If you are in a love relationship or considering entering one, you probably want it to be strong and healthy. But what does it mean to really have a healthy relationship?
Well, that's debatable.
Due to the fact that everyone has different needs, it is not feasible to make blanket statements about what makes a relationship successful. Your specific needs, such as those for conversation, sex, love, space, shared interests or views, and so on, may evolve with time.
As a result, what makes a relationship work in your twenties may have little to do with what you're looking for in a partner in your thirties.
Even if a couple's relationship doesn't seem like the stereotypical "perfect couple," it doesn't mean it can't be good. Those who practise polyamory or ethical nonmonogamy, for instance, may have a somewhat different idea of what makes a healthy relationship than those who practise monogamy.
In conclusion, "healthy relationship" is a relative term, since the conditions that foster the development of a connection depend on the needs of the people involved.
However, successful collaborations have a few distinctive characteristics.
"Adaptability is something that excellent couples typically share with one another." "They conform to the surroundings they find themselves in, just as we ourselves change and develop with time.
We'll take a look at a few more indicators of healthy relationships.
Freedom of expression
When two individuals have a strong bond, they are open with one another about their lives, including the highs and lows.
It is important that you feel safe talking about anything that comes up in your life, whether it be something little like stress at work or with friends or something more significant like indicators of mental illness or concerns about money.
They listen to the other person's point of view without passing judgement and then provide their own.
Both parties are able to express themselves. You must believe that they will share their thoughts and feelings when they come up naturally.
A larger value may be placed on emotional check-ins and frequent communication about what's going on with other love interests by those in nonmonogamous relationships.
Truthfulness and reliability are fundamental to establishing rapport. When it comes to one another, there is no secret keeping. You should not worry about the other person making romantic overtures to them while you are apart.
To trust someone, though, requires more than blind faith that they won't take advantage of you or fib to you.
It also shows that you trust them and feel safe with them, knowing that they won't do you any emotional or physical damage. Even while you know they have your best interests at heart, they yet respect you enough to let you strike out on your own.
An idea that you are unique and apart from everyone else in the world.
Truest of all characteristics that describe successful relationships is interdependence. To be interdependent is to help one another out yet keep one's own identity and way of life separate from the people around you.
Simply said, you and your spouse have good chemistry together. You know you have their love and respect, but it isn't the basis for your own self-worth. Although you have each other's backs, you don't depend on each other to meet all of your needs.
In addition to maintaining your existing acquaintances and interactions outside of the partnership, you also make time to pursue interests and hobbies that are distinctively your own.
In a happy, lasting romance, curiosity is a vital trait for both partners to possess.This displays that you care about the other person and want to learn more about their goals, aspirations, and way of life. You can't wait to watch them blossom into who they were always meant to be. You are not set in your beliefs about their history or who they should be.
Being inquisitive also means you are willing to look into or talk about ways to change the framework of your relationship if some aspects of it start to seem less enjoyable. It also calls for a level of realism. When you really see someone, you care for them as they are rather than how you would want them to be.
The majority of people who are in healthy relationships appreciate the time spent together, while the exact quantity of time may vary based on things including personal needs, work and other commitments, living circumstances, and so on.
You understand the need of spending time alone, however. It's likely that you're now taking some time to unwind on your own, engage in a favourite hobby, or socialise with loved ones.
Regardless of what you choose to do, neither of you has to feel like your relationship is in jeopardy if one of you has to spend time apart from the other.
Temperament that might be described as fun or lively
It's important to make time in one's schedule for moments of spontaneity and pleasure when the time is right. To be able to make each other laugh and joke at the same time is a good sign of compatibility.
As two people living under the same roof, you may find yourself in each other's shoes at different points in life. You could be having trouble reestablishing your regular patterns of communication since the mood in your relationship has been temporarily disrupted.
In spite of the challenges, you and your partner may become closer if you can find ways to laugh off the tension, if only for a little while.
The integrity of body and soul
The word "intimacy" is often associated with sexual relations. However, not everyone is interested in or enjoys sexual experiences even when they happen. You don't need it for a healthy relationship, as long as you and your spouse are on the same page about what you need from one another.
Even if you and your partner have no desire to have sexual interactions, you may still want to spend time together physically, which might include kissing, hugging, cuddling, and sleeping together. Physical contact and bonding are important regardless of the degree of emotional connection between you.
If you and your partner like having sex and are able to do the following, your sexual relationship is more likely to be healthy: initiate and discuss sexual activity comfortably; accept rejection constructively; share sexual gratifications.
Feel free to express your wish for more or less sex.
Both partners should respect one other's boundaries when it comes to sexual activity. These include discussing alternatives to the relationship, reducing sexual risk factors, and not pressuring partners who express reluctance to participate in sexual engagement or specific acts of sexual activity.
It's possible to call two individuals a team if there's a high level of trust between them. You keep on working together and supporting one another, even if you may not have the same core beliefs or the same end goals.
You've got each other's backs, to put it plainly. When you're in pain, you can always count on them to be there for you. And whenever they ask for assistance, you're right there to provide it.
It's normal for partners in a healthy relationship to disagree on certain issues and experience some irritation or even hatred toward one another at times. That's quite normal, however. Nothing here suggests that your relationship is in danger.
