What Is a Conscious Relationship?

Estimated read time 4 min read

What is a conscious relationship?

If you ask some couples, as I have, if they’re in a “conscious” relationship, some of the partners will respond, “Sure,” “You bet!” “Of course!” and the like. Then, I might ask, “Are you in a relationship where you’re both completely transparent and honest with each other?” Being transparent means that you honestly consistently tell the truth to your partner – about your feelings, desires, fantasies, thoughts, actions, and all other important aspects of your experience.

This is usually when one or the other or both become a little uncomfortable. They may shift their bodies, squirm a bit, fidget a little or look down at the floor.

So, let’s explore what we mean by a “conscious” relationship.


Probably the most important ingredient of a conscious relationship is friendship. Friendship means that you actually “like” the other person. In fact, in many relationships one or the other partner might often remark, or think, that while they “love” their partner, they don’t really “like” him or her. John Gottman, relationship expert, and author of the best-selling, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” says friendship is the “secret sauce” of happy and successful relationships. Specifically, friendship is “…a mutual respect for and enjoyment of each other’s company.” Friends know each other intimately, “… they are well-versed in each other’s likes, dislikes, personality quirks, hopes and dreams.”

The importance of friendship cannot be overstated. Many relationships fail because, at the outset, they were created based on the “packaging” rather than on a deeper, more substantial connection, such as true friendship.


A second element contributing to a conscious relationship is how the partners deal with conflict. Partners in a conscious relationship are able and willing to meet conflict head-on, explore their own and the other’s goals and move towards solutions that are mutually beneficial.

The most important element in conflict resolution between partners is that each partner openly Conscious Communication they accept the other’s personality. Successful conflict resolution depends on “knowing and believing” your partner understands you. And, friendship supports this understanding.

In relationships where friendship is nonexistent or waning, one and/or the other partner often feels misunderstood, or judged or even rejected by the other. Successful conflict resolution is all about telling the truth and truth-telling from the perspective of a friend, not an adversary.

Conscious relationships approach conflict resolution from a place of “I don’t have to be right,” rather than “I need to be right, so you need to be wrong.” Mutual respect and win-win are the operating principles.


Open and honest communication is one of the most fundamental foundations upon which a conscious relationship rests. Open and honest communication keeps the relationship alive and growing. Open and honest communication forces one to be a truth-seeker and a truth-teller, no blaming, no pointing fingers, no denial, no deception and no defensiveness. Emotions, feelings, fears – it’s all good.


A third characteristic of a conscious relationship is that each partner is clear about their own life purpose, goals, visions, and dreams. In addition, each is proactively curious about these same aspects of their partner. Further, in conscious relationships, each partner is supportive (rather than be threatened by) of the other’s purpose, visions, and goals and contributes to their partner’s journey. Moreover both partners are absolutely clear about their own and their partner’s requirements, needs and wants when it comes to such factors as: monogamy, drug-taking, open communication, money, shared responsibilities, religion, children, parenting, in-laws, etc.

Quality time

Another characteristic of a conscious relationship – and this is a very critical point especially in this age of social networking – is that both partners actively choose to spend quality time together, even though at times it may seem uncomfortable or even irritating. This is especially true when one of the other partner is caught up in social networking or electronic gadgetry or personal hobbies. Conscious relationships are first and foremost about the partners’ both finding and making time for each other even when it is inconvenient In essence, this means that one views one’s partner as a priority in their life.

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