Relationships — they can be extremely messy and hard, but at the same time deeply fulfilling and fun. We read a lot about red flags and signs that you’re in an abusive or unhealthy relationship, but what we don’t talk a lot about is what exactly makes a relationship healthy. So let’s take a look at what a healthy relationship looks like.
1.There’s peace in your relationship and your home
Your relationship should be your rock. It should be where you seek comfort, peace and the freedom to be completely you. If you find yourself repeatedly feeling anxiety or stress at home, or like you’re walking on egg shells around your partner, it may be a red flag that something is not right.
2.You fight well
It may seem counterintuitive to say that fighting is a sign of a good relationship. But being able to talk through conflict (instead of throwing tantrums) is a sign of healthy communication between mature adults. Find whatever anger-diffusing technique works for you, like walking away for a short time to calm down, or holding hands while fighting to maintain physical closeness. As long as a couple can continue to communicate, they have a great foundation for a healthy, long-term relationship.
3.You’re encouraged to be independent and grow
It’s crucial that in a relationship, each person has their separate friends, dreams, hopes and desires. You partner should not feel as if they need total control over you and vice versa, or like you need to do everything together. In addition, there should be encouragement and support on all levels.
4.You trust each other completely
You trust each other implicitly, without having to convince yourself. You don’t give each other “the benefit of the doubt” because, quite simply, you don’t have those doubts. This trust goes beyond simply trusting that your partner is faithful. You take what your partner says at face value. You feel safe with that person and can allow yourself to be vulnerable. You trust that they care and that they won’t hurt you.
5.You support each other’s passions and endeavors
Whether or not you share each others’ passions or life ambitions, when you truly care about someone you want to see them succeed and be happy in whatever they love. This means standing beside them, not in their way, when they dedicate effort towards pursuing a goal.
Talking through the bathroom door, as in when one of you is clearly on the other side taking care of business, denotes a level of comfort that is rare in most relationships. Bonus points if you’ve had a conversation in the bathroom while it is… in use.
7.You are always open, honest, and direct with each other
Earlier I mentioned communication in the bedroom – it should go without saying (but often doesn’t) that communication in all areas of life and your relationship is imperative to its success. Open, honest, unfiltered communication with your partner who you both have the comfort of opening up to without being judged for it, and the knowledge that they feel the same way towards you.
8.You’ve seen each other angry, grieving and sad
Common advice is to see your partner “in all the seasons.” What that really means is that you see how they handle all of the ups and downs life can throw you in a year. What was their reaction to the death of a beloved uncle? How did she handle being turned down for a promotion? Did things go off the rails or did she turn to you for advice and solace? Any relationship will have to deal with moments of joy and moments of pain, and how your partner copes will have a lot do with the health of the relationship.
9.Intimacy goes beyond the bedroom
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that chemistry in the bedroom is the end-all be-all of a relationship. Go beyond that and you are sure to create something that lasts. There are many other ways to connect with your partner on even deeper levels — spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. Having the right combination of all of these will lead to a successful partnership.
10.You can see yourself with that person 30 years in the future
Most people get into a relationship and see the future as just a few years down the road. Maybe getting married and having kids within a five-year span (sometimes less). Looking past the immediate future can really give you insight into whether this is the person you want to be in your life forever. Look ahead to when your children are grown, you’ve gotten gray or bald, and gained a few pounds. If you can’t visualize a life with this person long-term, then it may be time to reevaluate.
11.You are friends
This comes back again to simply LIKING each other. In a healthy relationship, that person is not just your lover, they are your friend. If you were not in a relationship with this person, you could totally be friends with them. You think they’re cool. You like hanging out with them. You see them as a complete person, not as a sexual object or some relationship trope. In another life or another time, you could imagine yourself hanging out with them platonically as friends.
This one is simple. It’s basic. But it’s important and it’s true. If you are in a healthy relationship, you are happy. You’re not trying to change the other person. You feel satisfied, sexually and emotionally. When you think about your partner, you smile a bit. Thinking about them makes you feel calm and secure. Obviously, no person is 100% happy all the time. When I say you are happy, I mean that your relationship brings you a lot more happiness and joy than it does sadness or pain. Your relationship is a net positive. Your relationship doesn’t drain you emotionally, it energizes you.
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