In the early days of our relationships, everything is so much fun, it was all exciting, and you can’t imagine anything ever going wrong.
But as time goes on, things change and you start to get to know each other better, both the good and the bad.
A healthy relationship is built on trust, mutual respect, and communication. It’s important to remember that no relationship is perfect, but there are certain signs that can indicate whether or not yours is on the right track.
We all know there are plenty of unhealthy relationships out there. We’ve seen them, and for many of us, we have been in them.
But how do you know if you’re in a healthy relationship and why is it so important to have one?
What Is A Healthy Relationship?
Before we know if we are in a healthy relationship, we need to understand what a healthy relationship actually looks like.
Firstly, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to a healthy relationship. This is one of the wonderful things about the individuality and uniqueness of each relationship.
That being said, there are common traits that make up a healthy relationship.
These include mutual respect for each other, positive and healthy communication, a feeling of security and safety, a feeling of being loved and respected, and feeling like you can be yourself around your partner.
Why Is It Important To Have A Healthy Relationship?
A healthy relationship is important because it is a foundation for a strong and lasting partnership.
It provides the basis for trust, communication, and respect, which are all essential ingredients for a happy and fulfilling relationship.
When you have these things in place, you can weather any storms that come your way and come out stronger on the other side.
Sometimes relationships get a little out of balance and we need a bit of a check-up of sorts. You’d never let your car go for years without a service so why should you expect your relationship to be able to?
It’s good to actually take some time to assess your relationship every now and then. Is it where you want it to be? Are you getting out of it what you want? Is it healthy?
If not, what changes do you need to make to get it back on track?
Use this list of 10 signs of a healthy relationship as a little check-in next time you’re wondering how things are going.
What Are The Signs Of A Healthy Relationship?
While these common signs of a healthy relationship may seem obvious to some, they can also provide a great guide and can be used as prompts to ask yourself if your relationship is ticking all of these boxes.
Here are the common signs of a healthy relationship:
1 – You Respect Each Other As Individuals And Allow For Personal Space And Time Alone
In a healthy relationship, you and your partner respect each other as individuals. You both have your own hobbies, interests, and friends, and you allow each other the space to pursue these things without feeling threatened or jealous.
You each came into the relationship with your own identity, and it is important to continue to nurture that individual identity throughout your relationship.
You’re different people, with different needs, and different life experiences, and respecting this and each other is a great foundation of any healthy relationship.
You also understand that everyone needs some time alone occasionally and you don’t take this personally.
Sometimes a short break can give us time to focus on ourselves, allow us to be our best selves, and therefore come together for a healthier relationship.
You both understand the need for personal space and for time alone, and understand that this can be just as important as your need for time together.
Alone time doesn’t mean that you don’t want to be around each other… time alone is important, even more so if you are an introvert.
Some people need more time alone than others but we need to understand that time alone is just as important as time together. This gives you a chance to recharge and an opportunity to just be you as well.
2 – You Encourage Healthy Communication And Open Communication
Have you ever hesitated in telling your partner something because you are worried they will be upset and use it against you in the future?
This should never be the case – while we sometimes get worked up and worried about sharing our feelings, they should never be used against each other. We should feel free to express ourselves without fear of repercussions.
You should be able to talk to each other about anything, without feeling like it will be used against you.
Building this foundation of trust is incredibly important for relationships that are in it for the long haul.
Creating open communication with your partner, and speaking to them like a great friend, helps build emotional intimacy and builds to be able to be there for emotional support for each other when needed.
3 – You Encourage Each Other And Support Each Other’s Goals
You may not always understand why something is important to your significant other but if it is important to them, then it should be important to you too.
This is particularly relevant when you are sharing your goals with each other, you should feel built up and supported rather than being told something isn’t possible.
A lot of this falls under the mutual respect healthy couples have for each other. The understanding that individual goals are just as important as relationship goals, and that building each other up only makes you stronger as a couple.
Happy couples in a healthy relationship encourage each other, are the biggest champions for each other, and use their good communication skills to show their love and support.
4 – You Don’t Feel The Need To Hide Things From Your Partner
Your partner knows the names of all your exes and why you broke up. They know about the time you got fired from your job, even though you told everyone else you quit.
Everything that has happened in your past has brought you to where you are today – you might not be happy with it or particularly proud but it has happened and cannot be changed.
Your past is nowhere near as important as your present and you should never feel like you need to hide details.
Whether it is a small white lie or a bigger secret, if you are hiding something from your partner then it is likely that you are not in a healthy relationship.
