Genuine loving Relationships

Genuine loving relationships seem rare, although many more couples would claim to love each other, than can be explained (perhaps even allowing for their own peculiar ideas of what love is).

So what (in my idea of what love is), goes to make up a genuinely loving partnership? And what obstructs the possibilities of such partnerships?

Central to my understanding of positive pairings is that they are not centred on rôles. But what is destructive about rôles, and what is the alternative?

Rôles set up self-centred expectations of the other, using them in the accomplishment of aims other than their increase in fulness of life.


I've thought of several things that distinguish healthy relationships from unhealthy ones; they may well all be the same thing at a deeper level. Here they are, in tabular form:

Healthy relationships vs Unhealthy relationships

Each person sees themselves as whole in their own right, and the relationship is built on this assumption of wholeness

At least one person feels they've got something missing, and needs someone to make them complete

Both partners trust each other, and believe, with good reason, that the other trusts them and continues to want to be with them

At least one person feels a need to test whether the other loves them, with a suspicion (often unvoiced even internally) that they other wants to leave them

Neither person feels entitled to stress-test the other

At least one person feels an entitlement to test the other by giving them some mistreatment so they can see it will be endured

Both welcome the other's friends

They suspect each other's friends

They have a lot in common; In practice, it seems that couples with a lot in common last longer than those with little in common

They have little in commonl The claim ``We complement each other'' doesn't seem to mean much in terms of durability of relationships

Disagreements and sources of friction can be talked through (building on trust) and resolved

Disagreements and sources of friction are kept hidden (building on suspicion and insecurity) and made into wellsprings of resentment

They're quite prepared to point out when the other is being unreasonable, because they value themselves in their own right, and value the quality of the relationship

They quietly put up with a lot of mistreatment from each other, because they are each feeding on seeing the other put up with their treatment of them, and dare not point out unreasonableness, because they're afraid of losing the feed to which they're addicted

They genuinely care for each other long-term, and make the effort to understand each others' real needs

While pandering to phony constructed needs for things which don't solve any problems (because they don't change anything permanently), they run away from, or fight against, any involvement with the other's real needs

They are delighted to see each other change

They fear change in each other as much as they do in themselves (because they've found a feed for their dependence and don't want to lose it)

Both offer freely to the other what they have to give, for the joy of being

At least one has expectations that the other will do particular things for them; and their giving is in the expectation of return

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