Have you ever had someone attempt to explain what constitutes a healthy relationship? More often than not, it’s something suuuuuuper vague, like “unconditional support” and “open communication.”
…Thanks. That’s exceptionally helpful.
Reality is, it takes work to be the shiniest, brightest version of yourself day in, day out. To show up for someone else when you’d rather toddle back to bed and devour American Dirt alone instead of FaceTiming their family (no shade to the in-laws intended.) It’s this, by the way – the unwarranted expectation to be a ‘perfect partner’ – that means fights are inevitable and rough patches are par for the course. Couple this with the fact that there are so many variables, from person to person and relationship to relationship, as to what makes a healthy, happy dynamic in the first place.
At Channel Void, we believe this is something to celebrate: owning our own needs and desires, regardless of what others ask of us. With that in mind, here’s a glimpse at the team’s list of emotional non-negotiables. They may (or may not) resonate with you.
CHRIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The most important piece for me is someone who is insanely patient, a damn good listener and highly intelligent and curious. I also love someone who has their own interests and passions but without a massive ego. I also feel like they have to have similar values and have common interests & attitudes. I run for the hills when I meet someone with a massive ego.
QUIN, SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
For me, a good partner is someone whose presence inspires the knowing that I am the love of my life. A good partner is someone whose dedication to self challenges me to rise up, showing up fully and honouring myself, as they do, always. To me, a ‘good’ relationship is one of two hearts and hands meeting alongside each other, in complete, unadulterated love and support, but autonomously. It is a union of bodies and minds, with the intention to enhance each person’s personal journey. A space to feel safe, to be seen fully, to be challenged, to be inspired, to swim deep in the boundless waters of intimacy and ultimately, guide one another to their most magnificent version of self.
SOPH, WRITER & CONTENT CREATOR
Most of my romantic relationships have been destructive to my self-esteem, in lingering ways. Mostly because I was trying to oversell myself as being the ultimate girlfriend, which in turn gave my partners unrealistic expectations of who I was, and left me feeling really unseen.
From these experiences, I now know that a good partner for me would be someone who respects my personal sense of freedom and is not offended by my openness or flirtatiousness with life. A good partner is someone who communicates openly, has a good sense of humour about imperfection or mistakes, and someone who displays integrity in matching the things they say with direct action. Being a highly romantic and idealistic person, a good partner for me would be someone who enjoys the art of patient intimacy, is comfortable giving and receiving, and who wants to create a beautiful tapestry of experiences during their time on this earth. I have always felt most fulfilled surrounded by people who have the drive and passion to create, and my partner ideally would be secure enough within themselves to sustain their creativity on their own, whilst also finding ways to share parts of their creative experiences with me. A good partner for me is someone who knows themselves well enough to stand up for what they believe in, listen well, and who is invested in creating a home space we can both venture from and look forward to coming back to. Someone who has embodied both their masculine and feminine and who balances realism with a sense of optimistic vision.
CARLEY, PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER
I think one of the most fulfilling parts of a romantic relationship is feeling ‘at home’ with your partner. It’s an experience so unique and peaceful. From my perspective, this feeling is a magical mix of spiritual connection, trust, body language, friendship and respect. It’s being your complete self with them, no matter the situation – and feeling safe in their company. It’s also being with someone who truly listens to you, no matter the situation. In the early stages of my relationship (before we were ‘official’) my mum said to me ‘If you feel like you’re at home with him, you know this it’s right and it will be special’ – and as always, Mum was right. 🙂
Opposite to feeling at home is feeling lonely or misunderstood. A part of this derives from selfishness or negligence from your partner. A huge red flag for me!
ODETTE, CV CO-FOUNDER
Feeling safe to be me. I remember when I first met my (now husband) it was the first time that I truly felt safe to be the craziest, loosest, uncool version of myself. In his company, I felt celebrated for being a weirdo, for being the most unco person and having a complete and utter inability to dance. For the first time, my fiery temper and intensity and defensive felt like it was strength, character and passion. And I wasn’t horrifically humiliated and chided when I woke up from being blackout drunk and couldn’t remember anything from the night before. Feeling seen, and loved in that messy seen-ness is deeply fulfilling. Of c it’s impossible to be deeply fulfilled without sexual and intellectual chemistry – the epic chats about politics, anxiety, being on the same page in our desire to grow and learn.
Run for the hills: boring conversation and no desire to grow.