These Key indicators of a relationship’s health or dysfunction are based on the seminal work of American Psychologist Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving, first published in 1957 though timeless in its relevance today. I use these key questions as a general barometer of the present state of your relationship:
CRITERIA FOR LOVE or ADDICTION?
1. Does each partner have a secure belief in his or her own value?
2. Are the partners improved by the relationship? By some measure outside of the relationship, are they better, stronger, more attractive, more accomplished, or more sensitive individuals? Do they value the relationship for this very reason?
3. Do the partners maintain serious interests outside the relationship, including other meaningful personal relationships?
4. Are the partners beyond being possessive or jealous of each other’s growth and expansion of interests?
5. Are the lovers also friends? Would they seek each other out if they should cease to be primary partners?
6. Can the partners support and tolerate the natural ebb and flow of each individual’s need, from time to time, for both closeness and distance (i.e. space)?