There is a new era and a new paradigm for romantic relationships.
A time in which you should forget about all of your old dating patterns and move toward a new type of romance – toward conscious relationships.
Conscious relationships empower you and give you a chance of growth.
They are new relationships, where you can be your true self and have your need for love, safety, acceptance, and respect met.
Sounds just about perfect, doesn’t it? Well, here are 11 qualities of conscious relationships and a guide on how to have one.
Self-love and self-care
The first and the main difference between conscious and traditional relationships is that conscious relationships revolve around you, not romance.
No, this doesn’t mean that you don’t care about your relationship.
It certainly does not mean that you and your partner don’t share an intense conscious love for each other.
However, self-love and self-care always come first. This approach doesn’t make you selfish and self-centered.
It is just a sign that, as a couple, you are mature enough to know that you need to put yourselves first, no matter what happens.
You see, real life is not a fairytale and you’re both perfectly aware of that fact.
Even though you believe in your romance, you know that things could come to an end.
So, your entire identity doesn’t revolve around your relationship.
Instead, you know that the relationship you have with yourself is number one.
It’s the only one that will never end or go away. You’re stuck with yourself for the rest of your life, so you better make the journey worthwhile.
Therefore, your own relationship with yourself is the one you cherish the most.
As much as you care for your partner, you always care for yourself more.
Simply put, you take care of yourself. You nurture your own mental, emotional, and physical health.
It’s not that you don’t give a damn about your partner’s needs and well being but you’ll never put them before your own needs and well being.
Your happiness is your responsibility and you don’t expect your boyfriend or girlfriend to magically resolve all of your problems just by coming into your life.
Instead, your biggest and most important goal is to make yourself feel good.
You know that you can’t expect someone else to love you unless you do it yourself.
You can’t expect your partner to appreciate or respect you unless you show a certain amount of self-love and self-respect.
Most of all, you don’t expect them to put you first and you know only you can be your own priority.
At the top of the list of qualities of a conscious relationship is taking responsibility.
This means that you and your partner are two grown-up people who need to stand behind their actions and words.
Besides, you understand that you both enter this relationship with your past attached to you.
You both bring loads of emotional baggage and history to the table.
It means that you’re used to certain dating and relationship patterns.
You think that something is acceptable while your partner has different relationship habits.
However, this doesn’t make either of you wrong. It just means that you have two different points of view.
When this happens in traditional relationships, most couples assume that something is wrong at the first sign of trouble.
Well, this is where you differ. Instead of breaking up or fighting, both of you own up to your mistakes.
There is no blaming the other person for your relationship going downhill.
There is no such thing as considering yourself perfect while the other person is always guilty.
Instead of thinking about the things your partner could do differently, you focus on yourself.
You analyze your mistakes and how you can correct them in the best way possible.
You’re mature enough to dig into your past and see how it affects your present.
What are your triggers and traumas and how do they impact your current relationship situation?
You see, it’s quite easy to always accuse the other person of being the bad guy.
However, sometimes you need to be honest and ask yourself what your toxic habits are.
What are your dating and relationship patterns that need to be changed? What are the dating skills you have to work on?
What are the coping mechanisms you need to adapt to? What are the parts of your personality that need healing?
Nobody besides you can provide the answers to these questions.
Only when you’re mature enough to get to the bottom of things yourself will you be able to call yourself completely responsible and ready for a conscious relationship.
Aliveness and personal growth
A conscious relationship is all about personal growth and achieving your soul’s purpose.
It’s about becoming the best possible version of yourself, despite your romance.
It is actually a union of two people who are eager to learn throughout their entire relationship, for the rest of their lives.
This kind of relationship serves as a chance to improve yourself, to work on yourself, and to take your personality to the next level.
It’s a platform to learn from each other, from yourself, from your mistakes, and from the world.
Being in a conscious relationship means you don’t have ego problems. You don’t feel threatened by your partner’s success.
When you realize that you’re not right, you don’t see it as a personal attack.
Instead, you see it as a chance to work on your own flaws and to finally become the person you were meant to be all along.
You’re open to criticism and to new experiences. Your spiritual growth and soul’s journey are the most important things.
Most importantly: this type of relationship is a unique opportunity to heal.
You use it as a chance to get over all of your traumas, to throw away the emotional baggage that’s been weighing you down, to acquire your soul’s purpose, and to overcome all of your heartbreaks.
You see, in traditional relationships, everything is about competition.
Many couples actually want to outsmart the other person and show them that they’re wiser, more capable, and more successful in general.
Consequently, you end up in a relationship where one person is submissive and the other is dominant; one is the leader and the other is the follower.
You end up in a situation where one person shuts down the other’s ambitions and where there is no space for individual growth.
Now, all of that is a part of the past. In fact, your partner becomes your number one fan.
They’re the one who gives you a sense of aliveness and the one who makes you feel like you matter.
They become your biggest inspiration and the one who pushes you forward to the next level.
You believe in each other, empower one another, and have each other’s back.
Personal growth includes the bravery of stepping out of your comfort zone.
