Human relationships are important. Old ones are easy because these relationships are established and some of them started so long ago, you don’t even remember how you met them. New relationships, especially when you’re more mature, can be a bit trickier. As you age, you no longer want to invest the time or make an effort to form bonds that may not be good for you – especially when you’re looking to meet a significant other? So what are the signs of a healthy relationship?
Signs of a healthy relationship depend on the people involved in the relationship because everyone’s needs are different. The things you need to feel fulfilled and appreciated in a relationship can revolve around sex, space, communication, common interests, and hobbies among others. Not to mention, they can all change over time and because of your circumstance in life, so the markers you used to look for in a healthy relationship when you’re dating can change when you’re married with children.
But before we even talk about walking down the aisle and birthing spawn, we have to get through the early phase of the relationship. What are a few things to look for that can help you identify if your relationship will flourish or falter?
Signs of a Healthy Relationship
You’re in a relation and you’re happy, but is it healthy? Here are early signs of a healthy relationship. It’ll help you determine if you’re relationship is good for your head and your heart.
1You can both communicate clearly.
Open communication is important in any relationship but making sure you’re both understanding each other is what’s significant here. This can take a bit of time to master because everyone communicates differently, but putting in the effort is worth it. Expressing yourselves honestly about concerns and conflicts makes the issues easier to tackle and avoid in the future.
Studies have shown that couples are happier in their relationships when they made constructive statements and made sure that they understood their partner’s needs. Scheduling check-ins with your partner to make sure that you’re both on the same pages can be helpful.
2You maintain your independence.
The nice thing about being in a relationship means that you’ve got someone by your side. It allows you to be interdependent – relying on each other for mutual support. The downside is some people will confuse interdependence with co-dependence.
Being secure in the fact that you have your partner’s approval and love, but not letting their opinions of you affect your self-confidence is the key here. Though you’re there for each other, you don’t rely on each other to fulfill your needs.
You still maintain the friendships and connections outside your couple bubble and still pursue your individual interests and hobbies.
3You’re able to fight fairly.
The sign of a healthy relationship here isn’t whether or not you fight, but rather how you fight. Fighting is a part of any relationship, people disagree and that’s totally okay. But learning about how both of you respond in a fight can be very telling. Make sure that the fight is productive and fair, and both parties are being heard.
If you’re both trying to understand each other and not just trying to score points, then you’ve got the right idea. And at the end, when someone realizes they were wrong and doesn’t hesitate to apologize – then you know you’re having healthy fights.
4You don’t feel the need to hide your past.
It takes a lot to open up to a person, so being able to share your history with each other means that there is a level of trust. Telling them about the good parts and the more difficult parts exhibits vulnerability and maturity – both of which are great signs in a relationship.
Being able to tell them about the mistakes you’ve made, painful memories, and decisions that may affect your future says a lot about you and your readiness for a relationship. Their reactions and response to these revelations also show you how ready and willing they are to be in a relationship with you.
5You celebrate each other’s accomplishments.
Every bright moment in their life is a bright moment in yours, too. You don’t feel jealousy or resentment when they succeed, but instead, feel grateful to be along for the ride. And they should feel the same way. These are important signs that you’re on each other’s team, and teamwork is essential to a relationship.
6You laugh with each other.
Life can be sad and hard, and your significant other should be someone you can smile with. A good sense of humor is often on the list of wants when talking about ideal partners, but having the same sense of humor is even better. Being able to laugh at the same jokes and scenarios shows that you are on the same wavelength.
7You make time for each other.
Life is busy. There are things that need to get done, and it can get difficult to fit all that into a day. What’s important is that you both make time for each other. You set aside time to hang out, call, or text to let them know that they’re in your thoughts. This is even more important when meeting in person is difficult.
8You’re consistent with one another.
You do what you say you’ll do, you are where you say you’ll be. You both know that the plans you make will push through. The consistency makes you secure in the fact that you’ll be able to count on each other no matter what.
Consistency becomes a basis for trust and creates a safe space. This allows intimacy to grow, making forming a deeper connection easier.
9You’re both good listeners.
Do they interrupt you when you’re talking? Are they actively listening or are they scrolling away on their phone or watching tv? Do they maintain eye contact and remember the important details? Do they ask questions and have thoughtful input?
These all matter. It’s a simple show of respect to actually hear and listen to what your partner has to say. There’s listening to understand and listening to respond, and if they do the latter? Well, it’s not the best thing.
Listening to understand also means that they’re taking into account the way you want them to respond – if you just want someone to listen or if you actually want advice. It exemplifies their compassion and knowledge of you. And vice versa.
10Your beliefs and life goals are similar.
For a relationship to last, you both have to be on the same page, especially with your beliefs and major goals. Having similar views on monogamy, family goals, financial habits, and other big issues can help avoid resentment and major rifts.
There are some things you and your partner can’t compromise on, so knowing what these things are can help you both assess the relationship.
11You make each other better.
The person you’re with should make you want to be a better person. If being with someone brings out the worst in you, then maybe reconsider. When the relationship is filled with love, consideration, empathy, and appreciation, it brings the best out of both parties. Even when those feelings are not conditional, it still makes you want to be worthy of all that love, so that pushes you to become better.
12You push each other towards your goals.
You should support their aspirations and they should also help you keep focused on your goals. Even if your ambitions aren’t the same, you should both be supportive of each other. Be each other’s cheerleaders and push each other towards what you each think is the definition of success. By supporting each other’s dreams, you make it clear that you are in each other’s corner.
