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Foundational Dynamics for a Healthy, Happy Intimate Relationship

By Dr. Brian Allison

  1. Mutual Likeability
    • positive view and attitude
    • appreciate each other’s personality, temperament, and style
  2. Active Friendship
    • enjoy spending time together
    • have fun together
  3. Mutual Respect and Esteem
    • value each other; even be proud of each other
    • treat each other in an honourable way
  4. Mutual Humility
    • no superior or condescending disposition
    • having a servant’s attitude
  5. Mutual Trust
    • feel safe and secure with each other
    • no cause/reason for suspicion
  6. Consistent Physical and Emotional Intimacy
    • terms of endearment, expressions of affection, sexual openness and receptivity
  7. General Compatibility
    • intellectually, educationally, culturally, socially, spiritually/religiously, temperamentally, etc.
  8. Commitment to Partnership
    • working cooperatively and supportively, with common values and goals
  9. Clear Functional Roles
    • practical need for a leader
    • clearly defined responsibilities and expectations
  10. Equal Balance of Power
    • equal opportunity for input and influence
    • each has a “voice”
  11. Ongoing Nurturing/Edifying
    • daily building up and encouraging
    • a reaffirmation of love
  12. Empathetic Understanding
    • an honest and focused attempt to view and appreciate matters from the other’s perspective
    • an honest and focused attempt to understand one’s mate’s personality and behavioural dynamics in an objective way
  13. Meaningful Conversation
    • each has a real voice, each given proper time and attention
    • no interruptions nor dismissals
    • effective communication skills
  14. Honest Disclosure/Expression
    • sharing true feelings, without defensiveness, reaction, stone-walling, or contempt
    • freely and honestly sharing one’s opinions and interpretations without recrimination, rejection, or judgement
  15. Non-judgemental/non-critical Speech
    • speak positively and affirmingly
  16. Active Listening
    • undivided attention, conscious focus
  17. Shared Sense of Humour
    • finding similar things funny
  18. Sincere and Ready Confession of Wrongdoing
  19. Forgiveness Readily Extended
  20. Fair Fighting
    • no name calling, necessary time-outs, each speak in turn (without interruption), focus on one issue, no referring to past incidences, etc.

© Brian Allison, 2010