The courage to see what is outside of your mental, emotional, and physical comfort zone.
It means stepping into the unknown. Taking a leap into your future and leaving your past behind.
However, collective growth is as important as individual growth.
Collective growth means that you grow as a couple as well and that your romantic love reaches its peak with time.
Nobody asks you to be eternally grateful for everything your boyfriend or girlfriend does for you.
After all, there are some things that you should expect in a relationship, and that are a part of your standards.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t be in a submissive relationship just because your partner helped you out.
There’s no need to be grateful just because they’re faithful and not abusive.
However, you should definitely appreciate everything they do for you if only for the sake of your romance.
Most importantly: appreciate the fact that they love you, respect you, and are there for you, no matter what.
Appreciate their sacrifices and energy. Appreciate their investment, devotion, and commitment to your romance.
Make sure they know how blessed you feel to have them around.
Show them that you’re proud of being their life partner and that you consider yourself lucky to have the privilege of holding their hand.
Nevertheless, don’t forget to appreciate yourself as well. Appreciate your own time and effort that you put into the relationship.
Respect and the practice of acceptance
In “regular” relationships, people change for the sake of their partner. In fact, this change starts even before they enter an actual romance.
While you’re in the dating pool, you are in a state of constant worry whether people of the opposite sex will like you or not.
You try hard to be more attractive and more appealing.
Consequently, with time, you start to lose yourself, bit by bit. You erase the parts of your personality that you assume others won’t like.
Then, when you find a partner, you do everything you can to make them think better of you.
It’s not that you’re consciously deceiving them but without being aware of what you’re doing, you involuntarily present yourself in a different light.
Later on, you continue making compromises with yourself.
After some time, you realize you’re a completely different person than you were before you entered the romance.
No, I’m not talking about growth here because that is always welcome.
I’m talking about the fact that both you and your partner changed the essence of who you are.
Naturally, all of this starts to frustrate you. You accuse your boyfriend or girlfriend of making you fit into their standards.
The worst part is that you no longer love yourself. You don’t know the person you’ve become and you lose a lot of self-love.
Well, this is where conscious relationships are different. In fact, they’re all about the practice of acceptance and respect.
Both you and your partner respect each other’s individuality. You respect each other’s boundaries and pasts.
You accept the fact that your partner has their own set of moral values and that they have their own opinion, which may be different to yours.
They’re not your clone – they are a person with their needs, desires, feelings, and a brain.
What’s more – you respect the fact that you both have separate lives outside of your relationship.
You respect their friends, family, careers, hobbies, and interests without the desire to interfere.
When it comes to acceptance, the bottom line is that there is no need to change yourself for the sake of a relationship.
You both love one another’s flaws and you don’t try to annul them.
Your partner loves your true self. They love you because of your imperfections since they know they’re also a part of your personality.
When I claim that presence is essential for a healthy relationship, I’m not referring to the fact that you and your partner should spend every second of every day together in order for your romance to succeed.
After all, we’ve already talked about how you are separate individuals.
It means that you have the right to have your own interests, to spend time with other people and to have enough alone time.
In fact, I’m referring to something else. Yes, spending enough time with your loved one is extremely important.
However, spending good quality time is even more crucial.
It means nothing if you spend time with your partner in small talk or while both of you are on your phones, without actually communicating.
It’s much better to see your partner a few times a week (if you don’t live together) where you are alone and completely focused on each other, without your phones and social media, than to see them every day without actually talking to each other.
On the other hand, if you live together, being in the same room doesn’t equal spending time together.
Instead, make sure you always have some alone time for just the two of you, without the rest of your family or friends.
Regardless of how long you two have been together, make dating a habit.
Go out on a date at least once a week and listen to each other carefully, without any distractions.
I know that this might sound like mission impossible in today’s world, where we all lead extremely busy lives but if you want to be a conscious couple, this is a practice that will bring you there.
Presence means that you know that your loved one is always there, even when the two of you are physically distant.
It means that you never feel their absence.
It means that you’re both one hundred percent present in your relationship, next to each other.
That your mind is not somewhere else while you behave like you’re being forced to sit or sleep together.
Presence includes devotion and effort.
It means having regular rituals that build a connection and a deep bond between you.
Presence means intimacy. Of course, I’m not referring to physical intimacy in the bedroom here only, even though it is also a significant aspect of every romantic relationship.
Instead, I’m talking about the importance of eye contact, holding hands, and hugging each other. I’m talking about building trust and friendship.
Security to practice love
Even though you’re a strong, independent individual, you still need a safe place.
A place where you can be your true self, in which you feel secure and protected and where you won’t be judged for anything you do or say.
Well, for conscious couples, this safe zone is their intimate relationship.
A zone where they feel like themselves and where there is no danger that can impact their mental or emotional health.
In other romantic relationships, many couples are scared of showing their true emotions.
This is especially the case when it comes to modern dating.
When you first enter a new relationship, you don’t want them to see how crazy in love you are with them.
You both play mind games with each other.
You play hard to get because you don’t want to be taken for granted.