13Your boundaries are honored and respected.
Having your boundaries pushed can be a good thing sometimes when you’re talking about getting over fears and trying new things. But when lines have been drawn, it’s best that you both understand and respect them.
Communication is important in a healthy relationship. That means discussing and agreeing upon meaningful subjects with one another. For example, you’ve made it clear that you are saving up for a new car. Your partner should help and encourage your saving habits.
If they push you to spend more than you’re willing despite your protests, you should have a conversation with your partner as to why they’re sabotaging your goals. If they just didn’t realise and apologize, then perhaps it was just an oversight on their part. However, if they continue to ignore the things that matter to you, then that can lead to more concerning line crossing down the line.
14You trust each other.
It’s easy to give in to the need to snoop. With the presence of social media, it can be a bit too easy to spy on your significant other and their friends, but in a happy relationship, you don’t feel that need. It’s because your partner shows that they’re trustworthy and that they trust you in return.
15Your instincts say yes.
Trust your gut. You know yourself best, and you’ve taken the time to get to know your partner. If you feel good about the relationship, that’s a very good sign. But if there’s even an inkling that something isn’t right, then maybe take a closer look as yo why you aren’t feeling that way.
How to Attract a Healthy Relationship
You’re tired of always finding yourself in bad relationships, and aren’t exactly why sure why you seem to be a magnet for them. Well, there are some things you can do to change your luck.
1Know who you are.
Know who you are when you’re single, and when you’re in a relationship. You aren’t perfect and no one expects you to be because they aren’t perfect either. So be realistic when you look at yourself and be honest about what you bring to a relationship. That way you can work on yourself and know that you’re bringing your best self to every relationship. When you and your future partner have and maintain your identities, it is a good sign of a healthy relationship.
2Know what you want.
You deserve more than the bare minimum. Write down what you want from your romantic partner. If you’ve got no idea of what you want, write down what you absolutely do not want and the opposite of that list is your wants. Do not waiver on the qualities that are most important to you. Also remember that experiences and time changes what you want, so update the list every now and then that way it always aligns with who you are and what you need.
3Teach people how to treat you.
Whether strangers, friends or family, never allow anyone to treat you badly. Call it out if a friend is constantly late, or if your aunt always embarrasses you at get togethers. Tell off the colleague that is constantly interrupting you during presentations. Command respect and consideration in every interaction, and you will find a partner that does exactly that.
4See people for their true selves.
It’s a good thing, wanting to see the good in people, but there comes a point where you should take off your rose-colored glasses. The initial shine on people you just met tends to wear off so you can appreciate who they really are. Their behavior starts to be louder than their words. Are they actually good people that you want in your life? Be vigilant about the inconsistencies in their personality.
Enjoy your own company. Being able to love yourself enough to prefer being alone than being in a bad relationship is the most important factor in attracting a healthy relationship. This means you prioritize you and your well-being. You won’t be stuck in a relationship that makes you unhappy just so that you don’t have to be alone. Loving yourself makes you a more enjoyable and lovable person to be around.
Frequently Asked Questions
Early signs of a healthy relationship doesn’t meant that it’s all smooth sailing. We all have our own issues to deal with, and that can cause us to question ourselves and our partners. Here are a few answers to the questions you may have.
1I’m in a great relationship now, but I’m still traumatised by my past relationships. What do I do?
Talk to your partner about it. Tell them about your concerns and issues and they might be able to appease your fears. If that doesn’t work? Consider therapy. Working on yourself will make you happier and healthier, and that new frame of mind will have its positive effects on your relationship.
2I can’t check off all the signs on the list, does that mean that I have an unhealthy relationship?
Lists are guidelines, and every relationship is unique. It’s great to be able to check everything off the list, but it’s not always necessary. You and your partner may not be able to check off a certain point simply because there hasn’t been an opportunity. If wanting to tick off all the boxes is important to you, talk to your significant other about it. It may be that you didn’t just realize that you’ve cleared that flag, or perhaps it’s something you still have to work on together.
3We’re thinking about couples therapy. Is that a red flag?
It might be a little early in the relationship to be seeking counsel, but that’s not a red flag. The fact that you both want to ensure that your relationship is healthy and you’re taking time to work on yourselves for the betterment of your partnership is a great thing.
4How do I know what I should and should not compromise on in a relationship?
Honestly, that’s up to you. Knowing what you need from another person is so subjective. It takes introspection and you can only do that on your own. Write down what you need from your partner and stay true to that. Even though they seem like the perfect person, they might not be able to give you what you need from a relationship and you shouldn’t stay in it just because they’re a great person.
5I’m in a healthy relationship, but I don’t want to stay in it. What’s my issue?
A lot of the time, people are used to being in unhealthy relationships that a healthy relationship can feel awkward and lacking. Getting used to the space, trust, and freedom afforded by being loved by someone who recognizes you as an individual person with a life outside of the relationship can take time and communication. Tackle these issues with your partner. If however, you just realized that maybe the relationship was meant to platonic rather than romantic, have that conversation with your partner, as well.
Signs of a healthy relationship can vary, but the most important factors are mutual respect, love, consideration, and understanding. While a shared love for sushi or an interest in scuba diving may have allowed you to meet your partner, these commonalities have little to do with a long healthy relationship. Bring up concerns about your relationship with your partner, and seek help if needed. Even the healthiest relationships will have bumps along the way so as long as you’re both willing to put in the work, it’s still a green light.