We all know one of those couples that seem to have it all figured out. They’re always happy and never argue. You can practically see the love and positive energy emanating off of them. While their relationship likely isn’t 100% perfect all of the time (because let’s be honest, nobody’s is) they probably exhibit a lot of the signs of a healthy relationship. But how do they do it?
The answer: a lot of love, respect, patience, understanding, and hard work There are many benefits to being in a healthy relationship. In addition to feeling happy, satisfied, and fulfilled, research suggests that there are also numerous physical and emotional health benefits to being in a healthy relationship, including decreased levels of stress and lower risk of certain diseases.
Signs of a Healthy Relationship
Healthy relationships don’t form overnight. And while everybody wants to be in a healthy relationship, it’s a lot easier said than done. So how do you know if you’re in one? Looking for these important signs of a healthy relationship is a good place to start.
#1. You want the same things
First thing’s first, it’s important to be on the same page about what you want out of life. People in healthy relationships share their hopes and dreams with each other. They know how the other feels about getting married, having kids, and where they want to live. They work together to turn these dreams into realities.
#2. You support and encourage each other
Being in a healthy relationship means having your partner’s back and encouraging them to follow their dreams, even if it means someone has to make a compromise. Whether your partner wants to do something as small as try a new hobby or something as big as changing careers, they know you’ll support them. Why? Because you want the best for each other, and because they’d do the same for you.
#3. You maintain a high level of trust
One of the most important signs of a healthy relationship is a strong sense of trust. It’s not just that you can tell each other anything, it’s that you do tell each other everything. In a healthy relationship, you don’t keep secrets from each other because you don’t need to. You’re also comfortable opening up, talking about your feelings, and being vulnerable, because you trust your partner with private information.
#4. You communicate effectively
Couples that communicate together stay together. Communication is key to a healthy relationship. Without it, wires get crossed and people feel unheard, feelings get hurt, and arguments happen. Your partner can’t read your mind; it’s important to say what you mean and mean what you say so they know what you need and how you feel. And, as Dr. Robert Leahy, PhD. writes in HuffPost, another vital part of communicating effectively is being a good listener.
#5. You can have hard conversations
Relationships aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. In a healthy relationship, you can’t avoid talking about “the hard stuff” like money, sensitive subjects, major life decisions, and even what happens in the event of illness or death. Instead, you have these hard conversations and come to solutions together.
#6. You know how to fight fairly
Another big sign of a healthy relationship is that you know how to have a fair fight. Arguing is good, because it helps you hash things out and solve problems. But you have to do it the right way. Fighting fairly isn’t yelling, blaming, or making low blows that will hurt the other person. It’s about openly addressing the problem, expressing your point of view, accepting responsibility for your role, offering a solution, and knowing when to apologize.
#7. You maintain a strong sense of self
It’s normal to miss your partner when they’re not around. But you don’t have to spend every waking moment together. You can still be in a healthy relationship and maintain your sense of independence. Spending time with friends, pursuing hobbies, and enjoying “me” time strengthens your sense of self. This in turn strengthens your relationship because it makes you a better partner overall.
Above all, one of the most important signs of a healthy relationship is that you feel like equal partners who are working together to make your relationship the best it can be. If you feel like one person does more work than the other, or if you don’t feel like your partner respects your contributions, your relationship might not be as healthy as it could be. The good news is that by working on the above areas, you can get there!