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The million-dollar question: what does a healthy relationship look like? There are many perceptions to what is a healthy relationship, and of course, what works for one couple might not work for another. A healthy relationship requires work from both partners to help each other improve and grow within their partnership as well as growing as individuals.
Here are ten signs that you are in a healthy relationship:
- Maintaining the love. For some, falling in love is hard and takes time while for others, falling in love happens within the few first dates. Whether it takes you longer or not, falling in love is easy. Maintaining that love and creating a long-term relationship is the hard part. Changing your expectations of what love is, is a vital aspect to being successful in your long-term relationship. In the beginning, love is all roses and becoming one, otherwise known as the honeymoon period. But, there will be inevitable changes in your relationship that will require you and your partner to climb many hills and mountains. If you can overcome the challenges that you have to face, it is a good sign that you are in a healthy relationship.
- Accepting the little mistakes. You get to a point with your partner where the little things slip your mind. Hanging out the washing, filling up the car or forgetting to pick up the chicken for tonight’s dinner. Healthy couples will accept that we all screw up sometimes and that it’s no big deal. On the flip side, if you think “they don’t care about me that’s why they forgot” or something similar, then it’s a sign that you still have some things to work on.
- Working as a team, not as competitors. Having a competitive attitude is a strong personality trait, but, keeping it outside of the relationship and acting more like teammates will make your relationship more sustainable. Having a bit of competition with each other in a fun way is perfectly normal, but sticking together on decisions and your future is a sign that you are able to get through the tougher times that you will experience.
- Throwing out the stubbornness and accepting responsibility. Like most people, I always wanted to be right during any small discussions or even the big arguments. I would fight my corner for as long as it took. But, as my relationship developed and as I grew as a person, I realised that being right or trying to shift blame is not always the most important outcome. Pointing the finger or blaming your partner is an unhealthy relationship method. Instead, talking about the problem whether it is financial, house related or something within the family, looking at both partners contribution to the issue is the more mature and honest thing to do. Sometimes, putting your hands up and accepting your part is a quicker solution than going around in circles with each other looking who’s to blame.
- Feeling secure. Jealousy is a natural feeling when you love someone so much. But, jealousy stems from being insecure within your relationship. Having that feeling of loyalty and trust takes time and again, hard work. But, when you no longer feel paranoid or insecure, you have reached the epitome of love. Both partners should make one another feel so loved that there is no reason for one of you to have suspicion or unfaithful thoughts. Again, it takes time, but working on it together will create a healthy relationship.
- Going out of your way for each other. Whether you have been dating for 3 weeks or 10 years, nice gestures and romantic surpises should never go a miss. Putting your partner as your priority and not feeling bitter about it is a huge sign that you are in it for the long run. No one ever gets tired of being spoilt by their partner, even by the small things such as cleaning the house, cooking dinner or taking the dogs out for a walk. It doesn’t always have to be expensive jewellery or a big bouquet of flowers every time. By having a natural feeling that the world is no longer just about you, but more so about the happiness of this other person who you are sharing life with, then you can count yourself as someone in a healthy relationship.
- Talking openly - even about the sore subjects. From money to desires, being able to talk honestly and openly is the key to a healthy relationship. If you can’t tell your partner your true feelings and aspirations, then who can you tell? Healthy couples are the ones who trust one another with deep thoughts, even if they can be upsetting.
- Allowing change and recognising that it is a good thing.Life changes every single day. Embracing these changes and allowing your partner to live life as both an individual and as one in your relationship is essential. Healthy couples recognise that the person they met years ago is not going to be that same person for the rest of their life. Allowing each other to grow as individuals and supporting each other’s life choices is an important part to your relationship. Encouraging each other to start new hobbies or search for a new career path shows that you have a strong interest in the wellbeing of your partner. Communicating any changes that come your way and allow change to take its course is a sign of true partnership.
- Recovering from the fighting. Does the perfect couple fight? Yes. Does a healthy couple argue or disagree? All the time. Painting the perfect and healthy relationship as one that doesn’t fight is far from reality. All couples fight and discuss, its natural and in fact, necessary. Knowing what pushes each other’s buttons or how to calm one another down is an important part to learning more about each other. Constant fighting is of course, not a good sign and perhaps a good time to think and communicate whether the relationship is working. But, arguing in a healthy relationship will be the type where you don’t have to be disrespectful or hurtful to one another. For example, resorting to name-calling will lead to no sort of true communication. Couples who love and understand each other won’t have to use this technique to get their point across. However, if the odd word slips up without you meaning it, then the other must understand the difference between fury and honesty.
- Your fears are reduced. The feeling of support and security can reduce your fears massively. Also, having someone you trust can push you to face these fears. From being able to go on the tallest rollercoaster knowing you can hold their hand or going back to university to pick up another degree. Having that persons love and support makes us individually better people. Facing fears together creates new experiences and opportunities. A healthy couple will know when to support you and when to give you that tiny push.