation about having a healthier relationship can be hard. That’s why we’re here for you to offer confidential, non-judgmental help with relationships.

We can share mentorship, resources, and encouragement that will help you feel more comfortable in your family relationships, friendships, and dating life. All you have to do is reach out!

If you’re looking for a deeper relationship, sometimes a mindset shift is needed.  Read how these 3 mindset shifts can make a difference here

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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