I’m here to talk about the fundamental principles that are in healthy relationships. It’s important for us to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of what really allows us to thrive in a relationship and what really puts us off on the other path of not doing well and not being happy together.
The Openness Principle in Healthy Relationships
Hello, my name is Sevin Philips. I’m here to talk about the fundamental principles that are in healthy relationships. It’s important for us to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of what really allows us to thrive in a relationship and what really puts us off on the other path of not doing well and not being happy together.
The general principle that I notice is a general principle of openness, adaptability, changeability, being flexible with each other even when things are difficult in a relationship, that allowance – that kind of communication – really allows couples to change, to move, to adapt, to handle things and really to learn how to love and trust each other. Having that room in a relationship allows for really big lives. When you have a partnership where each person has a big life and you also have an amazing relationship, everyone is for the better.
On the other hand, some of us struggle with trust, insecurity. These things are very difficult and it drives us to behave in ways that are clingy, needy, possessive, controlling – ideas in which sometimes we want to close the relationship down and keep it from being bigger. Maybe we limit our friendships or the times that we have with other things outside the relationship. These typically don’t go so well for those couples.
There’s an interesting theory called systems theory. It was observed back in the ‘50s by scientists. What they found in nature was that open systems allowed new energy, new ideas. For instance a body of water, water comes in, nutrient comes in to the body of water and when it rains water can get out to the outlets and be drained away. These open systems are permeable and they typically thrive with life. In closed systems what happens is the water shuts down. There’s no outside energy, no outside water, water can’t get out, and everything in that system stagnates and dies.
This typical theory and these trends happen in relationships if you pay attention. We’re not much different than anything in nature. Our relationship is a system.
I think some of the biggest work for most couples that struggle with this is, we have to really identify where our insecurities are and bring them out in our relationships. Some of us may acknowledge that like, “Wow, when my partner finds a new friend or find somebody that has something that I don’t have, I get insecure. Will they still love me? Will they still find me attractive?” These kinds of things threaten us sometimes, and we want to control or close down what threatens us and that makes our lives smaller and we ask our partners to make their lives smaller. Sometimes our partners are very trustworthy and our insecurities took the best of us.
I’m wanting couples to really examine themselves and have conversations about these things instead of acting them out because generally in a great relationship that has trust, I want people to be able to have their lives being bigger, to open up to new ideas and new friendships and taking classes, going to the gym. Also within the relationship, if you feel challenged by something that’s happening and you feel scared, I want you to come to your partner and talk about it versus limiting yourself or limiting your life or asking your partner to limit their life.
This kind of open communication allows you guys to find mutual acceptance. Sometimes it forces you to have to take care of yourself. Let’s say you don’t like being left alone on Saturday night when your partner goes out with their friend. Maybe you need to figure out new ways for you to be okay with that – being comfortable with solitude, for example.
Some interesting research has come out in the last ten years about attraction. What they found is in relationships, when somebody has their own life, their own interests, their own ideas, they’re excited about their life because they’re living their life. They’re alive. That’s attractive. That’s attractive to the other person in the relationship, so it’s a very good thing for a long term relationships to keep in mind.
Also, there’s this example I have in a couple that I saw once where the woman wanted to go out with her friends after having a child for a couple of years and really just have some girl time. The guy in the relationship was so open to that and so accepting of that that it really set her back. She was impressed. In fact, she came to her partner and said, “Wow. I find that so sexy that you were confident enough with that.”
All of us can’t be that good or that confident but we can work towards being more confident. These are all great principles and really what I want is for you to have this conversation with your partner. Do we have balance in our lives? Do we allow our new friendships or friendships or our workout routines, our new ideas, new things to do? Are we balanced? Do we do things together and separately? Do we allow conversations that are maybe uncomfortable to happen versus shutting them down or pushing them away because they’re scary?
I am totally supporting you having these conversations and I really want you to have a happy relationship. Thank you so much. Bye-bye.