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Old 09-07-2021, 07:23 PM
 
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…how does it look one month in? Six months? A year, 5+ years? Beyond?
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Old 09-08-2021, 01:31 PM
 
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I suspect the reason you didn't get many responses in this thread is that there just isn't one way to have a healthy relationship, instead there are lots of ways that could work. Dating is less about following a specific dating formula than a dating process where you are looking to get closer to someone but there are a lot of different ways of doing that. One of the problems is that there are a lot of different types of people and things that are important to some (religion, political affiliation) may not be important to others.
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To put it in terms of things you might have a better grasp on, how do you find a new best friend? Could you do it by playing soccer? Yes. Could you do it by striking up a conversation with someone you met at a party? Yes. What does a given friendship look like in 1 month, six months, a year 5+ years? Some friendships are situational and never develop into anything more, you see the person at yoga and you both say hi. But some people you really connect with and you get a lot closer.


But what is a healthy relationship? I think a lot of it is just finding someone you like and respect enough where you want to make this person your best friend and its a friendship that is so close that you feel comfortable engaging in fun sexy play time with them. A lot of dating is both of you trying to figure out if you enjoy spending time with each other enough where you really want to get closer to each other.

With that in mind though, you realize that there are certain things that are at cross purposes with creating a healthy relationship too. If you are pretending to be someone you aren't to become friends with someone, that is a strategy that is at cross purposes to actually getting close to someone. First they don't know the real you, you aren't sharing that inner dialogue that some of us have, so they don't really know you and you really don't know them. Because you are pretending to be someone you aren't, you never really get close. But its worse than that. You are also hurting yourself. When you adopt a persona, to impress people, your successes don't build up your self esteem because you think people like your persona, not you, but when you have failures you think its because they somehow uncovered the real you. So your successes don't help you, but your set backs do hurt you. John Hughes built a career making movies about the pitfalls of young people like in The Breakfast Club, pretending to be someone they aren't to fit in and how isolated and alone they felt from doing that. That doesn't work with developing friendships and it doesn't work with relationships either.

The introduction of sex into friendship complicates things. In real good friendships, sex can bring you much closer together. But sex can also make figuring out a guys true intentions more complicated, does this guy really like me or is he just saying things to get you to agree to sex? Some guys because of how they grew up or just bad past dating experiences have trouble getting close to women. (Guys can both be sexually aroused by women, but not actually like them and you are trying to screen those guys out of your dating pool) I suspect the fear of date rape also adds some complications with women letting a guy get too close too quickly.
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Old 09-08-2021, 01:44 PM
 
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These are really excellent insights Shelato. Thank you.
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Old 09-08-2021, 01:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Special_Guest View Post
These are really excellent insights Shelato. Thank you.
I agree!

I can't rep you again yet Shelato, but
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:22 PM
 
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Let me also add that if you are having problems with dating, focus on the friendship aspects dating.

When I was younger and struggling more with dating, I would get worked up about stuff like did I use the right fork at dinner? Did I remember to hold a door open for her? In the big picture a lot of the things that used to trip me up were not that important. You can use the wrong fork, you can forget to hold doors open, the presence or absence of these things don't make or break a date. A good date is both you and the person you are on the date with getting out of their own heads and just having fun. But a good date is also one where the two of you either are sharing your inner dialogue or you are getting closer where sharing your inner dialogue in the future seems more natural.

I love sex. But I think a healthy relationship is about a lot more than sex and if the non sexual aspects of the relationship don't work no amount of crazy sexual technique nor crazy sexual chemistry is going to save the relationship. Because a healthy long term relationship is in some respects just a long conversation with your best friend.

When I think back to the relationships that I have had, when they didn't work out it, it was generally because the non sexual aspects of the relationship didn't work. So if you are having problems with dating focus on getting those down. Focus on finding and creating a new best friend. When the time is ready, then you can have sex, but if you are having trouble with dating I think sex can muddle the waters too much. But if you actually like the person and feel close to the person when you are having sex, sex will feel more intimate and generally much more rewarding. There are guys looking for that, I know I am.
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:29 PM
 
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Well, here is an article with the same title as your thread. It sums it up very nicely.

What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?

