By Wandey Alexis, Guest Contributor

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option” – Maya Angelou

What is it we want from our partner is a question that is asked all too often. We find ourselves giving more and receiving less, at least I know I have. I’ve learned that love should not be a one-way street. One of our biggest fears is to give our love to someone who betrays us. Maintaining a healthy relationship is not easy, but it can be done if you know the signs to look out for.

I’m sure it’s already happened to many of us over the course of our lifetime. For some, the betrayal is etched in our hearts, unable to love the same or trust again which makes loving hard.

Whether it’s a divorce, cheating, a lie, or a broken promise, the ones we love can hurt us in many ways. Betrayal can sting and even cut us in half to the point where hate enters the heart, which is not good for anyone.

challenges we face in relationships

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

How can you keep yourself from being deceived, walked all over, or taken advantage of?

Here are some ideas.

1.) Don’t give him/her your trust right away.

Falling in love and being swept off your feet puts you in a different reality. Especially if you are coming from a broken relationship which makes it hard to pick up that person’s true intentions. Your vision is not clear due to the rose-tinted glasses that transform your partner from just a normal guy/girl to your prince or the woman of your dreams.

You have to realize that you may not be seeing your loved one at his or her best. Your newfound partner will be trying their best to impress you. Make sure to allow your vision to clear before giving your trust completely.

2.) Don’t trust your partner more than he/she respects you.

Your partner will challenge you:

“Why don’t you trust me? Don’t you love me?” My take is that if those questions are being asked then he/she has betrayed you in some way or another. They are manipulating you to get a free pass by using your feelings for them. Loving and trusting are two different things. I’ve learned that you can love someone and not trust them.

Realize that respect must be there for your loved one to have your trust. If he/she doesn’t respect you, then you won’t be able to trust that person completely.

From my experience, I have found that if a partner doesn’t have respect for themselves, how would he/she ever be able to respect you? In turn, how can you trust your partner? We must go in with our eyes wide open and our hearts guarded. Paying attention to all signs that are being given before giving our trust away is easier said than done. I know it’s hard, but we must protect our hearts and the sacred trust of our relationship.