You keep your emotions to yourself because you don’t want to be taken advantage of.
You pretend to be heartless since you think it’s the only way to keep your heart from being broken.
You wait for the other person to be the first one to say “I love you” because you don’t want to be seen as a fool.
Even if your partner hurts you, you don’t tell them anything directly. Instead, you find a way to pay them back.
At the end of the day, your main goal is to be seen as not being weak.
You put thick walls around yourself since you think it’s the only way not to be hurt.
Sounds familiar, right? Well, luckily, conscious relationships don’t work like that.
Instead, they are a safe environment in which you can practice conscious love in all the ways you think are right.
An environment where you don’t have to be afraid of showing your true feelings and where you’re not expected to suppress your emotions.
Here you can show each one of your vulnerable sides, without the fear of your weak spots being used against you.
In this kind of intimate relationship, all feelings are welcome.
You don’t have to be ashamed of your emotions and you can openly discuss each one of them with your loved one.
It’s okay to be angry, sad, resentful, or even have the desire for revenge. After all, you’re a human being.
Nevertheless, the key is in being aware of all of your emotions, especially of the negative ones.
More importantly, the trick is to share them with your partner, without the fear of being judged.
I won’t lie to you: there are times when this is difficult.
However, instead of attacking your loved one for being angry at you and seeing yourself as a victim of the situation, do something else.
Allow them to acknowledge their emotions and create a space in which they can express them.
Healthy communication and productive conflict
Healthy communication is the key to every healthy relationship, especially to romantic ones.
You can’t expect to succeed in an environment where things such as mutual understanding and listening don’t exist.
In a situation where you have great communication, you’re allowed to speak your mind.
Naturally, respect is always required, so it’s never acceptable to insult the other person with your attitudes or opinions.
However, you don’t have to agree with everything your partner says or does.
In fact, you’re always allowed to call them out on their actions and tell them that they’re making a mistake.
There is no such thing as people-pleasing or nodding your head just to save the peace in your relationship.
In fact, even when you don’t share the same opinion on a certain matter, you are mature enough that you can agree to disagree.
The same goes for fighting. At first, you might assume that conscious couples don’t fight.
Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, they argue just as often as any other regular couple.
However, the difference lies in the way they fight. You see, their arguments are always productive and have a point.
They don’t pick unnecessary fights just because they’re nervous or had a bad day.
They don’t take their stress out on their partners and never make a drama out of nothing.
Instead, they only fight when there is a reason to.
Even when they’re in the middle of the argument, they always treat their partner with respect and they never forget that they’re confronting the person they love the most.
Ego is out of the equation here.
It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong – the only thing that matters is coming up with a solution using joint forces.
In their arguments, it’s never one person against the other. It’s always both of them united against the problem.
Empathy is a quality every mature person should possess.
It’s extremely significant to think about other people’s well being, needs, feelings, and desires.
Well, you can just imagine how crucial it is to have empathy toward someone you share romantic love with and whom you consider to be your soul mate.
Even though you were told that you should put yourself first in this relationship, I can’t stress enough how important it is not to be selfish during this process.
Instead, if you want your conscious romance to work out, both you and your partner have to show an amazing level of compassion toward each other.
Remember: you’re not alone in this relationship. There are two of you and you should function as a team.
Therefore, please, always have each other’s feelings in mind.
Whatever you do, think about how it might impact your relationship and your loved one.
Do your best to walk a mile in their shoes. Look at things from their point of view and always take their perspective into consideration.
Detachment from the outcome of the relationship
Couples in these types of relationships are not obsessed with the future of their relationship.
No, this doesn’t mean that they live day by day, without worrying about what will happen tomorrow.
However, they do put all of their energy into making things work in the best way possible right now.
They are careful every step of the way and they enjoy the present moment.
You see, for them, it’s all about the journey – not about the final destination.
When you hear things like this, you assume that means they couldn’t care less about what happens to their relationship.
It’s as if they don’t care whether they’ll manage to grow old together or if their relationship will break down the very next day.
Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, they’re just not obsessed with it, nor do they allow overthinking to ruin their presence.
These couples are more concerned about the experience their relationship brings.
They center their attention on their growth and the lessons they can learn through this process.
Interdependence instead of codependence
Toxic relationships are all about codependency. In these types of relationships, the thing that moves you the most is fear.
You’re afraid of ending up alone because you think you can’t live without your partner as they’re the one who gives you a sense of purpose.
You’re scared of them abandoning you and you’re ready to do whatever it takes to keep them by your side, even if that will make you unhappy.
Simply put, you feel like you emotionally depend on your partner.
Your moods, thoughts, and feelings are controlled by them and you lose your individuality.
On the other hand, conscious relationships are not codependent – they’re interdependent.
That means that you are not addicted to each other but you do function together.
You appreciate each other but appreciate yourself even more and you alone give yourself a sense of purpose.
You cherish the intimacy you have with your partner but your sense of self always comes first.
You spend time together but do not act like conjoined twins. You’re a team but have healthy boundaries.