10 Signs of a Healthy Relationship
Most of us want to be in a happy, healthy relationship. Maybe you’ve had a great example of a healthy relationship – your parents or your grandparents. Maybe you’re even in a healthy relationship now. But maybe you aren’t sure what a healthy relationship looks like. Maybe you’re wondering if it’s too good to be true. Or maybe that fresh, new relationship sheen has begun to dull a little and you aren’t sure if this one is worth the work of polishing.
We’ve put together 10 signs that your relationship is a healthy one.
1. You really like each other. It may seem obvious, but the most basic starting point in a healthy relationship is that you both feel comfortable truly being yourselves and you really like each other. You know each other and accept each other as you are.
2. You trust each other. When you trust your partner and believe the best about each other, then you can relax and grow closer. Without trust, you’ll have walls of self-preservation up and you won’t feel safe with each other. Which brings us to the next point . . .
3. Your relationship is a safe place. Not only do you feel physically safe in a healthy relationship, you feel emotionally safe too. You feel safe talking about your opinions, your worries, your fears, your hopes. And you respond in ways that make your partner feel safe doing the same.
4. You each have your own identity. In a healthy relationship, you’ll spend quality time together, and you’ll spend quality time apart. You’ll each have your own interests and hobbies and friends. Of course, you’ll change and grow and you’ll influence each other — maybe you’ll introduce him to the 80’s music your parents forced you to love and he’ll teach you the rules of whatever sport he played in high school, or vice versa. But neither one of you will lose the core of what makes you “you.”
5. You respect each other. You and your partner value each other’s beliefs, opinions, and priorities. You listen to each other and don’t overstep boundaries or disregard each other’s feelings.
6. You’re a team. You make decisions jointly. You work together to accomplish tasks and goals. You’re each other’s biggest cheerleader. What affects one of you affects both of you, so that neither of you feels you have to face problems or challenges alone.
7. You fight fairly. First, this assumes you disagree. Healthy relationships will include disagreements. The key is to fight fairly — you won’t call each other names or belittle the other; you won’t bring up every mistake or offense from the past; you won’t bring friends or family into the argument; you won’t become physically abusive. When you’re wrong, you apologize; and when your partner is wrong, you forgive.
8. You treat each other with kindness. Sometimes we think of treating strangers or acquaintances with the Golden Rule, but we forget to do that with our partners. In a healthy relationship, you treat your partner the way you want to be treated.
9. You communicate about sex. You talk about sexual boundaries and then respect those boundaries. You discuss your beliefs and values about sex, and you talk about your expectations. You also talk honestly about your sexual history and any exposure to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
10. You’re both committed. In a healthy relationship, you aren’t keeping your options open. You’re committed to the one you’re in and you’re giving your best to the person you’re with. We’re not saying every healthy relationship ends in marriage – maybe once you really get to know each other, you realize you aren’t exactly compatible. But as long as you’re in the relationship, you’re committed to giving it your all.
After reading this list, you might breathe a big sigh of relief – your relationship is a healthy one. That’s great. You’re in a relationship that’s good for you and for your partner.
But maybe you’ve read the list and you’re feeling a little discouraged. You can’t honestly say you have all 10 qualities. If that’s you, then maybe you can read this list with your partner and talk about the areas that don’t match up. Can you work together to fix the issue? Or maybe the problem is a big one — there’s physical abuse or serious disrespect or unfaithfulness. Now might be the time to get some help and support from a trusted friend or family member or counselor. You deserve to be safe and respected. If you don’t feel safe, please get help.
If you’re not sure that your relationship is healthy and good for you, we’re here to help you however we can. A member of our staff will confidentially listen to you and walk through all of your options and resources. Call us to set up a time for you to come in.