You should both be kind-hearted and caring toward each other. You should be able to lean on each other and be supportive. You should both feel bad and apologize for things you do wrong to each other. You should both feel a sense that your best interest is at heart.
You value and discuss each other’s beliefs and opinions. There is no one-up/one-down position, and you both should feel like equals. You can understand each other’s perceptions of a situation even if you don’t agree. This may not happen all the time, but it should most of the time.
6. Physical intimacy.
Unique to a romantic relationship, as opposed to a platonic friendship, you should also share physical intimacy and affection. The relationship should evolve at a comfortable pace with neither of you pressuring the other for sex or commitment too soon.
Also, realize that developing physical intimacy is both easier than and different from developing emotional intimacy. With emotional intimacy, you both feel close and connected from the sharing of feelings, expressing understanding, affirming each other, and showing you care. Emotional intimacy should come before, or at the very least, keep pace with, physical intimacy.
Here are seven tips to help you recover from relationship déjà vu and find a healthy, loving relationship even if you’ve never had one before:
1. Pay attention to your intuition and gut feelings.
Your instinctive feelings, the ones that are underneath the fear (about being alone, abandoned, that you’re unlovable or unworthy), are your “relationship antennas.” Doubts about your worth and lovability are not rational. That’s what was conditioned when you were left, mistreated, not responded to, and so on.
Your intuition is the voice of your subconscious that powerfully weaves your mind, body, and spirit together. Listen to it by meditating on a question you have and directly ask yourself what your gut is trying to tell you. Your gut will be able to tell you if you are in a healthy relationship or not.
2. Don’t let your emotions run the show.
Learn self-soothing strategies. Fear and panic can trigger you towards fight or flight.
If you think you are not being attended to by a partner, you might act inappropriately. You might lash out, escalate, withdraw, or test your partner’s love. You don’t need incessant validation from someone else.
You can learn to calm yourself, validate yourself, and change your negative self-talk. You can also express yourself assertively.
3. Make some personal changes.
Look at your own bad habits and behaviors. Are you passive? Dramatic? Negative? Never satisfied?
Take an honest self-inventory to determine how you might be contributing to the repetitive dynamics you find yourself in.
What would you want to change whether in a relationship or not? Is there a familiar theme to the feedback you get from romantic partners, friends, colleagues that you need to list too?
4. Refuse to tolerate emotional invalidation from others.
When your thoughts and feelings are rejected, ignored, or negatively judged, you are experiencing what’s called “emotional invalidation.”
Many adults who struggle in romantic relationships have often been a victim to some degree of experiencing such invalidation as children. You may find your thoughts and feelings often dismissed or minimized by others as an adult now too.
The antidote is to practice self-acceptance and self-compassion. Affirm your right to heal and to have a happy and healthy relationship.
5. Be careful not to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you think you are going to be ghosted, breadcrumbed, cushioned, or stashed because that’s your patterned romantic history, don’t assume it is going to keep happening.
Take a look at ways you might actually be creating this outcome by sabotaging or accepting the wrong type of partner. What you predict will happen may come to fruition just because you believe it will. Your beliefs influence your actions. To manifest a positive mindset will be much more advantageous.
Expect something different regardless of whether you have experienced it before today.