“Walking away from someone you love is not an immoral thing. If that person isn’t good for your wellbeing in any way, it’s important to step away from that relationship.”
This lovely quote by Arien Smith has always been my mantra when people come to me for advice regarding healthy relationships and positive mental well-being. However, one worrying difficulty many of these people have is understanding when a relationship has gotten toxic.
There is no thin line when it comes to comparing the signs of a healthy relationship to those of an unhealthy one. The differences are vast, wide, and obvious. What matters is your willingness to see the signs and act on them.
Let me tell you. Relationships are great. They give you a sense of fulfillment and belonging, but they can also get toxic and lower your sense of dignity and self-esteem. This is why it is important to be cognizant of the signs of a healthy relationship that will not only stand the test of time but also give you maximum happiness and satisfaction.
When you see people in happy relationships, don’t just assume that is how the story ends for everyone. It takes great time and effort to cultivate the features of a thriving, healthy relationship, and even at that, it is never going to be perfect.
But if you and your partner are willing to go the extra mile; If you are ready to continue working to improve and build the bond that binds you together, your efforts will most likely reward you with a healthy relationship.
People are always willing to point out the signs of a bad relationship, but it is just as necessary to recognize the signs of a healthy relationship. When you know them, you can quickly spot a wrong turn in your affair and work to resolve it so your relationship can keep waxing stronger. So, what are the signs of a good relationship?
What Makes A Good Relationship?
What is a good relationship? When you ask people what their idea of a good relationship is, you are bound to encounter varying responses. The reason for this is not far-fetched. People’s needs differ and in most cases, their needs influence what their idea of a good relationship is.
For example, a person who craves openness and affection will most likely put that as his number one feature of a good relationship whereas someone more interested in emotional connection will have a differing point of view.
However, while the general idea of what constitutes a healthy relationship will vary from one person to another, most people would probably agree that mutual respect, sensual expression, companionship, financial security, communication, and emotional support are non-negotiable for a healthy romantic relationship.
If you want to know your partner’s idea of a healthy relationship to ensure you are both on the same page, why not open up to them? Ask them to write down the five needs that they feel are most important in a relationship.
Look at the list and see which of them you are providing, which of them you can work on, and which of them you need to have a discussion on with your partner. If your relationship is going to have a sturdy foundation to survive the difficult periods, it is very important to understand and respect your partner’s needs.
Meanwhile, we have put together a well-researched list of 10 signs of a healthy relationship you must be aware of. Read on to learn about them.
Signs Of A Healthy Relationship
1. Your Relationship Is Built On Trust
Trust is the cog behind healthy relationships. Any relationship bereft of trust will breed doubts, and once doubts start to creep in, the foundations of your relationship will start to crumble.
Some people upon entering a new relationship may find it difficult to trust their partners, especially if they have been victims of trust abuse in their previous relationships. In this case, you must work together to establish grounds for trust and work through the process as a team.
Trust cannot be bought just like respect. It is earned from one’s actions. You need to share vital and vulnerable things about yourself and expect that they will also open up to you. You need to feel secured and safe that everything sensitive issue in your relationship will remain between you guys.
Very importantly, you need to be assured that you can go about daily activities without being concerned about the whereabouts of your partner because you trust and expect them to be committed, loyal and faithful.
When you are in a relationship devoid of trust, you find yourself watching your back every time. You are always worried and anxious about what is in happening in your partner’s life. This is completely dangerous to your mental well-being and does not define a healthy relationship.
2. You Tell Each Other Everything
One of the signs of a healthy relationship is the willingness of both parties to tell each other about the going-on in their lives. Although couples will often vary when it comes to openness and self-disclosure.
No matter how reserved you are, however, you must not feel the need to hide aspects of yourself from your partner or keep the truth about something from your partner. They are your significant other, so if you don’t trust them enough to expose yourself to them, who then can you trust?
One of the reasons my relationship continues to become the envy of most of my friends is the transparency and honesty that exists between my partner and me. I mean, we literally tell each other everything that goes on in our respective lives including the mundane and significant details.
From the pesky new colleague to the pathetic overtures from online admirers and suggestions of movies to see, we tell each other practically everything that happens. This way, we feel safe and present in each other’s life.
Apart from helping you feel present in your partner’s life, being open and honest with them also helps you connect as a couple. It fosters trust, builds rifts, and generally improves the aesthetics of your relationship.
