7 Signs of a Healthy Relationship
Relationships are a part of life, and while every one is different, there are some common characteristics that most healthy relationships share.
A healthy relationship contributes to a sense of happiness and connection for both partners. It respects each person’s boundaries and is a safe space for sharing openly. It also makes time for each other and doesn’t ignore or disregard each other’s needs.
1. You’re not afraid to express your feelings
You and your partner don’t have to agree on everything, but it’s important that you can express how you feel about each other. Even if it’s something as simple as he preferring one television show over another or you favor running while he doesn’t, those differences in opinion can be respectfully discussed and not threatening to the relationship.
During disagreements, you’re able to talk through your feelings without getting defensive and share how each of you feels in order to find a compromise. You’re also both able to be curious about each other, meaning you’re interested in their thoughts, goals and daily life, and you can work together to solve problems.
“Being open and honest is a sign of a healthy relationship,” says Duke. “You both know what you need from one another and you’re willing to communicate that clearly, even when it’s difficult.”
2. You’re not afraid to disagree
People in healthy relationships understand that not everyone is going to share the same opinions and values. However, they can still respect one another’s differences and avoid using their differences to hurt each other.
Whether it’s a difference of opinion over a television show or what activities you do on the weekends, disagreements are normal and not a bad thing. In fact, they can actually be helpful in strengthening a relationship.
The key is being open and honest about your thoughts and feelings, and learning to argue in a productive way that won’t harm your relationship. Being able to communicate your needs without being defensive can help you grow closer and keep things fresh and exciting.
3. You’re not afraid to seek help
From rom-coms to social media hashtags, our culture is full of idealized relationships. But a healthy relationship takes time, effort and respect from both partners, according to experts.
A major sign of a healthy relationship is that you’re open and honest with each other, says Eldemire. She explains that this means talking about the small issues and going deeper when you argue. “You’re not just confronting the problem, but also asking each other questions about the larger fears or challenges,” she adds.
You also respect each other’s boundaries. This means that your partner doesn’t try to control you or take over your life, and they support you spending time with friends and doing hobbies outside the relationship.
4. You’re not afraid to be honest
Honesty is one of the most important aspects of any relationship. It means being open with your partner about both the big and small things, and being able to trust that they’ll be honest with you in return.
Especially when it comes to emotions, being honest helps you feel connected and understood by your partner. Being emotionally honest means being able to empathize with your partner’s feelings, and offering comfort even when they can’t relate to what you’re going through.
Moreover, being honest is a sign that you’re not afraid to be vulnerable. This can be difficult, but it’s necessary for a healthy relationship. In fact, studies show that people who stop lying to each other experience better relating and healthier overall health. Having honest conversations about your expectations can also eliminate a lot of resentment and pain.
5. You’re not afraid to be vulnerable
People who are afraid to be vulnerable often find themselves in unhealthy relationships. These individuals tend to stay away from their family and friends, avoid expressing their feelings, and become emotionally defensive when faced with criticism or disappointment.
Being vulnerable is not about putting everything out there for anyone to consume or being a “crybaby.” It’s about letting others know that you are hurt or upset, and asking them to be sensitive to your needs. It’s also about being honest about your expectations and needs in a relationship.
Many people have a hard time allowing themselves to be vulnerable because of negative experiences in the past. However, it’s important to remember that being vulnerable is a part of the healing process. It can also lead to stronger, healthier relationships.
6. You’re not afraid to ask for help
A healthy relationship is one where both partners are open and honest with each other. This means they don’t keep secrets or hold back anything, even if it may be embarrassing or difficult. They also support their partner’s needs, including having a life outside of the relationship and spending time with friends and family.
If your partner regularly violates your boundaries, it’s a red flag that you’re not in a healthy relationship. This can include physical, emotional and financial abuse. If you experience these behaviors, contact a therapist as soon as possible for help.
In a healthy relationship, both partners value your beliefs and who you are as a person. They respect your needs and don’t try to change you. They also support your goals and dreams, as well as your financial independence.
7. You’re not afraid to grow together
Having open communication and emotional safety are key signs of a healthy relationship, but you should also be willing to grow together. Ideally, this means you want to learn more about one another, whether that’s through shared interests or new experiences.
You also respect each other’s boundaries and do not overstep them physically or emotionally. For example, you may have different opinions about spending time with friends or family or how to raise kids. But you discuss these differences respectfully and work to find a compromise.
And lastly, you are not afraid to have fun together. While all couples bicker from time to time, happy couples know how to laugh and enjoy their time together. This is essential for a balanced and fulfilling long-term relationship.