Whether it’s a romantic, platonic, or familial relationship, building a healthy bond with other people is one of the key ingredients to a happy life. Everyone deserves to have quality relationships; they bring out the best in us. Although a “healthy relationship” can be defined in different ways based on a person’s age, values, and perspectives, there are several traits that are common throughout most, if not all, healthy relationships. Looking to create lasting connections with those around you? Here are 10 signs of a healthy relationship.
1 — Adaptability
Human emotions fluctuate day by day. Human personalities can also fluctuate once in a while. Have you ever wondered why your friend, spouse, or coworker seems to be “changing?” Well, people will always be themselves, but they may portray an alternate version of themselves through time and experiences. Knowing this, therapist Lindsey Antin agrees that “one thing healthy relationships largely share is adaptability.” To achieve a balanced power dynamic, both parties in the relationship are willing to compromise for each other.
2 — Encouragement
We all have our dreams and goals in life. Our goals might not align with other people’s goals, and that’s the beauty of diversity — we share different perspectives with one another, expanding the array of possibilities and ideologies in society. People in healthy relationships acknowledge this fact and practice constant encouragement of one another. The next time you see your friend struggling with his assignment, try providing words of encouragement and affirmation; you might just make his day.
3 — Comfortability
Does your body ever just physically relax as soon as you enter your house or meet up with someone very close to you? You inhale deeply and let go a deep sigh of relief as you enter your most comfortable space. Feeling at ease is a telltale sign of a healthy relationship. If you feel tense around someone you’d like to get closer with, try communicating your feelings and worries to them. It’s okay to get vulnerable in those moments. At the same time, please remember to listen to their thoughts as well.
4 — Trust
Picture this: you just get a text from your beloved boyfriend, and the message says: “Hey babe! I’m meeting up with this girl who was in the same high school as I was. See you after this.” How would you react? Suspicion? Curiosity? Jealousy? Or would you feel the same sense of tranquility and peace that you’ve always felt when it comes to your boyfriend? A healthy relationship certainly involves integrity and honesty. If you don’t feel worried at all after seeing a text like this, then you are in great hands.
5 — Physical Intimacy
Intimacy in this sense doesn’t always mean sex. Plenty of research has demonstrated the importance of physical contact in someone’s well being, and it’s not a surprise that healthy relationships often involve lots of cuddling, kissing, hugging, hand holding, or even just the physical presence of one another. If you feel comfortable with another person and find yourself having skin-to-skin contact with them, chances are your connection is very strong.
6 — Boundaries
One of the fastest ways to destroy a healthy relationship is to cross one another’s boundaries. This ties back to having trust in one another, but it’s important to identify each other’s physical and emotional boundaries and respect them. Three components when it comes to boundaries include: knowing what your own boundaries are, communicating what they are, and holding them. See if the other person treats them seriously; if they don’t, it might be good to sit down and have a serious discussion or, as hard as it can be, move on.
7 — Happiness
This may seem self-explanatory, but healthy relationships will most certainly provide both sides with joy and happiness. Scientifically speaking, dopamine and serotonin, which are feel-good chemicals, will often be released from our brains when we engage with someone we truly love. Do you ever look forward to spending time with someone? And when you are with them, do you feel an urge to make time pause and savor every second possible? A healthy relationship will make you value your time with the other person, no matter what you are doing with them.
8 — Communication
This is a huge component. Whether it’s resolving conflicts, vocalizing each other’s desires, or inquiring about the wellbeing of one another, clear communication is key to a healthy relationship. In any relationship, you will certainly encounter disagreements and may feel frustrated with one another. What matters is how both of you resolve these conflicts and what is learned from these experiences. If certain topics are sensitive, maybe think over your words before saying them. In general, having open, transparent conversations with one another is very crucial to a quality relationship.
More qualities point to a healthy relationship, but the above 8 are some of the hallmark signs. Please don’t worry if you can’t find any of these traits in your relationships; it takes effort from both sides to cultivate a healthy connection. If you would like to improve your relationship with someone, start with communication. Whether it’s verbally voicing out your ideas or being physically present to support them, rest assured that the other person will greatly appreciate your effort and may even reciprocate your actions. At the end of the day, everyone deserves to be loved and appreciated.
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