At the beginning of relationships, when everything is still relatively new, it can seem like you’re wrapped up in the bubble of your new relationship, when everything is full of excitement. But after a certain point, if things continue to seem like they’re in a perpetual “honeymoon stage,” you might start to question whether your relationship really is a happy, healthy relationship or if it’s not quite what it seems. Some of the critical differences between a healthy relationship and one that’s too good to be true can, if you recognize them in your own relationship, help you determine where your relationship actually lies.
“Too good to be true is an interesting concept, as it subconsciously reflects the ways partners feel about themselves,” Silvia M. Dutchevici, MA, LCSW, the president and founder of the Critical Therapy Center, tells Romper in an email exchange. “‘Too good’ implies that one or both partners feel undeserving of a good relationship. Oftentimes, the people we choose to be in relationships with reflect something about ourselves we are working through, therefore if one partner is insecure, the likelihood that the other is also insecure is high. When two insecure people get together it is highly unlikely that the relationship can thrive.”
Though healthy relationships can sometimes share some similarities, on the surface, with relationships that ultimately are too good to be true or unlikely to work out long-term, the critical differences between these two types of relationships are probably things about which you should be aware because, ultimately, relationships that are too good to be true probably aren’t so good for you. And recognizing that sooner rather than later might save you a lot of heartache later on.
1. Your Relationship Doesn’t Have Any Boundaries
Though you might think that healthy relationships are boundary-free, which partners telling each other everything, doing most things together, and the like, that’s actually not the case. “A ‘too good to be true’ couple is probably one where partners are enmeshed with each other and have no boundaries,” Dutchevici says. “Unfortunately, our cultural narrative around relationships often portrays this type of couple.” Healthy relationships (of all kinds) have some boundaries.