Relationships – Are You in It For the Long Haul? Psychotherapist Natacha Duke Offers Some Signs


Relationships can be a source of great joy and satisfaction, as well as heartache and disappointment. Whether you’re looking for love, friendship, or just someone to kick back with, having healthy relationships is vital to your overall health and happiness. But how do you know if your relationship is heading in the right direction? Registered psychotherapist Natacha Duke offers some telltale signs that you’re in it for the long haul, along with checks and balances you can perform to reassure yourself.

Relationships are all about giving and taking, so a balanced one is a good sign that you’re in it for the long-haul. You and your partner should be able to comfortably give each other affection, energy, and support without feeling overwhelmed or drained. If you find yourself constantly giving, but not receiving the same in return, it may be time to make some changes.

A balanced relationship also means that you can have mutual interests and be supportive of each other’s goals, even if they don’t fully align with your own. For example, if your partner loves to run marathons but you prefer to watch TV shows, you can still celebrate their achievements and be proud of them. You can even support each other’s different interests, such as when one partner wants to learn a new language and the other would rather take up painting.

While some experts believe that human needs for social connection are innate, research suggests that the ability to form healthy and stable relationships is learned in early childhood through experiences with caregivers who reliably meet the infant’s basic needs for food, care, warmth, protection, and stimulation. These early bonds establish deep-seated patterns of relating to others.

There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of romance in your relationship, but a romantic bond should be based on more than just physical intimacy. You should be attracted to your partner in ways that go beyond sex, like when you smile when they speak and they light up your day with their presence. A romantic relationship should also bring out the best in you and help you to become the best version of yourself.

You’re in the right relationship if you can trust your partner and feel good about them as people. If you’re relying on outside validation, such as from your friends and family, there’s a chance that the relationship isn’t what you really want. You should be happy with who you’re with because they make you happy, not just because your friends and family think so.

The last tip is to keep it real. If you’re not honest with your partner about how you feel, it could lead to resentment and eventual breakup. Be open and honest about your feelings, and don’t try to change your personality to please your partner. If you’re struggling to keep a relationship alive, it’s okay to seek professional help. A therapist can help you set boundaries, develop communication skills, and work through issues such as infidelity or mistrust.