Of course, being honest with your partner does not necessarily mean you must share every single thing with your partner – if that’s your thing though, it is great. Some people deeply value their privacy and space and might not be comfortable with being all out.
However, you must be open enough to share your aspirations, fears, and feelings with your partner. You must understand that it is dangerous when only one party is willing to open up as this can cause feelings of resentment or silent grudges which, without mincing words, can be unhealthy in the long run.
3. You Respect Each Other
While trust is essential in sustaining every relationship, shared respect drives the relationship forward. In healthy relationships, people have a mutual, shared respect for each other.
They do not demean, belittle, or disparage themselves. Instead, they serve as primary sources of support, comfort, and affection. If your relationship lacks respect, it can only end badly. Respect begets understanding and love, and these are crucial qualities in every healthy relationship.
Do you procrastinate or completely ignore them when your partner asks you to do something? Do you forgive them when they make mistakes? Do you make room in your life for them?
Do you take an interest in what they delight in? Do you support and encourage their ambitions and aspirations? Do you show appreciation and gratitude for the little things? All these are ways of showing respect to your partner.
4. Fondness And Affection
One of the early signs of a good relationship is the existence of fondness and affection and is a vital aspect of healthy relationships. When you meet someone you like for the first time, you are bound to be driven by a mad rush of desire and affection.
As time passes, though, this passion naturally reduces. However, this does not mean that the attention and tenderness in your relationship will experience a decline as well.
While it is normal for those intense early feelings to gradually return to normal levels, couples who are in healthy relationships will be able to successfully build a deeper sense of connection and intimacy as the relationship progresses.
Healthy relationships are characterized by a fondness between the couples that is sincere and deep. If you notice that your partner isn’t as passionate as they used to be, you do not need to worry. But if they don’t ever regard you in an affectionate or comforting way anymore, you might want to know where your relationship is headed.
5. The Communication Is Great
The smooth flow of every relationship, be it between a parent and child, husband and wife, teacher and pupil, employer and employee, or boyfriend and girlfriend is predicated upon healthy levels of communication.
The need for communication is made all the more important in romantic relationships where you have to sustain intimacy and love and also survive rough times. Trust me no relationship can avoid conflicts no matter how hard the participants try.
And when they occur, knowing how to resolve differences and settle existing animosities is important instead of seeking to tread carefully to avoid arguments and maintain a fragile peace.
It is only through proper communication that you can settle any issues that might exist in your affair. And while many people will choose to look at conflicts as impending doom, you can use it to turn your relationship on its head by improving your connection with your partner.
If your relationship is healthy, you will be able to successfully and easily navigate potential areas of conflict through effective communication. However, if communication between you and your partner is poor, you guys might be unable to find a way out of your fix. And the longer you remain on precarious grounds, the likelier it becomes for your relationship to get unhealthy.
7. You Make Decisions Together
One of the signs of a healthy relationship is joint decision-making. Do you have a say in important decisions in your relationship, or does your partner decide for the both of you with seeking your opinion? Your answer to this question will tell you if your relationship is healthy or not.
Couples have to make a host of decisions including the number of children to have, properties to buy, investments to make, and others. If there are respect, love, and communication in the relationship, you and your partner will make these decisions together without any party feeling more powerful.
8. You Are Not A Different Person In The Relationship
Does your relationship prevent you from living your life the way you want? If so, you are not in a healthy relationship. People in healthy relationships love themselves how they are. They recognize each other’s flaws and imperfections and are willing to look past them without trying to change the other party.
Of course, your partner can try to mold you to become a better version of yourself. But when he tries to make you someone else, that relationship is entirely unhealthy.
9. Your Relationship Is Your Safe Space
It is important that you feel safe in your relationship. It should be a place you find comfort, a place you can relax and feel secure.
This doesn’t mean you won’t get into fights, it means your partner will always be your solace ahead of any other person or thing. If this doesn’t speak to your relationship, then it is not as healthy as you might have thought.
10. You Don’t Keep Grudges
When you get into fights with your partner, how does it end? Do you keep away from each other for days on end? Do they keep a personal grudge over issues you thought already resolved?
See, your partner will get you angry as you would do them. What is important is how you guys deal with everything. If your relationship is healthy, you will quickly talk over it and genuinely forgive yourselves. But if it’s not, the contrary will happen.
If you are seeking signs your relationship will last forever, the points expressed above are worthy of looking out for. They are robust signs of a healthy relationship and can guide you towards making the best decisions that will impact your relationship right now and several years down the line.
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