It always seems so obvious when you look back on past relationships why they did not work out. It is not as easy to look at your current relationship and decide if it is healthy or not. First, you have to know the signs of a happy and healthy relationship. Every relationship looks different but there are some elements that every relationship should have to be healthy. Look for these 9 healthy relationship signs in your relationship to see if you and your partner are meant to be together.
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How Do I Know if My Relationship is Healthy?
If you are trying to decide whether or not you are in a healthy relationship, there are some healthy relationship signs that you can look for in your current partnership. You may not find that all nine of these healthy relationship signs in your relationship or you may find that you could do a better job at a few of them. That is perfectly okay. Relationships take work. Over time, it is easy to let something slack off because there is so much going on in your life. The good news is that you can fix things with a little (or sometimes more than a little) work.
It is also important to understand that every relationship looks different. Some of these healthy relationship signs are easier to spot than others. Your relationship may be stronger in some of these areas and weaker in others. That is okay. It does not mean it is time to dump your partner and move on. However, you may be inspired to work on your communication or be more openly supportive now, and that is amazing.
One of the essential healthy relationship signs that you absolutely want to find when you take a look at your relationship is communication. You communicate your wants and needs to one another. More than that, you clearly and consistently communicate your needs to each other. You and your partner are not afraid to talk to each other. Nothing is off-limits. You can talk about anything from your bad day at work, to issues you are having with your mother, and even a problem you are having within your relationship. You also both feel heard. When you talk, you know your partner is listening and vice versa.
Kindness is another key to a healthy relationship. Partners who are grateful for one another and who show appreciation for each other are more likely to be more responsive to their partner’s needs and are also more likely to stay together. This means you are kind and considerate to each other. You say and show that appreciation regularly. This could be in the form of a kind gesture such as picking up their favorite coffee on the way home one day or leaving a sweet note saying that you love them or that you have missed spending time together during a week when you are both busy with work or other things. You say “Thank you” and “I love you” regularly.
When you are appreciative of one another and show it regularly, that is one of the healthy relationship signs that you are really meant to be.
All healthy relationships are built on trust. If you are examining your relationship for healthy relationship signs and are trying to decide what trust looks like, start by thinking about how you feel about your partner. Can you rely on them? Do you feel physically and emotionally safe with them?
If you trust each other, you do not worry about where they go or who they are hanging out with when they go out without you. You do not feel the need to snoop through their phone to check their texts or emails. That is because you both follow through on things. You consistently do what you say you are going to do. When something comes up unexpectedly, you let the other person know and everything is ok.
Going back to the physical and emotional safety part of trust, you should always feel emotionally and physically safe with your partner. That is absolutely the most important aspect of trust and the most important of these healthy relationship signs that should never be ignored. Physical safety is obvious. You should always feel safe with your partner. The emotional part of trust means that you feel secure enough to express yourself and be your authentic self with that person without fear that they will judge you or use anything you say to them against you.
If you are in a situation that is unsafe, there are resources available to help. Contact The Hotline if you need help. Everyone deserves a healthy relationship.
An Equal Partnership
In a healthy relationship, you and your partner are equals. In healthy relationship signs, an equal partnership looks like each person having an equal place in the relationship where neither partner sees themselves as better or more powerful than the other. You make decisions together and both contribute equally to the relationship. That means you are both emotionally invested – you both express your feelings and you know unequivocally how your partner feels about you. More than that, you both feel that your needs are met.
You also see yourself as equals in the relationship. You make decisions together, taking each other’s opinions and concerns into consideration. Whether you are married or dating, living together or separately, you share responsibilities. Maybe that means you take turns cooking, doing the shopping, or sharing the responsibilities of making plans.
Support and Encouragement
You support and encourage each other through the good and the bad. You celebrate your partner’s achievements and are happy about each other’s good news. When your partner reaches a goal, gets a promotion, or simply had an especially good day, you are there to help them celebrate. The other side of this is also true: when one of you is dealing with something difficult, the other is there to support and offer comfort and encouragement.
One of the healthy relationship signs probably everyone looks for is feeling comfortable being your true, authentic self with your partner. You love and accept each other for who you are – quirks, flaws, and all. You do not hide your guilty pleasures or the things that drive you crazy. You do not pretend to love something they love when you really cannot stand it. You are honest about your opinions and feelings on things.
This does not mean that you are never willing to watch basketball with them if you do not enjoy it. It means that they know you are not excited by basketball but you watch or go to a game with them every now and then because you know they like it. The opposite is true too. Your partner may not care for sushi or watching romantic comedies, but they do those things with you sometimes because you enjoy them.
A healthy relationship where both people are being authentic about themselves is one where you talk about things and share the intimate details of your lives before each other and your dreams for the future. You do all of this without worrying the other person will think you are silly or being stupid for feeling the way you do, while also being willing to participate in things and try to understand the things the other person enjoys.
Being together is easy. This does not mean that your relationship does not have conflicts or does not take work at times. It means that it is not always in conflict. You should not always feel exhausted by a relationship. It should feel easy to love this person and they easily love you back. There should be an ease to things. From traveling together to sitting on the couch watching television or reading a book beside each other to the day-to-day things that have to be done, things should not be a struggle.
You have your interests and spend time apart. You go out with your own friends without each other. You have separate hobbies that you do on your own. You both understand that your relationship is not hurt by taking time for yourself or by doing things separately.
Alone time is healthy. Everyone needs a little time to themself now and then. The amount of time needed varies from one person to the next, so you may just need to go for a run or make a trip to Target and browse around while drinking a coffee for an hour while your partner may need an entire afternoon to himself. That is completely normal and okay. There is nothing wrong with realizing your own needs and needing some time to yourself.
You also each have your own identity outside of your relationship. You see yourself as an individual (in addition to being part of your relationship). It is important to have your own identity because it helps you identify your wants and needs and then communicate them to your partner. (Remember that first healthy relationship sign?)
When you are in a healthy relationship, you genuinely enjoy each other’s company. You like to try new things together. You have fun and laughter together regularly. This does not mean that every minute is fun-filled, but it means you have more happy times than unhappy times. You also find that you are each other’s happy place.
If you are looking at your relationship for healthy relationship signs, this looks like your life together being happy in lots of small, simple ways. You enjoy having dinner together. You have the same sense of humor. You have inside jokes together. You enjoy just sitting on the couch next to each other at the end of the day. There is nothing better than getting into bed next to each other and feeling your partner in bed next to you when you wake up during the night. Things like that.
Hopefully, you see all of these 9 signs of a healthy relationship in your current partnership. If not, you can help foster things like better communication or being more openly supportive and encouraging of each other. If you find that your partner is not your happy place, that you do not feel particularly emotionally safe with them, or that you are missing some of these other healthy relationship characteristics, it is time to examine why you feel that way. It is possible that your current relationship is not meant to be. Whatever conclusion you come to, the most important thing is that you are happy and with someone who loves you to the ends of the earth and back.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out The 30 Day Sex Challenge: An Adventure in Rekindling Your Relationship for more advice, tips, and tricks.
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