Secrets to a Mature, Healthy Relationship

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“Remember: despite how open, peaceful, and loving you attempt to be, people can only
meet you as deeply as they’ve met themselves.”

– Matt Kahn

We can all agree that relationships are an essential part of life. Human connection, feeling like you belong and are loved is vital. We all know their significance, but aren’t necessarily equipped to do what is needed to create a strong bond that lasts. Mature relationships entail work, patience and awareness. Mature love and healthy relationships are not always the picture of what we have been taught or shown by our parents. So, in order to find our way to having the relationships we have always wanted we must fully understand what it takes to maintain and nurture ourselves and loved ones.

Know Yourself

Mature couples have relationships that are fulfilling and satisfying. They maintain solid boundaries and have a clear idea of who they are individually, so they don’t allow their relationships to become draining or overwhelming. A mature and healthy relationship means first becoming aware of yourself and actions.

In order to have a successful relationship with another person, you need to be confident in who you are as an individual. You need a solid inner self that can only be changed from within, not from outside influences. That is what I mean by maturity. Society and the media teach us something different—that we must give up parts of ourselves and conform to our partners’ needs for the betterment of our relationships. It is easy to hear this message loud and clear. However, our beliefs fade as we conform to others’ standards of what we should be. When you enter a relationship knowing yourself, you will not be a prisoner of love, you will be free to love.

There Is No Need for Drama

In mature relationships’ there’s no real drama. Drama is for people that have a tough time in relationships — who live by rigid notions that love must be wild and filled with crazy passionate love scenes. Love is pretty effortless most days. When it is working it is a seamless flow. It’s a comfortable place to be, and feels like home. It’s something that happens pretty naturally; And doesn’t need to be filled with fights every day. Or even worse on and off makeup and breakups.

When you are in a healthy relationship, there’s no doubt and fears about the others’ feelings towards you. You are more at peace versus feeling drained and misunderstood. Mature relationships are comfortable, secure and free of doubt because they are Not about insecurities, blame and assurance that you are of value.

You Don’t Complete Me

In an immature relationship, you are striving to be one complete person instead of being okay living as two separate people. Immature relationships are created by two incomplete people. They are anxiously looking for something that can’t be found in another person, and can only be found within themselves. It is better for your relationship to remain as two individual people that support each other. When your bond is NOT about making yourself whole again, but more about being an individual it becomes unbreakable.

Healthy relationships are accomplished when two complete people find each other for companionship, versus for someone to complete them. You can’t have a mature relationship with two unhealthy, unhappy and incomplete people.

Being There for Each Other

Mature relationships support the idea of being there for the people you’re in relationships with, instead of being for each other. This means being a self, while still being able to connect with and support others at the same time. When you’re being for each other, it’s hard to see yourselves as individuals. This kind of relationship fusion breeds more reactivity and anger when a disagreement occurs. When people leave openness for others to be themselves around them, their relationships have more opportunities to flourish. These relationships then become a comfortable space for people to grow. Becoming a self means developing a sense of self instead of getting lost trying to fit into other people’s ideas of you.

Repair and Exit an Argument with Grace

Successful couples know how to exit an argument. After a fight, they repair it by using attempts that include changing the topic to something completely different; using humor; saying a caring remark (“I get this is a hard topic to discuss”); establishing common ground (“This is our problem”); backing off; and offering signs of appreciation for each other along the way (“I really want to thank you for…”). When an argument gets too heated, they take a break, and agree to approach the topic again when they are both calm.

Overall, a happy relationship requires mature and healthy love. It is important to understand the difference between mature love and immature love, being that immature love is portrayed in movies, TV, and media as being real love.

Remember that Mature Love, waits, respects, listens, trusts, accepts, takes pleasure in your successes and accepts love without motive. Most of all it isn’t always perfect or expected to be perfect.

Furthermore, Immature Love, needs, takes, demands, attempts to change the other, has high expectations, is impatient, and doesn’t listen. Immature love expects perfection in their partner.
Let me know some of your thoughts on mature and healthy relationships. What lets you know that you are in a healthy relationship?

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Do you know someone that has a tough time in relationships? Steer them to my latest book, “When It’s Never About You: The People-Pleaser’s Guide to Reclaiming Your Health, Happiness and Personal Freedom.” It is available to order here!

Talk soon,

Dr. Ilene

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  • Cecila Raftery

    Enjoyed reading through this, very good stuff, thankyou.