But, there’s something else too. My friends don’t get these resources from me, and yet they love me anyway. Is it possible to access that kind of love in the context of a romantic relationship, or do the barter-like dynamics inherently ruin such a possibility? Can we changer our relationships such that our material needs aren’t blocking our access to deeper, more open kinds of love?
What I Hate About Dating Women vs What I Hate About Dating Men
Emma Lindsay

The short answer, is YES!

So much of what is true about healthy relationships begins with the work we do on ourselves. How comfortable we are with what we like and what we don’t like, and how honest we are with ourselves about why we feel the way we feel.

The best intimate relationships are the ones where we can be completely vulnerable in, and if you cannot allow yourself the vulnerability to be hurt by someone you deeply care for, you will never build the bonds required to have someone who is both your best friend and your lover.

The worst part is that we often go through the most growth as we exit a relationship where we weren’t happy. We will often stay in those relationship simply because we are too afraid of the break-up to acknowledge that our unhappiness is a result of our own unwillingness to express our feelings to someone whose regard we don’t want to lose.