What is a healthy relationship like?
Connecting with another person emotionally, romantically and physically can be mind-blowing. But, building a healthy relationship takes a lot of work. It’s worth the effort though.
So, how do you know if your relationship is strong? Are there any signs of a healthy relationship?
Healthy relationships are those that make you a better person. They bring the best out of you. And, while there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship, one that’s fairly close is one that makes you feel great and lifts you up most of the time.
When you’re in a good relationship that’s healthy and strong, you’ll know it. It will just feel right.
Beware though, if you’re in a new relationship, it can be easy to start comparing it with one that’s fully developed. There has already been a lot of elbow grease put into a long-term relationship. If you’re seeing a lack of certain characteristics in your relationship or partner and are having doubts, you might want to consider it could just require a little more time.
Relationships aren’t effortless; you don’t find them, you form them.What is a healthy relationship? Here are 11 signs you are in one. #relationshipadvice #relationships Click To Tweet
How to Build a Healthy Relationship
If you’re expecting a healthy relationship without having to put some effort into it, you could end up discarding what had the potential of becoming a perfectly sound and loving relationship.
Sure, finding your soul mate, at first sight, is a romantic idea, however, a thriving relationship won’t just appear at your doorstep. It’s developed over time.
With that said, if you’ve been in your relationship for some time now and are questioning it, you may want to ask yourself a question:
“Does my partner bring out the best in me and make me a better person?”
If you answered no to this question it could mean you’re settling for mediocrity and less than you deserve.
While each relationship is different and we all seek different qualities in the ones we love, there are a number of signs of a healthy relationship you can look for to see if you’re on the right track.
Characteristics of a happy, healthy relationship:
1. You Respect One Another’s Individuality
In a good relationship, both of you maintain your own individuality and respect your partner’s individuality as well.
It’s important you don’t lose yourself when you’re in a relationship. If you allow this to happen, you could find yourself dependent, self-sacrificial and maybe even feel a little bit like a doormat. You won’t be truly happy and might find it difficult to communicate since you don’t really know what it is you want in life anymore.
Not only should you strive to be a good partner, but you also need to maintain:
- Your own point of view on things
- A strong sense of independence
This will allow you to strengthen your own special traits and cultivate behavior that will reflect your own ideals and interests. You shouldn’t need the person you’re with to define you or complete your incompleteness.
2. You Can Be Apart With No Problem
Along with respecting one another’s individuality, there should also be freedom. A good relationship allows for some freedom to be apart without anger or mistrust.
Unhealthy relationships are those where the couple can’t be apart without getting upset about it or mistrusting their partner.
In a healthy relationship, you should not have any reservations with your partner going out — nor should they of you.
3. You Listen To One Another Without Being Defensive
It’s been shown that we’re inefficient listeners. In fact, according to a number of tests, we really only comprehend and retain a fourth of what we actually hear.
But, genuinely listening to one another is hard. To understand your partner, it requires you have the capacity to truly listen to them.
Being able to hear your partner’s complaints without becoming defensive or feeling like they’re attacking you is one of the characteristics of a healthy relationship.
Rather than wasting all your time and energy on arguing the fact that you’re right and they’re wrong, why not simply focus on listening to your partner. If you’re speaking over them, you’re not listening to them.
Even if they are wrong, allow them to speak their mind and listen to what they have to say before you make any assumptions or accusations.
4. You Argue Effectively
Even though you may listen to your partner, that doesn’t mean you still won’t argue. You can’t be in 100 percent agreement with your partner all the time. Bottling things in and never arguing isn’t actually healthy for your relationship.
You know, there is actually “good arguing.” And, this may seem counterintuitive as you might believe the perfect relationship is one that doesn’t involve any conflict.
Honestly, all couples argue and should from time to time. The key here is to effectively manage the arguing so it supports your relationship and doesn’t work against it.
For instance, effective arguing could involve listening to one another despite feeling angry or hurt. Also important is being able to eliminate grudges and instead share mutual and sincere apologies.
5. You Can Be Yourselves with Each Other
When you’re in a good relationship, you can walk around with no makeup, hair mangled and no deodorant. Your partner can come home from the gym and hug you even though they’re drenched in sweat and stink.
In a healthy relationship, when you’re with your significant other, you should always be able to just be you and know they still love you. If you can’t, you might want to question why that is and evaluate whether they’re the right person for you.Are you in a healthy relationship? Here are the characteristics to look for. #relationshipgoals #relationshipadvice Click To Tweet
6. You’re Open and Honest with One Another
Openness involves being able to be straightforward in expressing your personal thoughts, feelings and desires.
