There are healthy relationships that allow individuals to bring out the best in each other, but unhealthy relationships hinder growth and make negative effects on each other. Self-esteem means that a person should feel good about him/herself by accepting himself or herself as they are because nobody is perfect. It includes knowing personal strengths, taking control of everything in the entire life, having a positive attitude, and feeling good about the decisions made. Communication is the key to a healthy relationship and requires parties involved to be honest, talk openly about each other’s feelings, taking responsibility of personal feelings, thoughts, and actions, working at resolving conflicts, and listening to each other. No one should run into conclusions, but should inquire for surety and should also avoid criticizing, blaming, or ignoring each other’s ideas or beliefs as explained in Healthy Relationships. Non-healthy relationships Unhealthy relationship involves mean, disrespect, and controlling or abusive behavior. This behavior is normal in some people’s homes because they do not know how to treat each other with kindness and respect as they expect to be treated. This calls for working with a specialized therapist before a person is ready for a relationship. It is not healthy to stay in this kind of relationship. A relationship that does not work out is not a waste of time or failure. This is because every relationship teaches something, and helps people to
grow individually. In cases where a relationship does not work completely, a break up is called for. There is a common saying that goes “it is better to break a relationship than a marriage” applicable in this case. When breaking up, choose a safe location and prepare for uncomfortable feelings. One has to be clear, honest, and compassionate and avoid blaming. Walking out without an explanation is disrespectful and this calls for firmness in order to conclude. Sex in relationships In cases concerning sex in a relationship, it is advisable to avoid sex until both parties are ready. It should not make a person feel guilty therefore if one is not comfortable both should wait. It needs discussion in order to know whether everyone is ready. Talk about issues concerning protecting each other by knowing the likes and dislikes of each other. Learn also how to ensure that everyone is comfortable through discussion. Sex done at an appropriate time can lead to intimacy and deepen a relationship, but it can prevent intimacy (Ornish 1999). There is a very big difference between love and infatuation. Infatuation means that there is jealousy and mistrust. A person will hang on the other and the partners will have an idealized image. There is also a high level of fear of losing each other and the relationship basis is physical attraction. In infatuation, one person gives more than receiving and one party breaks promises more frequently. The parties depend on the relationship to make them feel important. Love encompasses honesty, respect, and trust. There is mutual giving and receiving and both parties have a balanced interest in other areas of life besides the relationship.