Wholesome relationships are hard to come by these days. That’s because such relationships depend on character. And in our times, both decency and maturity of character are in short supply.
You have to be mature in your own character to even have a chance at a wholesome relationship. That is, you have to know who you really are, what you’re really worth, and where that worth comes from. (See, also: Finding Yourself and Your Self-Worth Too.) You also have to have taken deeply to heart and committed yourself to the timeless principles that define solid character. (See: the “10 commandments of character” in Character Disturbance and Essentials for the Journey.) But as any toxic relationship survivor can testify, having decent character yourself is insufficient. Character disturbed individuals are notorious for spotting decent character and taking advantage of it.
Wholesome relationships often elude relatively decent folks because there are so many character-impaired but benign-appearing individuals out there. Moreover, many folks are good impression managers. They know how to look good, without necessarily being good. Looking good is relatively easy. You just need to possess the skills for charm, amiability, etc.. Being good is quite another matter. To be a decent and faithful partner requires turning yourself over to a set of operating principles much higher than baser self-interest. And doing that is inherently difficult, even more so in character-impaired times.
The Proverbial First Step
The first step toward a wholesome relationship involves knowing and claiming your own worth. But that’s really difficult when our earliest experiences give us an unbalanced sense of self. When we neither know nor love ourselves well, we’re too easily swayed when someone eles shows us attention or interest. And that’s when we often fail to sufficiently vet the other person’s character. And because some folks are so good at hiding their true nature, we can overlook or insufficiently regard the warning signs of character distubance when they appear.
A New Series
I’ll be taking some time off for a couple of weeks. But upon return I’ll be starting a new series on relationships. The series will dovetail with some live broadcasts of Character Matters, so participants can share their stories.