Being open to your partner’s feedback without taking offence is a valuable relationship skill. If your partner is making suggestions or providing you with some criticism, instead of instantly defending yourself, you can look for some truth in what they’re saying and use it as an opportunity to grow personally.
Another biggie is trust. Healthy relationships have trust. When you don’t have trust in your relationship, then all the other positive attributes of your relationship that bring it together won’t matter.
Mistrust eats away at the connection you have with your significant other.
When you feel total trust for your partner, it eliminates the potential for worry. It helps to build your internal security so you are completely at ease with and feel secure with them. Being able to rely on your partner and trust them is the foundation of your relationship.
7. You Both Contribute to the Relationship
Strong relationships take compromise. In a good relationship, both of you are willing to make changes needed to nurture your relationship.
You’re willing to make sacrifices for one another without keeping score. You make selfless acts in your relationship because you love and care for your partner.
You each contribute to the relationship equally, although maybe not in the same ways. For instance, you may offer your partner emotional support while they provide financial support.
As long as both your contributions to the relationship make each of you feel like you’re working towards building and maintaining a happy life together, you can consider them one of the numerous characteristics of a healthy relationship.
8. You’re Intimate in Different Ways
Intimacy isn’t only about sex. There are other ways to bond with your significant other. A good relationship involves plenty of:
- Shared laughs
- Non-sexual touches
- Hugging and kissing
- Comforting words
- Other small intimate moments
These small gestures help keep the connection strong in your relationship.
9. You Encourage One Another to Become a Better Person
In healthy relationships, each person is able to grow and become a better person because of the relationship.
There’s mutual inspiration and motivation. You inspire each other to be your best selves and face difficult challenges. Those who are in unhealthy relationships don’t ignite this inspiration and just settle in mediocrity.
Strong relationships provide you with the freedom to be yourself, support your growth and allow you to have flexibility with each other.
Healthy relationships embrace interdependence.
With interdependence, you both recognize and value the significance of the emotional connection you share, but are still able to maintain a strong sense of self within your relationship dynamic.
When you’re interdependent, you realize the value of vulnerability and are able to look to your significant other in meaningful ways to produce emotional intimacy.
Both you and your partner are able to be yourselves without having to compromise who you are or what you value.
Now, interdependence and codependence isn’t the same thing. When you’re codependent, you rely greatly on your partner for your well-being and sense of self. You can’t distinguish where you end and your significant other begins. You rely on your partner to meet all your needs so you can feel better about who you are.
When you’re in a codependent relationship, you may have things such as:
- People pleasing behaviors
- Controlling behaviors
- Poor or no boundaries
- No personal goals or interests outside the relationship
- Low self-esteem
A codependent relationship isn’t healthy and doesn’t give you room to grow and be yourself.
Lasting relationships are those that are constantly growing and developing towards each other’s individual goals.
Once one person in the relationship starts losing touch with their goals and dreams they once had, they become unhappy and begin blaming the relationship. When you both can keep each other’s goals as the goals of your relationship as a whole, that’s when you’re in a healthy relationship where you’re both happy.
10. You Have Loyalty
Loyalty is another one of the various signs of a good relationship. It’s where you can both rely on each other and feel confident you have each other’s backs.
Some good examples of loyalty are when your partner:
- Sticks up for you
- Is faithful and respectful
- Keeps your secrets confidential
- Doesn’t take sides against you.
When you’re in a healthy relationship, you don’t question your partner’s loyalty, because you just know they’re loyal. They’re not always justifying their mistakes or saying “nobody’s perfect” to you to make excuses for not being loyal.
11. You Can Let Go of the Past
You’re in a strong relationship when you can learn from the mistakes and failures you’ve made and don’t let them dictate your current relationship.
Everyone can be hurtful from time to time and its human nature to make mistakes or do something that can hurt another person. As long as you’re not deliberately trying to hurt each other, you can take the moments and use them to learn and grow and make your relationship stronger.
If you’re not sure if your relationship with your spouse or partner is healthy, then consider this:
Relationships should be a source of support, joy and friendship. They shouldn’t cause pain, insecurity, anxiety or isolation.
Signs of a healthy relationship are those that are based on mutual understanding, respect, individuality and compassion and they leave out control and power.Signs of a healthy relationship are those that are based on mutual understanding, respect, individuality and compassion and they leave out control and power. #relationships Click To Tweet
What are you focused on to build a happy relationship in your life?
Let us know in the comments below…
About Wendy Rahilly
Hi. I’m Wendy, full-time writer, blogger and entrepreneur. I also own the blog: lil Bloggy Mommy — Happy Simplified Living. My passion is helping other moms live happy and simplified lives whether it’s helping them with saving and making money, better parenting, self-improvement, organizing their lives or improving their relationships. You can connect with me on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.
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