There’s more to a great relationship than the usual sexual attraction and common interests. Here’s how to know if your partnership is healthy.
You and your partner love trying new hobbies together, going on long hikes, and traveling, but when it comes to being happy and healthy in a relationship, there are other things to consider besides having common interests.
What exactly makes a relationship healthy?
A great relationship is a safe place for both people to love, honor, and respect one another. You can communicate your wants, needs, and boundaries, as well as listen to the other person.
No matter how you identify, a healthy relationship is important to cultivate because the opposite — a toxic relationship — takes a toll on your quality of life by heightening depression and anxiety, impacting sleep, causing you to take up unhealthy habits, and even impacting heart health.
What’s more, many couples in unhealthy relationships don’t know that they are, especially if they grew up in a household where it was the norm. It’s more important to be able to identify where yours stands.
Here are nine signs you in a healthy relationship:
- You’re Not Afraid to Speak Up
It’s easy to know when your partner does something you don’t like — maybe they don’t call you for two days or don’t help out around the house when you live together.
But it’s not always easy to speak up and tell your significant other how you’re feeling. This takes a lot of strength, self-confidence, and courage, because you have to come from a vulnerable place.
In a healthy relationship, you will feel secure enough to be open with your partner.
- Trust Is at the Core of the Relationship
Trust is foundational in all relationships, but with social media and cellphones, it can become all too easy to snoop. But in a healthy relationship, you don’t need to do that. In part, that’s because your partner shows you they’re trustworthy.
They’re reliable and available. When they say they’ll be there, they’ll be there. They also show you they trust you by giving you the freedom and space you need without checking up on you constantly — and that includes checking your phone.
- You Know Each Other’s Love Language
Many couples swear by the book The 5 Love Languages for a reason: In it, you discover your partner’s “love language” — the way they prefer to give and receive love (through words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch). In a healthy relationship, you’ve taken the time to learn each other’s “love language” so you can express your love in a way that works for you both.
- You Agree to Disagree on Certain Issues
Every couple fights. But contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to fix every issue. In fact, it’s okay to have a handful of topics that you two will never agree on. Sometimes, it’s totally fine to agree to disagree. I think that’s healthy fighting.
In healthy relationships, there are at least five issues that are ‘no talkers.’ They’re the issues that you both differ in opinion and perspective on, and that’s okay.
- You Encourage Each Other to Go After Your Goals
Many of us have a dream or vision for our life, and especially as we age, we want to maintain those visions and it’s okay if your dreams don’t align with one another as long as you “honor and encourage each other to achieve your goals.”
- You both Hold Separate Interests
Couples who have the greatest love affairs are the ones who were able to maintain their interests, but don’t put guilt on their partner for not sharing it with them.
Meaning, both of you encourage the other to explore what they love on their own. Developing and investing in yourself builds self-confidence, self-love, and joy.
- You’re Comfortable in Your Own Skin
When you’re in a relationship, it’s crucial to know your strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you’re confident around your friends but self-conscious at work. Or you know that little things, like your partner forgetting to take out the trash, can set you off.
Whatever your strengths and weaknesses are, being aware of them can help you reach a point of loving and accepting yourself, which in turn can help you love and accept your partner.