Hey, Psych2Goers! We’re happy to see you again! We’re talking about relationships today. Sometimes, you may be in a relationship that’s super toxic, but you may not realize it until after you’re out. These relationships can drain you and make you feel like a shell of yourself. No matter what your relationship status is, it’s really important to know what a strong, healthy relationship looks and feels like.
Are you curious if your relationship is a strong one? In this article, we’re going to explore 8 things that strong relationships have in common! Let’s go!
#1: You can openly communicate with your partner.
Let’s start at the beginning. You meet someone and want to get to know them a little better. How do you do that? You communicate! You talk about your likes and dislikes, interests, hobbies, and you ask them the same to get to know them better. That shouldn’t stop once you’re actually in the relationship though. When you’re in a strong relationship, you should be able to discuss anything with your partner. This could be something like asking what they might want for dinner, or maybe it’s something serious like splitting up bills or chores around the home. When you’re in a strong relationship, not only can you talk about these things with your partner, but they can also come to you with anything, too!
#2: You are an individual who is in a relationship. You are not the relationship.
When you get in a new relationship, do you take on a whole new persona? Do you stop doing things you like? Stop hanging out with friends? Do you start picking up habits and hobbies that your partner likes, but you don’t? This is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. When in a relationship, dropping everything in your life for your partner can be a sign of an unhealthy attachment style. In a strong relationship, you should still be you. (That’s why they liked you in the first place!) Both individuals should still maintain their own identity while creating couple likes and hobbies to share.
#3: You respect one another.
Respect does not equal agreement. You are not required to agree with your partner or their opinions 100% of the time. You DO need to respect them and their opinion. Other ways you can show respect in a relationship are listening to each other, forgiving each other for small mistakes, making room in your life for them while still allowing them to be their own person, and even respecting their boundaries. Doing these things will ensure your partner feels loved and cared for, and it will help strengthen the relationship.
#4: You show affection to each other (whatever that means to them).
I don’t know about you guys, but I love me a little PDA to show me I’m loved. My fiancé? Total opposite. If you give him a kiss on the cheek, he’ll wipe it away like a fifth grader who kissed in front of his friends. BUT if I do something for him to show I care, like prepping a lunch for him while he’s working, he appreciates that a lot more. How does your partner like to be shown they matter? If you’re curious about your or your partner’s love language, check out our breakdown of the five love languages. Once you figure it out, try it out and notice how your partner responds!
#5: You support each other!
Have you ever been in a relationship where your partner made an accomplishment of yours seem not so awesome? Maybe you’ve been in a relationship where your partner needs to one-up your achievement. This is a sign of a not-so-strong relationship. In a strong relationship, you support your partner and are their biggest cheerleader. You want them to achieve their goals, and you might even help them if you’re able to do so. This support helps to build a strong relationship.
#6: You’re committed to each other and the relationship.
Commitment. There are two sides of it. On one side, you have people who see commitment as “being tied down” or the fun being over. On the other, you have people who feel joy and a sense of belonging. In 2014, Weigel, Davis, and Woodard did a study on relationships. They found that the individuals who saw commitment positively were more satisfied and had stronger relationships. That commitment to your partner, the unwavering care for them, creates a strong bond of security in the relationship since a lot of insecurities are relieved.
#7: You both have mutual hobbies.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You JUST said to keep your own identity. Yes, but it is absolutely healthy and normal to pick up hobbies that you BOTH like doing. Key word: Both. If your partner is a huge gym person and you’re not, you may not want to join them on their 5 AM run followed by a one-hour weight lifting session. Talk to your partner to see what interests of theirs line up with yours. It could help create some good bonding time for you two to help strengthen the relationship.
#8: You both contribute to the relationship.
Relationships are always two-way streets, no matter what you’re talking about. No one person should always be giving, and no one person should always be taking. Now, contribution isn’t necessarily always the same. It could be contributing love, money, your abilities, or talents. For me and my fiancé, I love cooking and love making things from scratch, so I contribute those skills to the relationship. My fiancé is very much a protector in making sure our home is protected and we have everything we need to be safe. Can you count on your partner as your teammate? If so, you might be in a strong relationship!
Did these signs make you think of that special someone in your life? Do you hold your own as a person who’s in a strong relationship? No matter your relationship status, I hope this list got you thinking a little bit about your current or next relationship and how you can better yourself to be a fierce part of a strong relationship. Thanks for reading, and keep your eye on Psi for more Psych2Go content!
Need some tips on how to build a strong relationship? Check out our video 6 Tips on How to Have a Strong Relationship!
The information in this article is solely for entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not meant to attack any individual. If you are having concerns about your relationship, please reach out to a trusted counselor or mental health professional.
The references and studies referenced in and used to compose this article are below.
Brenner, A. (2015, March 30). 10 Signs That You’re In a Healthy Relationship. Psychology Today. Retrieved April 14, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-flux/201503/10-signs-youre-in-healthy-relationship
DiDonato, T. E. (2014, May 23). 6 Sure Signs of a Healthy Relationship. Psychology Today. Retrieved April 14, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201405/6-sure-signs-healthy-relationship
Migala, J. & Laube, J. (2020, February 12). 9 signs you’re in a healthy relationship. EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved April 14, 2022, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/sexual-health/signs-youre-healthy-relationship/
Raypole, C., & Legg, T. J. (2019, December 13). Healthy relationships: 32 signs, tips, Red Flags, and more. Healthline. Retrieved April 14, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-relationship
Walden University. (2022, February 16). 10 Signs of a Healthy Relationship. Walden University. Retrieved April 14, 2022, from https://www.waldenu.edu/programs/psychology/resource/ten-signs-of-a-healthy-relationship
Weigel, D. J., Davis, B. A., & Woodard, K. C. (2015). A two-sided coin: Mapping perceptions of the pros and cons of relationship commitment. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 32(3), 344–367. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407514533765