Ever think that maybe YOU are the biggest red flag in your relationship?
If you've ever been in unhealthy or downright destructive relationships, I'll bet now you can quickly list all of the red flags you "should have" seen back then.
You can tell us what to avoid and when to get out of there, but can you also recognize the red flags that YOU were sending up?
After all, it takes two to dance the toxic-relationship-tango. What would your ex say about you?
As women, we spend a lot of time figuring out if we want to stay in a particular relationship. Is it working for us? If he does this or does that, is he a keeper or should we pull the plug and let him go?
Just wondering though—have you ever stopped to figure out if YOU'RE "a keeper"?
It's easy to settle into a good relationship and not give it a second thought. If everything is going well (for you), there's no reason to second-guess it, right?
Wrong! It's equally important to stop and check in on our good relationships, too. Yes, you want to make sure you're not seeing any red flags, but also that you aren't sending any up either.
Not sure if you are or aren't? Well, there are a few behaviors that indicate everything is fine, and that you're a true-blue, gem of a girl and that he'd be wise to hang on.
This list comes from the heart. My first marriage was difficult and unfulfilling and I realized that I, too, played a part in the breakdown. Since then, I've remarried and discovered that there are important things I need to remain mindful of for our relationship to survive for the long-term.
So, in the spirit of self-reflection: Can you say these things are true of YOU in your relationship?
1. You actively work to earn his respect. Who you are and how you carry and express yourself inspires him. He respects your opinion, your judgment, your character, and your choices. He can (and does) look up to you. He asks for your input. He is proud that you're the one by his side.
2. You build him up and never break him down. You are his #1 champion. You remind him often (especially on his hard days) of his wonderful qualities, unique strengths, and authentic potential. You would never ridicule, belittle, or minimize him, especially in front of others.
3. You work on it. You recognize that a relationship takes work and you show him daily that he (and your love) is worth the effort. You actively do things to help the relationship grow. You pay him compliments, remember special days, notice when he is feeling blue, ask what you can do to help, and check in with him to make sure he is happy and fulfilled. If he isn't, you help him figure out what he needs.
4. You communicate openly and often. You ask questions and actually listen to his answers. You inquire about him and check in often. You know that the keys to a strong relationship are openness, transparency, and dialogue. And when a conversation comes up, his side of things matters to you as much as your own.
5. You bring out his best self. And this means the type of man HE's aiming for, not you nitpicking him to change a dozen different ways. Truly and genuinely, you want to see who he'll be at each twist and turn in life. You encourage him to follow his dreams, to think up new ones, and to take care of himself.
If you read this list and are feeling pretty confident that you exhibit these 5 qualities, you are off to a fantastic start. But there is one more thing to consider—no matter how awesome you think you are, your relationship is a two way street.
He has to exhibit all of the above items for you as well. It only works if you both do these things for each other.
Here's an exercise. Go back to the list. This time, say, "and vice versa" at the end of each one. If you can still say all 5 things are true for BOTH of you, then you know you're right for each other.
Kimberly Mishkin is the cofounder of SAS for Women™. Divorced after 13 years of marriage, she is now happily remarried and a new mother to a beautiful baby boy. She started SAS with her partner, Liza Caldwell, to provide perspective and support to women to help them follow their right and true path. Visit SAS today to sign up for our free newsletter.