Many of us want to be in happy and meaningful relationships. But nowadays, in a dating scene plagued with superficiality and an abundance of choice, making a relationship long-term – while staying sane – is much easier said than done. That initial spark is great, but it takes a whole lot more than attraction to sustain a relationship.
How are some ways we can keep a healthy relationship and ensure longevity with our partners, you ask? Psych2Go has a list for you. Here are 12 signs that you and your partner are in a healthy relationship.
1.You Communicate Openly
A great relationship starts with transparency! Do you feel free to communicate about anything with your partner, from personal needs to taboo topics? Do you and your partner take the time to listen and empathize with each other? If so, you have a crucial component to a great relationship.
Good communication in relationships includes using assertive techniques, which include welcoming body language, concentrative listening, and respectful language. View THIS article for more on healthy communication.
2. You Argue
Sounds counter-intuitive, right? Well, it’s just a fact that you and your partner won’t always agree on everything. If you aren’t arguing about your disagreements, you’re probably holding in your issues and letting them become resentment. Couples who communicate well can argue. By communicating effectively, both parties can state their points of view while trying to understand where the other is coming from. Couples in healthy relationships also know when to apologize when they are wrong.
This point shouldn’t be confused with destructive fighting, in which couples use aggressive behavior and language to hurt each other in the midst of a disagreement.
3. You Keep your Business Private
It’s perfectly normal to look to close friends and family for relationship advice when you have issues with your partner. But airing your dirty laundry out on social media by typing out mean tweets and passive-aggressive Facebook statuses won’t help things get any better! Making your problems public can lengthen – and worsen – arguments between you and your partner, who could find these posts and feel antagonized. Making your business public can also break trust and confidentiality between you and your partner, leading to fear of future confrontation.
4. You Don’t Hold Grudges
It’s only natural that after spending all that time together that you and your partner will get on each other’s nerves. We all get a little agitated from time to time and do/say things that we don’t mean, or act without our partners in mind. Partners in healthy relationships are able to identify when this happens – maybe when your partner forgets to buy your favorite shampoo when they’re out at the store, for example – and let it go.
5. You Have Realistic Expectations
Having a great relationship means something a little different than it does in the movies. Understand that the perfect partner doesn’t exist, and your partner is a person with flaws and aspirations/goals of their own. They are not your personal servant, nor can they read your mind. Couples in healthy relationships are able to understand that the key to a long-lasting relationship is commitment, and they will to work through the rough patches.
6. You Have Space Between Each Other
You can have a life outside of your relationship! It’s perfectly healthy to maintain friendships and to pursue personal goals and interests. This allows you to keep a sense of individuality in your relationship, and your partner to feel comfortable in keeping up with their own personal interests. Love romcoms, but can’t get your partner to set foot in the theatre to watch one? Perfect opportunity to spend a night out and bond with your friends!
7. You Trust Each Other
Yes, being apart gives you the opportunity to miss and appreciate having your partner around. But you should also feel calm and secure while you’re without them. Healthy couples can spend time away from each other without worrying about their whereabouts or who they’re with. Stalking a partner on social media and asking them constantly for updates via text or phone might be signs of trust issues or codependency.
8. You Enjoy Spending Time Together
If you and your partner enjoy spending time together – whether it’s going out on a dinner date or cuddling in pajamas – you’re in a great place in your relationship. A healthy relationship involves taking time out of your busy schedule to connect with your partner.
9. You’re Friends
Of course, you need to like your partner! Great couples share common interests, enjoy hanging out together and making each other laugh. Just like best friends, healthy couples can talk about anything, and confide in each other without fear of judgment. It’s important to feel comfortable with each other and open to each other’s flaws.
10. You Make Decisions Together
Healthy relationships are without a power struggle. You and your partner should consider yourselves equals in your relationship. You should both have a conversation – and equal say – in decisions that affect you both. Disagree on what restaurant you should go to on date night? You might have to give in to that pizza place your s/o wants to try out. But next weekend, the choice should be yours.
11. You Get Intimate
Yes, sex is extremely beneficial in relationships. It bonds us physically and emotionally, improves our health in a range of ways, and it makes us feel desired by our partners. But sex is just the half of true intimacy. Healthy relationships need intimacy, which can take the form of bonding – sexual or otherwise – familiarity, and romance. Maintaining a great relationship means continuing to court each other by means of physical affection, spending quality time together, gift giving, acts of service, and affirming words (See THIS article about what your partner’s favorite love language could be).
12. You Make Each Other Better
A key sign of a healthy relationship is the need to make yourself the best person you can be for your partner. You and your partner should inspire and encourage each other! This is different than disliking aspects of each other or wanting to “fix” each other. Healthy relationships consist of couples that love each other for who they are. You should be the person to decide that you want to be a better person for them.
Couples in great relationships also promote and encourage healthy behavior in each other; this can range from hitting the gym together to being there for each other during experiences of anxiety or other health issues.
How’d you do? Are there items on this list that you and your partner practice regularly? Do you have any points you think should have made it onto the list? Let Psych2Go know in the comments section down below!
Edited by Viveca Shearin