How do you define an authentic relationship?

Couple walking into the sunset who are in an authentic relationship

How do you define an authentic relationship?

What would you describe as an authentic relationship?

It may be one in which you feel totally supported and able to shine as your true self. It may be one whereby your partner values you and what you bring to the table. It may be all of these things and more.

When we talk about authentic romantic relationships, we mean healthy, strong and honest relationships that would be seen as ‘good’ in the eyes of God. To be authentic is to love and support the person you are with, no matter what life throws at you, respecting them along the way.

Authentic relationships honour the roles between man and woman within the relationship and we teach what this means in our syllabus.

This is important in any relationship but particularly prominent when we speak about man and wife. How we care for and treat each other plays a huge part in our happiness and our relationship with God, who wants the best for us and our loved ones.

We were prompted to think more about authenticity within relationships, when we saw Amy Coney Barrett nominated to the Supreme Court in America. She was quoted saying “For 21 years, Jesse [her husband] has asked me every single morning what he can do for me that day. And though I almost always say, ‘Nothing,’ he still finds ways to take things off my plate. And that’s not because he has a lot of free time. He has a busy law practice. It is because he is a superb and generous husband, and I am very fortunate.”

Now, not only did it remind us to consider authenticity, and oh what a beautiful example that is, but it also made us very acutely aware that not everyone experiences this level of authenticity within relationships. Barrett is a practicing Catholic and mother to seven children, but it was her grace and way of speaking about her husband that struck us in this moment.

We teach children and young people what it means to be authentic and to value all of their relationships in the highest regard. This is a two way street and thus means that yes, they should treat others how they wish to be treated but we also set a standard for how we will allow ourselves to be treated.

What is an authentic relationship to you?