How you resolve conflicts is what matters most. You've made progress if you can talk about your issues without becoming nasty.
It's usually feasible for couples to achieve a compromise or a solution when they discuss an issue openly and listen to one another without passing judgement or exhibiting scorn.
Possible connection red flags
Your relationship should strengthen your sense of shared purpose, happiness, and intimacy. If you discover that being around your partner makes you more anxious, unhappy, or sad than normal, this might be a sign of difficulties in your relationship.
There is such a wide variety of warning signs of a toxic relationship that this list is hopelessly inadequate. However, it might be useful in highlighting certain potential issues.
You try to have some kind of control or influence on the other person. Having the confidence to bring up a specific activity that is causing you concern is essential. It's quite reasonable to voice your displeasure and ask for changes to be considered. You may not, however, attempt to control their actions or instruct them in any manner.
There may not be a future for the relationship if there is anything about them that really irritates you and you can't handle it.
Your partner repeatedly disobeys the boundaries you've established.
Your partnership will thrive if you both feel safe enough to express your needs for solitude and space. If you set a limit and they push back or try to convince you to change it, this is a major red flag.
Maybe you've said something along the lines of, "I need some personal space when I return home from work." Although I am happy to see you, I need some space to unwind before we can have any intimate contact.
When you get home from work, they will never stop trying to kiss you and pull you into the bedroom. As soon as you give them an unfavourable response, they apologise and say "they can't help themselves."
To avoid seeing this as a sign of affection, you could insist on restating the limits in the expectation that they will eventually get it. Their behaviour, however, betrays a complete lack of concern for your needs.
It doesn't seem like you two see one other too often.
A relationship has a decent shot of progressing when two people like one other's company and indicate a desire to spend more time together. Life may sometimes intervene in your plans to spend time together but be assured that these setbacks are usually temporary.
It might be a symptom of difficulty in your relationship if you and your partner start spending less and less time together without a reasonable explanation, such as difficulties at home or more responsibilities at work.
The inability to connect emotionally or to experience relief when separated from the other person are other red flags. You may also actively seek excuses to avoid spending time together.
The chemistry between them seems odd.
A good balance is often present in a relationship. Everything might be shared down the middle, or you could both do more housekeeping to make up for the difference in income.
Equality in a relationship may not only apply to material things like money and possessions, but also intangibles like love, open lines of communication, and mutually met expectations.
Occasionally, unequal conditions may exist. Sometimes in relationships, one or both partners experience temporary setbacks, such as a drop in income, an inability to contribute to home duties due to illness, or a decrease in love feelings as a consequence of stress or other emotional turmoil.
However, if your relationship is chronically unbalanced, this might become a problem.
There is no shame in voicing your concerns to your partner when they engage in behaviour that worries you. On the other side, people who have healthy relationships often make an effort to express their feelings in productive ways.
Whether it's someone else's choice in food, clothing, or television shows, it's never a good idea to constantly criticise others or say things to be harshly. Generally speaking, it's not helpful to receive criticism that makes you feel ashamed or bad about yourself.
Take note of their language while discussing with other individuals. Even if your relationship looks to be in excellent shape, you should still think about what this behaviour says about them as a person. You should take note of what it says about them if they engage in discriminatory or hateful rhetoric.
You don't feel like your needs and desires are being taken into account in the relationship.
Maybe they don't appear to care when you bring up a problem or say something that's been bothering you, so you don't feel like you've been heard. Fear of being dismissed or ignored might make it hard to speak out when you have an opinion or want to bring up significant issues.
It's only natural that confusion may occur. Yet another warning sign is if you discuss a topic with them and they seem attentive at first, but then they don't change anything or seem to have forgotten what you spoke about by the next day.
Fear is keeping you from expressing your disagreement.
In a healthy relationship, both partners can share their opinions and beliefs without fear of criticism or rejection. A symptom that your partner does not value you or your ideas is if they respond negatively to your (different) viewpoint, whether with contempt, ridicule, or any other kind of rudeness.
If you find that you are censoring your speech out of fear of their reaction or that you are always "walking on eggshells," to use a phrase from Antin, it may be time to see a professional.
If you are afraid of verbal or physical abuse, it is essential to speak with a therapist as soon as possible. If you need further assistance, don't be reluctant to ask for it.
You are not happy or at ease in your connection with your partner.
Most people get into a relationship hoping to be happier and more fulfilled with their lives in general. You may not be getting what you need out of the connection if you never feel at ease or contented there.
This may happen even if both people in the relationship are making an effort to keep it going. Since individuals change with time, it's not fair to blame either partner just because you're both unhappy and stuck in the relationship. You could have just grown apart over time and become incompatible with one another.
Controversies and disputes never go somewhere productive.
When disagreements are resolved healthily, it typically leads to some kind of agreement or compromise. You may not instantly have all the answers, but that's okay since maintaining a good relationship is an ongoing effort. The converse is true, though, in that you nearly always feel content after a good conversation. Your situation will likely become better.
If you and your partner find yourselves addressing the same issues over and over again, this is not a good sign. It's conceivable that no matter how much you discuss a given issue, nothing will change. They may decide to completely disregard you.