Are you ready to explore strong-minded relationships?
It’s a world where reliance and independence come together, with boundaries and compassion as the glue.
Open communication, empathy, and self-reflection are very important tools, too.
But how does this play out? Get ready to have your assumptions challenged, and your perspectives expanded, as we learn what strong-minded people never do in relationships.
1) They never relinquish their boundaries
Setting boundaries is an inherently kind thing to do.
Why is that? Because it sets clear limits for self-care and respect.
It also helps to prevent unhealthy dynamics such as codependency, or feelings of resentment.
However, it requires you to be strong.
This is because many of us have been raised to be people-pleasers.
At first, your partner may resist your boundaries, wanting more of you than you feel able to give. And it can be tempting to give in.
However, strong-minded people realize that giving in will only lead to problems later on.
2) They are never overly rigid
Should boundaries be set in stone? Well, the answer to that, is that it depends on the situation.
There are certain boundaries that should be non-negotiable.
On the other hand, there are other boundaries that require the couple to come together and find a shared way that allows both people to set and respect boundaries.
Knowing when to be flexible and when to stand firm is a strength of strong-minded people in relationships.
3) They never let negative self-talk affect their relationships
Have you had a partner that resisted your boundary-setting?
Chances are, they felt insecure about something. This probably came from something that happened before you even got together.
This insecurity, if left unchecked, can lead to self-shaming and negative self-talk. In turn, it often gets projected onto the other person.
Even strong-minded people can experience negative self-talk, but they will recognise it for what it is, and try to deal with it. This might be an internal process or one that they work on together with their partner.
Either way, they recognise that the negative beliefs come from them. They face it instead of letting it cause problems in the relationship.
4) They don’t overthink things
One of the results of negative self-talk and insecurities can be a tendency to overthink things. Most of us have done this at one point or another, and that’s okay.
But strong-minded people will recognise this behavior and do something to change the track of their thinking.
For example: If their partner usually texts or calls them at a certain time, and one day doesn’t, they give their partner the benefit of the doubt. They may check to see if their partner is okay, but they won’t read a whole lot of things into it that don’t exist.
Rumination, or overthinking, is unhelpful for mental health. Strong-minded people avoid this and do something else if necessary, such as reading a book, going for a walk or spending time with friends.
What if there really is an issue that needs to be dealt with? They talk it over with their partner and come to a resolution.
5) They don’t keep score
Even in the best of relationships, there will be conflicts or disagreements. There may be times when someone feels that the other didn’t do what they said they would. Or when someone feels the other let them down.
Again it comes back to good communication. Strong-minded people will talk through anything that needs to be discussed, and once it is resolved, they will leave it at that.
What would keeping score look like?
This would be making a mental note of all the times you were in the ‘right’ and the other was not. And then using that against your partner at a later date. This breeds resentment and unhappiness.
6) They don’t lose their identity
Have you ever been madly, wildly in love? If so, then you probably know that honeymoon phase feeling where you want to spend every moment with your new partner.
From a scientific standpoint, this is because all kinds of hormones and neurotransmitters are being released in your body. They make us feel so good!
The downside: If you aren’t careful, you may end up forgetting your friends, neglecting hobbies, and begin doing things only with your partner.
In the long term, this can lead to decreased happiness within yourself and the relationship.
In contrast, strong-minded people still feel the love and emotions that other people do, but they take care to still keep a separate sense of identity.
Want to know how else you can do this? Start by staying focused on your goals and core values.
7) They don’t give in to temptation
As well as resisting the temptation to spend every waking moment and thought with their partner, they resist something else.
What is it? The temptation to cheat on their partner.
Many of us, particularly in long-term relationships, may have experienced a moment with someone else that made us consider cheating.
Perhaps it’s simply a chemical attraction or a drunken moment. Or maybe you wonder if this person is better suited to you than your partner.
Most of the time, it’s simply that the grass appears greener on the other side. Those hormones again!
Strong-minded people take the long view and don’t give in to short-term gratification that could hurt their relationship and their partner.
Alternatively: If being with someone else is something they really want to pursue, they might consider discussing possibilities of opening up the relationship, or becoming polyamorous.
Either way, they don’t just give in to a momentary impulse. Once again, communication is the key.
8) They don’t accept disrespect or mistreatment
A strong-minded person with a good heart will not cheat or disrespect their partner.
And guess what?
They will also not allow their partner to take advantage of them, or treat them badly.
They will have a clear and fair idea of what is good behaviour in a relationship. If they see something that they don’t agree with, they will challenge it.
What things are strong-minded people on the lookout out for?
Sometimes this means their partner is a narcissist, and other times it can come from insecurity.
Whatever the reason, one thing is sure – a strong-minded person won’t tolerate them. They may point out the behaviours, but they won’t take it upon themselves to be their partner’s therapist.
If the issues don’t get resolved, then they will either support their partner through a journey with a therapist or counselor. Or if necessary, leave the relationship.
The point is this: The strong-minded person knows what they are worth and what they deserve, and will not settle for less.