6 Signs of a Healthy Relationship
A healthy and happy relationship is a goal of many couples, but it can be difficult to know if you are actually in a healthy relationship or whether you are just happy to be with another person. Simply being with someone that you are attracted to is not enough to really make a person happy. And while we have instinctual needs that might draw us more towards one type of person over another, it is easy to be blinded by the excitement of being in a relationship and therefore unaware that that relationship has taken a turn for the worse.
How can you know that you are in a relationship that will stand the test of time? As important as sex and romance are to any relationship, they are not the only things that define a healthy relationship. Here are some of the signs that can help you know that you are in a healthy relationship, whether you’re in a heterosexual relationship or same-sex relationship:
1. You have the same goals and values.
Even two people who really love each other might not be able to sustain a relationship if you have different goals and vastly different values. A healthy relationship is one where the two members of that relationship are headed in the same direction. There are things that you both want to achieve, together. When this is not present in a relationship, the partners can begin to resent one another, believing that they are holding them back from doing what they really want to do. Even if one partner is more invested in a goal than another is, the other partner has to be willing to support their partner in anything they want to do. This can be difficult if both parties do not believe in the same values.
2. You actually trust one another.
A healthy relationship is one in which both partners know just about everything about one another. You trust each other enough that you do not hesitate to tell each other anything. There are no secrets, neither partner has a hidden agenda, and you both are open and clear about what you need and, sometimes more importantly, why you need it. This ensures that both of you are on the same page and helps you get on the same page if there is a point of dissonance between you. When you feel like you can take anything to your partner and they will hear you out, even if they disagree, you know you are in a healthy relationship.
3. You both contribute evenly to the relationship.
There is nothing more exhausting than being in a relationship with someone else who only ever takes. They only want to talk about their day, they only want to talk about their problems, and they only want to do what they want to do. While the other member in the relationship might naturally be a giver, it is emotionally taxing to always be giving of yourself and your time. In a relationship, both parties should be willing to contribute just as much time and energy to the relationship. You should be a team, supporting each other. If one person is carrying more of the burden, they may eventually start to become too tired to do it anymore and eventually the relationship will dissolve.
4. You enjoy hanging out beyond just having sex.
If you only really enjoy being together when you are having sex, you are probably not in a healthy relationship. Couples who are great friends, as well as great lovers, are more likely to stand the test of time. They don’t just want to stay in bed all day, they also want to go out together. You enjoy watching movies together, going to concerts, working out, taking walks, just talking and even shopping. You like being in each other’s company. This doesn’t mean that you always have to be together, however. In fact, a healthy relationship also means being willing to take time apart, to do the things that you two individually enjoy and supporting one another in those ventures.
5. You each support each other’s ties to friends and families.
While friends and families can sometimes cut into your time together, you want your partner to have relationships outside of your own relationship. It is especially important to encourage your partner to maintain close ties with their family. If family and friends feel like you have stolen your partner away from them because you never give him time to hang out with those people, they’ll probably start to resent you, and those resentments can poison your relationship. All that said, it’s also important to make sure that the boundaries between your relationship and other important relationships in each of your lives are maintained.
6. You can disagree without it becoming a huge issue.
You don’t have to believe or think the same things or have the same opinions on everything in order to have a healthy relationship. Maybe she likes a television show that you despise. Maybe you love running and he hates it. These are things that do not have to completely ruin your relationship. You can have a difference of opinion, listen to each other’s differences of opinions, respect those opinions, and not feel threatened by them. Even if the issues are more significant than what you like to watch or what you like to do in your free time, you are still capable of being respectful with one another when you discuss those things.