I will add that all of the things listed in that article amount to both partners feeling safe in the relationship--safe to be their authentic selves, safe to make mistakes, safe to have their own opinions, safe to be vulnerable.

In a healthy relationship, there is no fear. One partner does not fear that the other will get angry at differences, violate boundaries, criticize the personality traits and characteristics that make one unique, discourage or mock dreams and desires, or ignore, diminish, or dismiss as "drama" emotions and concerns. There is certainly no fear of physical punishment or emotional abuse. A key warning sign of an unhealthy relationship is if you feel bad about yourself after interacting with the other person.

As for the amount of time it takes to establish a good relationship, it is individual to each couple.
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelato View Post
When I was younger and struggling more with dating, I would get worked up about stuff like did I use the right fork at dinner? Did I remember to hold a door open for her? In the big picture a lot of the things that used to trip me up were not that important. You can use the wrong fork, you can forget to hold doors open, the presence or absence of these things don't make or break a date. A good date is both you and the person you are on the date with getting out of their own heads and just having fun. But a good date is also one where the two of you either are sharing your inner dialogue or you are getting closer where sharing your inner dialogue in the future seems more natural.
Yes, yes, yes. I do a post-mortem of every date, pick it apart and beat myself up for things like this. “You should have laughed more at that.” “You should have gone more in-depth about XYZ.” “Why didn’t you follow up to X question with Y? You completely blew it!” This is good insight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelato View Post
Because a healthy long term relationship is in some respects just a long conversation with your best friend.
Absolutely lovely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelato View Post
But if you actually like the person and feel close to the person when you are having sex, sex will feel more intimate and generally much more rewarding. There are guys looking for that, I know I am.
I hope I’ll find one, and be able to experience this along with the long-term best friend conversation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Seija View Post
Well, here is an article with the same title as your thread. It sums it up very nicely.

What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?

I will add that all of the things listed in that article amount to both partners feeling safe in the relationship--safe to be their authentic selves, safe to make mistakes, safe to have their own opinions, safe to be vulnerable.

In a healthy relationship, there is no fear. One partner does not fear that the other will get angry at differences, violate boundaries, criticize the personality traits and characteristics that make one unique, discourage or mock dreams and desires, or ignore, diminish, or dismiss as "drama" emotions and concerns. There is certainly no fear of physical punishment or emotional abuse. A key warning sign of an unhealthy relationship is if you feel bad about yourself after interacting with the other person.

As for the amount of time it takes to establish a good relationship, it is individual to each couple.
Thank you for sharing this. Someone in another post suggested I take pen and paper and write exactly what qualities I am looking for. I did that. I am adding some of this to the list - no fear. No fear of rejection, anger, judgment, or being my authentic self.
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:20 PM
 
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1 month in, you are happy to be with each other, have fun together, show affection, kiss, make out. You are in love.

6 months in, you are committed to each other and looking forward to a long term relationship, plus the above, and you are pleasing each other sexually. You have fun on a date then can't wait to take each other's clothes off when you get home.

1 year in. Looking forward to getting married or moving in together. You are having sex regularly. All of the above.

5 years in. You are a committed couple, sharing your home, your finances, looking to spend the rest of your lives together.

I see a relationship as sort of like getting a puppy. You fall in love with one, you bring it home, you play with it and love it and take care of it and share your life with it. You don't critique or think about every interaction. You just do your best to enjoy the relationship and love.
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bobspez View Post
1 month in, you are happy to be with each other, have fun together, show affection, kiss, make out. You are in love.

6 months in, you are committed to each other and looking forward to a long term relationship, plus the above, and you are pleasing each other sexually. You have fun on a date then can't wait to take each other's clothes off when you get home.

1 year in. Looking forward to getting married or moving in together. You are having sex regularly. All of the above.

5 years in. You are a committed couple, sharing your home, your finances, looking to spend the rest of your lives together.

I see a relationship as sort of like getting a puppy. You fall in love with one, you bring it home, you play with it and love it and take care of it and share your life with it. You don't critique or think about every interaction. You just do your best to enjoy the relationship and love.
This seems really nice.
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Old 09-20-2021, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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I agree!

I can't rep you again yet Shelato, but
+1 I had the same issue
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