Here I am referring to interpersonal relationships of all types - not only romantic ( but implied) : family, friends, work and the rest of the world.
The romantic relationships are indeed those affecting us the most (mostly personal and impactful) and would require a separate moment given the complexity.
What is a relationship ?
A relationship is an open channel of communication between two people, groups of people and so on. Whatever is being transmitted via this channel - mentally, emotionally and physically is the relationship.
A loving relationship is characterised by :
-respect for the other person’s soul and awareness of it
-respect for their humanity and care thereof
-a gentle desire for the wellbeing and development of the other person/persons even if that means distancing
-the wellbeing of the other person and that of the relationship is the priority .
The wellbeing of the self is a basic need for the relationship to even exist. That is why a person who is not having a good relationship with her/himself yet cannot have thriving and constant relationships with another or more people. Such a person can have simulations of relationships that soothe him/her for a while but these soon fall apart, because they are not real.
-emotional openness and vulnerability
-moral and emotional support
-positive communication and encouragement
-desire to share everything because the other party is part of the self
-respect for their boundaries
-exchange of emotions, the relationship being a safe place to do so
-taking into the account the effect of one's actions or words on the other person
-open communication of one’s needs and desires
-dedication and implication
-freedom of thought and action but with the care of not hurting the other. If it is hurting, the hurt is addressed gently and attentively.
-the emotional wellbeing and development of all implied are the main reasons for being in that relationship
-acceptance and change if need be
A toxic relationship is characterised by :
-emotional heaviness and distress
-emotional and psychological instability
-physical pain and constant ailments of different kind
-mental insecurity and emotional blockage- the incapacity to share emotions, thoughts
-fear of opening up emotionally because the other person might use it against the other or might ignore it completely
-lack of emotions
-lack of joy
-lack of positive feedback and encouragement
-control of the other's actions, thoughts, emotions
-fear at an emotional and psychological level - not knowing what bomb will explode next
-the need to distance oneself from the other/ others
-one-sided communication. The other never asking : how are you? what can I do for you?
-one-sided actions- completely disregarding the effect of one’s actions on the other/others
-inability to express one’s needs and desires without fearing the reaction of the other/others or possibility of abandon
-need to hide and stay away
-need to stay alert and on guard
-lying and manipulation of the truth
-fear of the truth instead of living the truth
-disregard and negation of the other’s reality
-sadness, stagnation, physical /emotional heaviness
-lack of creativity