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Benchmarks for Good Relationships

On another forum I read, the subject of how to tell whether or not a relationship is a good one--benchmarks, if you will, for positive, vibrant relationships--was raised.

I put some thought to the question of creating benchmarks for good relationships, and came up with this set:

1. Am I striving to treat others with compassion, even when it's hard? Am I being treated with compassion?

2. Does this relationship offer me the opportunity to grow and develop in the way that feeds me and makes me happy? Does it offer the same opportunities to all the other people involved?

3. Am I moving with courage in this relationship? Are the people around me moving with courage?

4. Does this relationship help me to be the best possible version of myself? When I look around at the other folks involved, do I see the best of them?

5. Can I say whatever I need to say, whenever I need to say it, and have a reasonable expectation that I will be heard and understood? Am I creating an environment where everyone else can tell me what they need to say, even if it's something I don't want to hear, and I will hear it?

6. Is this relationship fair to everyone concerned? Not "fair" as in "everyone gets the same thing," but "fair" in that "everyone has a hand in the relationship, everyone's voice can be heard, and everyone has the ability to help build the things that make their parts of it happy and healthy."

7. Does this relationship give all the people involved the opportunity and support they need to pursue their joy?

This is a first stab at the question of defining benchmarks for good relationships. I think there might be some things I'm missing. Opinions? What would a list of benchmarks for healthy relationships look like to you?


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2012 10:12 pm (UTC)
These are really good. Would you mind if I credited and quoted you on these? I would like people on my friends list to see these.

Oct. 7th, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
By all means, feel free!
Oct. 7th, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
I'd add something about how you handle conflict. I suppose that's partly captured in 1, 5 and 6, but I think it needs its own distinct point as well.
Oct. 7th, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC)
Do I, and everyone else in the relationship, KNOW that none of them have a monopoly on knowing what is best for the relationship. With the corollary that each person has the right to decide what is best for themselves. (all related to your item #6)..
Oct. 8th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
I like that quite a lot!
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 8th, 2012 05:18 am (UTC)
I think all parties having a clear sense of what other parties expect and can/cannot offer them is important, too. Part of 5, but, I think, somewhat distinct?
Oct. 8th, 2012 05:18 am (UTC)
But yeah these are great!
Oct. 8th, 2012 05:48 am (UTC)
Nice list!

Forgiveness. It seems to me that in my own opinion, forgiveness is essential to a relationship. It seems like that's one of the major tenets not just of relationships but of love in general. (After all, can one have love without forgiveness? Hmmmmmm.) I think this is part of compassion, though.

Edited at 2012-10-08 05:49 am (UTC)
Oct. 8th, 2012 01:11 pm (UTC)
Yes, I was going to mention forgiveness, too. bEcause we can strive to be the best we can in relationships and mess up occasionally, and that doesn't mean it's a "bad relationship" overall as long as we're willing to make amends.
Oct. 8th, 2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
Mmm, good one.
Oct. 8th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
maybe its me but I have no idea what "moving with courage" actually means
Oct. 8th, 2012 07:53 pm (UTC)
To moe, "moving with courage" means two things. First, being the sort of person who takes advantage of appealing opportunities--that is, someone who sees a relationship that they want and reaches for it, rather than saying "Well, that looks good, but I dunno...I've been hurt before, so I don't know if I want to risk it...well, I kinda do, but I'm not really sure; it seems like it might be scary, so I think I'll just sit this one out."

Second, it means someone who acts with courage in the face of fear, insecurity, or doubt--someone who says "The idea of you starting a new relationship with someone else scares me; I don't want you not to do it, but here are the things I'm afraid of and here are the things you can do to help reassure me" rather than "The idea of you starting a new relationship scares me. I forbid you to do it" (or I wish to place controls on how, when, and where you can do it, or whatever).

The common element both of those things have in common is moving with confidence even when someone is feeling scared or uncertain.
Oct. 13th, 2012 12:45 am (UTC)
Thanks for fleshing that out! I like both of those examples a lot.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )