Life & Stuff · Mental Health

Feeling Safe: What Makes a Good Relationship (not just romantic)

Aside from feeling physically safe, which we all should feel in relationships, I wanted to explore some other ways that we should feel safe with our closest connections. This is what a healthy relationship looks like between two people: they both should feel safe to…

Safe to be your true self

Firstly, you should not feel like you have to hide or be someone else while you’re with someone special. A good relationship means you belong, and belonging means being your true, authentic self without fear of losing your worth.

Safe when being vulnerable

You should be able to be with that person and open up completely. They don’t take your vulnerability as a weakness. They don’t get uncomfortable when you’re vulnerable. They open their arms, meet you with empathy, and hold space for you.

Safe to express feelings, opinions or points of view

You should know that when you share your own thoughts, ideas, opinions and feelings that you won’t be judged, ridiculed, silenced, or shamed. That your thoughts are valued and welcomed. That you’re safe to be seen and heard.

Safe to belong

As I said, belonging is true safety. Belonging isn’t fitting in, which is hustling for worth by trying to do what you think will get you liked and accepted.

“I get to be me if I belong. I have to be like you to fit in,” Brene Brown

Belonging means “this is me” and being met with “I see you and love you unconditionally“.

Safe to change and grow

No one who loves you unconditionally will ever clip your wings (not intentionally). They will support you and help you to grow. You should feel safe to do what you need to do for you.

Safe to be independent

This means that you feel like you can do your own thing without being unhealthily attached to that person. They don’t make you feel guilty for spending time alone, having your own interests, or basically doing you. And you shouldn’t for them, either.

Safe to express yourself unapologetically and free

This means that you can share your creative and personal expression with them openly without fear. Dancing wildly; sharing a story you wrote or a piece of art. They may be honest if it’s not great, but never in a way that makes you personally feel less worthy. You are safe to share without threat to your value.

Safe to be naked (literally and figuratively)

In romantic relationships, you should be able to feel safe to be naked in front of that person (in every way). You shouldn’t feel unsafe in that they will disrespect your body. This means physical harm or emotional harm from ridicule or shame.

 

Safe to be open and have an open heart

This means to be honest, open, and uninhibited. You know that you can air out any feelings without worry. You can keep your heart open without fear that it will be hurt by that person. They protect your heart. They honour your feelings no matter how hard they are to hear.

 

Safe to fail and make mistakes

You should never feel like you have to be perfect. That there’s some standard you must consistently meet in order to be valued and worthy. They must make you feel safe to be imperfect, to make mistakes, to fail and stumble; to be human.

 

Safe to lean on them and feel supported

Just as you should feel safe to be independent, you should also feel safe to seek help when needed. To not feel judged for low moments as if they are weaknesses. They shouldn’t shame you for reaching out.

 

Safe to do what you need to do for health and happiness

You should feel safe to make your own choices and do whatever you need to do for your best life. They shouldn’t stand in the way of your health, happiness, or successes.

 

Safe to be more successful than they are

Safe to make more money, get better grades, run faster, lift more, write more, and whatever else. Safe to succeed without fearing what they might think about it. They clap for your successes without resentment or bitterness, comparison or hate.

 

Safe to like different things or make different choices

You must still love and respect and accept one another regardless. Love doesn’t mean holding on tightly and being the same and doing what each other say. Love is acceptance. Love is letting go. Love is trust. Love is unconditional.

 

Safe to set boundaries

Lastly, you should feel safe to set boundaries, even if they’re uncomfortable. This goes back to doing what you need to do to be healthy and happy. If that means certain boundaries need to be in place to keep it that way, so be it. That person should respect that and support it. You shouldn’t feel any less loved or accepted for doing so.

 

There you have it, some of my ideas about what a good, healthy relationship needs between two people. You both need to feel safe, in every way.

Take care.

 

Sincerely,

S. xx

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