How To Heal Your Relationship

What happens when you have a healthy relationship with yourself? What does it take to be happy? I wanted to share the tools. They’re not cheap. They’re not complicated. They’re just good, old-fashioned human relations.

We all need a certain amount of help in our personal relationships. We need to make our friends and our lovers feel like family. But even that can be tricky. When we feel loved by ourselves, we can forget we’re also loved by the people we love. We need someone to talk to us about that.

Here’s a list of questions to ask ourselves. They’re the things you should probably ask about your relationship:

Is she happy?

Is he happy?

Is he getting along with his friends?

Does he think he deserves better than a job they hate?

What are we spending our time on with each other on average?

Do we know how deeply we like each other?

If you answered no to many of these—if you haven’t been able to get back to a place where you think your partner enjoys you enough to treat you well—that isn’t normal. It means you need to take a serious look at whether you want to be in this relationship. And if you did decide to stay, what you need is something I call a “fix.”

If you’ve ever spent even an hour with someone before dating them, you likely noticed there are three levels of compatibility. They’re all there and no different. 

I’ll call those three levels Compatibility 1, Compatibility 2, and Compatibility 3. Your friends and your lover may each have Compatibility 1, 2, and 3, depending on how they feel about him or her. But every relationship has a common compatibility—Compatibility 1 for many people. As the authors of My First Love put it, “There’s a core core of compatibility, with which all relationships can and do build, no matter how different those relationships are on one level, and no matter how different those people are on one level.” 

The problem arises when we don’t meet that core. 

When your partner seems out of rhythm, or your partner tells you he or she has fallen for someone new, or you find yourself spending more and more time with the person you had a crush on in high school rather than your partner, but they stay the same, if you want to enjoy a healthy relationship with your partner, you have to fix those problems.

Fix is a word that conjures up negative associations but in reality means “an action that improves.” For example, if you find your partner is drinking more or smoking less, it means he or she needs to stop those things because he/she wants to enjoy life as much as you. If you notice your partner seems out of rhythm, or says that he or she is falling in love with someone new, it means that he or she is doing something wrong and needs to correct that. Fix will fix problems. It won’t make things better. But it will get you out of your own head and back on track.

We all feel better when we have a relationship based on consistency and compatibility (Compatibility 1). That’s the kind of relationship I recommend. Here’s what you should ask yourself: (1) What would my ideal relationship look like if I always had, (2) what needs to change for me to have that kind of relationship, and (3) what would I need to do to fix those problems? Once you have a good grasp on those questions, use the following questions to get you started.