Love is an instinctive emotion most of us feel, is not fully understood. being a complicated emotion in spite of the ubiquity and universality of love. We are rarely taught how or what love really means. We simply navigate our relationships and hope we’ll figure it out along the way .love may drive us wild, causing dysfunctional patterns in our relationships, even the truest kind of love can turn toxic if we’re not careful with that in mind Here are six key differences that can help us distinguish between healthy and unhealthy love
1: intensity vs. stability
Remember back to that new relationship feeling when everything is just incredible, in the beginning, you get a rush of emotions, and that high intensity of affection, that gives you a sort of euphoria when you’re together. in a healthy relationship, these emotions mature and stabilize. they grow into a fondness and relaxed deep affection, instead of staying at a feverish unstable high, contrast this with an unhealthy relationship, where the deepening maturity and calmness doesn’t happen, the intensity persists, you spend virtually all your time together, constantly checking in when apart, and there are upsets when the other person doesn’t reciprocate the smothering attention, that good intensity has now turned negative, and feels uneasy instead of euphoric
2: Isolation versus independence
Isn’t it thoughtful and romantic when your partner asks you out and makes plans with you? This depends on how often and when it happens.
Healthy love involves a sense of Independence you stay connected to the important people in your life and continue to be able to participate in your own pursuits.
Unhealthy love involves a sense of isolation, cutting you off from everything in your life that is not your partner. they become your one and only priority, thus your only source of happiness, they will question or guilt you if it seems you’re deriving happiness or enjoyment from anything other than them, this is not love, it’s controlling possession.
3: Concern versus jealousy
We may not want to admit it but jealousy is a normal part of any relationship, it’s okay to feel occasionally insecure, and one assurance from your partner. Just as long as jealousy does not get out of hand.
Healthy love is all about open communication, and listening to each other. it means setting mutually comfortable boundaries and having mutual trust
Unhealthy love is all about wild and irrational jealousy, the unreasonable kind that can never be reassured, your partner may become possessive of you and start invading your privacy, they may read your messages and restrict who you can and can’t interact with.
They need to know who you’re with and where you are at all times, there may also be frequent accusations of infidelity like cheating or flirting even when you’re not.
4: teasing versus belittling
Once you become more comfortable with one another, you might start playfully teasing or lightly rubbing on each other even in front of others.
that’s a sign of healthy love, that you feel secure enough and know each other well enough to laugh slightly at yourselves, you both know when to stop and know feelings are hurt
Unhealthy love, on the other hand, crosses over the lines and the teasing isn’t light, its belittling insulting and humiliating.
Maybe your partner decides to share embarrassing knowingly, private information to get laughs and adulation from other people, they may purposely make fun of you for something they know is hurtful.
Even worse is that they likely won’t even apologize for it, twisting it so it seems like you’re the one with a problem by being too sensitive and overreacting.
5: generosity versus manipulation
Healthy love does not require payback or exchange. You give freely of your time, energy, money. And whatever else may be needed from you, because you care about them and want happiness for them there is no attempt to purchase desired behavior.
healthy love is selfless while unhealthy love is selfish
Unhealthy love gives not out of bounty but waiting for something in return.
it’s a transaction, it can look like them offering you a ride to work in the morning, and in exchange, you’ll be expected to stop the painting hobby that makes you leave every Thursday night for classes.
The reasoning used to hide it because if you really love them you do it, this is manipulation, not love.
6: honesty versus volatility
The final but highly important aspect is, that healthy love is honest but not manipulative.
The openness about your feelings wants and thoughts are shared for the pure reason of better mutual understanding.
This being so you can be a stronger support to each other and grow closer, there is no hidden motive just open healthy communication.
Unhealthy love, the honesty shared is volatile, it involves tearful fights, screaming terrible low blow things at each other then panicky begging the other partner to come back.
because you can’t function without them your relationship feels constantly unsafe and insecure with emotions soaring or plummeting with no consistency.
When you love someone it can be difficult to accept the reality surrounding them, and your relationship with them.
We all struggle at being good at times, so it feels hypocritical to fault others for that same struggle, we wrongly believe that if there is love imperfections are all negligible.
The be dismissed are ignored this is a dangerous idea to entertain. as it makes us more vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment. Everyone deserves to be treated with decency, courtesy, gentleness, and care.
Knowing the difference between what’s healthy and unhealthy, and love can help you better understand your relationships and assess whether they’re good for you.
Healthy love is open communication, mutual respect, trust, and compatible values. if your relationship lacks all of these then it may be time to consider if it’s a love that’s not meant to last.