Everyone has some idea of what a healthy relationship looks like. Most people have a hard time recognizing if their relationship is healthy, or where it may need to improve. (Hint: even healthy relationships can be improved)
Whether you have a couple in mind or have seen an example in the media of what you may consider a healthy relationship, there is some characteristic that most healthy relationships have in common. In this article we give you a brief rundown of the 20 ways that you may be able to tell if your relationship is healthy, or close to it. You can use these characteristics to help improve your relationship or at least open up some communication.
20 Signs Your Relationship is Healthy
1. You Balance Each Other
We’ve all heard phrases that refer to two people as to parts of a whole. The healthiest relationships will involve people who balance each other out. This means that where one has a weakness, the other may have natural strength. Perhaps one person is a procrastinator, so the other helps to keep them on track by encouraging them to get things done, or even better helps them do it.
2. You Communicate Constantly
Real communication is an ongoing, and ever-evolving fact in healthy relationships. The important part is that one person does not make assumptions about what the other may be thinking or feeling. When they do not know for a fact, they ask. Stay curious and double check!
3. You Have Discussions Instead of Arguments
No two people are going to agree on everything. Healthy relationships involve recognizing that different ideas are okay. Learning about each other’s perspectives without having to be right is key. If you aren’t disagreeing on some things, you aren’t talking.
4. You Do Things for Each Other – Just Because
Unlike expectations, doing things for each other just because you truly want to be an example of genuine affection.
5. You are Genuine When Together
People in healthy relationships have moved past the party manners and can be completely themselves around each other.
6. You Enjoy Each Other’s Company
A novel idea is that people in healthy relationships want to spend time together. Although wanting to spend all your time together may be a whole other issue.
7. You are a Team
You work well together, whether you are making small decisions or major life decisions, you back each other up and are there to catch each other.
8. You Trust Each Other
Every healthy relationship is built on trust and continuing to build and maintain trust is key.
9. You are Intimate
Intimacy does not have to include sexual contact, but can. The important part is that people in a healthy relationship want to connect and be vulnerable with each other.
10. Your Values Align or at Least Close
While no two people will agree on everything, in general, most people in a healthy relationship will agree or come close to agreeing with the major things, religions, politics, human rights, etc.
11. Your Goals Include Your Partner
When you think about your future, your partner is there and a significant part of your future.
12. You Have a Personal Identity
You are an individual, outside, and in addition to your relationship.
13. You Want Your Partner to Succeed
You have a genuine interest and investment in your partner’s success.
14. You Feel Safe
Individuals in a healthy relationship feel safe in their partnership.
15. You Respect Each Other
Genuine respect for each other is extremely important in every healthy relationship.
16. You Have Friendships Outside Your Relationship
Just like you have to have an individual identity (#12), you have to have close relationships outside of your primary relationship. Becoming too dependent on each other can cause issues.
17. You Honor Your Differences
You are going to be different and unique. In many cases, these differences may even be what attracted you to each other. Honoring them, and avoiding trying to change them is important.
18. You Miss Them When You Are Apart
Distance really does make the heart grow fonder, at least in a healthy relationship. Conversely, someone in an unhealthy one may feel relief or peace when away from their partner.
19. You Make Decisions Together
Just like being a team involves a joint commitment, decisions in a healthy relationship are often a result of some compromise or at least joint input.
20. You Can Talk Openly and Honestly Without Fear
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you have to be able to open and honest without worrying that your partner is going to judge you. Even when you have made a major mistake, your partner should be supportive and there for you.
This list could go on and on. How many of these attributes do you see in your relationship? Where can you and your partner improve? Again, all relationships take constant attention, effort and nurturing to stay healthy. If you have gotten off track or feel like you could improve in your relationship, learn about couples counseling or book an appointment today.