A good indication of a healthy relationship is feeling like you can tell your partner anything, without fearing their reaction or judgment.
You should feel like you can share anything with them, but also not feel pressured to tell them everything if you’re not comfortable yet. This level of trust is something that is built up within a strong relationship, but you should feel comfortable without fear of reaction in any situation.
5 – You Engage In Healthy Conflict Resolution
Arguments are inevitable in any relationship, but it is how you handle them that matters.
Couples in a healthy relationship know how to resolve conflict without name-calling or getting too personal.
There is a mutual respect for each other, even when you are disagreeing, and both sides feel like they have been heard.
You’re unique individuals, so you’re bound to have a different opinion every now and then, but if you’re being shamed, judged, or berated for a different opinion, then that’s a red flag you need to pay attention to.
Not every conflict is going to have a clear possible solution – sometimes you’ll need to take a deep breath, call a truce, and either agree to disagree (remember, this is okay) or set an issue aside to discuss later.
You shouldn’t fear conflict in a healthy relationship.
6 – You Express Gratitude To Each Other
A little appreciation goes a long way.
In a healthy, happy relationship, both partners should feel appreciated by each other.
This doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to do grand romantic gestures all the time (although, those are nice too), but simply taking the time to say “thank you” or “I appreciate you” can make a big difference.
Saying “thank you” for the things your partner does for you, both big and small, lets them know that you are paying attention and that you value their efforts.
It’s also a great way to make your partner feel good about themselves and appreciated.
7 – You Never Feel Isolated
When you are in a relationship, you should never feel isolated or alone.
A good partner will make you feel like you are part of a team, rather than feeling like you are on your own.
This doesn’t mean that you have to do everything together – it is important to have your own hobbies and interests – but it does mean that you should feel like you are part of a unit.
You should feel like you can rely on your partner, and they should be someone you want to spend time with.
Isolation can be a sign of an unhealthy relationship, so if you are feeling isolated, it is important to reach out to your partner and see if there is anything you can do to change the situation.
You should never feel like you can’t spend time with your family members or best friend and you should encourage each other to spend time with those who are important to them.
When you’re in a new relationship it’s understandable that you want to spend all of your time together. But keeping healthy relationships with our family and friends is not only important, but it is also good for our overall mental health too.
8 – You Don’t Try To ‘Fix’ Each Other
In a healthy relationship, both partners accept each other for who they are.
You don’t try to change or “fix” each other because you realize that everyone has flaws and that’s okay.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you stop trying to better yourself and be a better person, but it does mean that you accept each other’s differences and work together as a team.
Trying to change your partner is not only unhealthy, but it is also unrealistic and can lead to a lot of resentment.
You shouldn’t be picking out traits you want to change, or punishing them for being who they are.
There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship, but there are a lot of ways to have a healthy, good relationship.
9 – You Share Responsibilities
I recently read a post on another blog about a woman’s resentment when her friends said ‘oh your husband helps you so much.’ As in, helping her because it was her responsibility to do everything.
A relationship is equal – and that may look different for everyone but you don’t help your wife and you don’t help your husband, you take care of your responsibilities.
If that means you work and your husband stays at home then that is fine, but both have equal shared responsibility for your family and for your house. How you divide that up is between you and your partner and what works for you.
Taking care of your fair share of responsibilities isn’t just a sign of a healthy relationship, it’s a sign of partner respect, care for each other, and respect for your relationship.
You shouldn’t be keeping score, but you should communicate clearly your expectations when it comes to responsibilities so you can both be on the same page and negotiate accordingly.
10 – You Smile, Often
As much as I would love to say, you always smile, I know this is impossible.
My rule has always been that a relationship should make you happier more often than it makes you sad – as soon as that balance tips, then you know you need to take action.
You should always be looking for ways to make each other smile, even if it is as simple as leaving a little note on the counter before you leave for work. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference.
Smiling when you think of the one you love is a good sign that you are on the right track.
And having a partner that makes you smile can help you get through the tough times, can make the good days even more wonderful, and can help you have an amazingly healthy relationship.
While there’s no such thing as the perfect partner, in a survey I conducted of over 1000 women, there was a big correlation between happiness and fun (smiling and laughing) with overall relationship satisfaction.
A healthy relationship should be something that adds to your life, not takes away from it.
It should make you happier, help you grow as a person, and add value to your life – not take away from it.
For most of us, relationships don’t just happen. You have your peaks and troughs; you have your good times and your bad.
But it is how you handle yourself and your relationship through those times that really counts.
If you can keep these 10 things in mind, then you are well on your way to having a happy and healthy relationship.