Relationships happen on and off, some are good and some don’t turn out so well. No matter where you are in your dating journey, the goal is to have a healthy relationship. Everyone who begins a relationship approaches it with the aim to make it good! No one enters in and says, “I hope this relationship is really unhealthy.” But for a relationship to become healthy, work needs to be done on both parts to get to that point. It doesn’t happen over night, and is usually something that occurs over time. So how do you figure out if you are in a healthy relationship yet or not?
Depending on how it goes, there are a few ways to figure out if you and your partner’s relationship is a good one. These questions can be asked at any point in a relationship. If you notice that one of the indicators of a healthy relationship hasn’t occurred, then you know where there are areas to work on, or red flags to be aware of over time.
The healthier a relationship, the happier you will be. Don’t keep yourself stuck in a relationship that is sucking the life out of you and is unhealthy. Bad relationships can affect more than your mood – they can affect your stress levels, your mental health, or even your physical health. Here are 15 indicators of a healthy relationship. See if you and your partner are in a good place, or figure out where you both may be struggling so that you can build it to become stronger and better!
15Talk It Out
Fighting is a natural part of relationships. You are two separate people and you won’t always see eye-to-eye and you are sure to have habits that drive the other person crazy. Although fighting is common and natural, how you fight will help you understand if you are in a healthy or unhealthy relationship. If you are in a relationship where you are able to keep your heads when you fight and are able to sit down and talk it out, your relationship is looking good! You have come to a point where you don’t need to have a scream-off session with your partner. Both of you are able to keep a level temper and try to express your feelings and are open to hearing the other out. The simple act of sitting down and discussing your feelings calmly instead of pointing fingers and yelling is a big step in the right direction.
14Hang Out Together
At the beginning of a relationship you can’t wait to see the other person. You count down the hours and days until you will next see their face. Of course, as a relationship goes through time, hanging out can just become another thing to check off the to-do list. If you are in a healthy relationship though, you will find that no matter how many things there are to do that could distract you from each other, you both still want to hang out. There is no obligation tied to it and the realistic want to be with that other person is still there over all this time. If you are the only one feeling the desire to hang out while your partner is making excuses to avoid it, then you may want to take a good look at your relationship! Wanting to spend quality time with your partner is a good indicator of a healthy relationship.
13Respect Each Other’s Beliefs
No matter how alike you both may be (you both like Oreo milkshakes and cheer for the same teams) there will always be differences between two people. You both grew up in different households with different ideals and beliefs. It is important that when in a healthy relationship you are able to respect each other’s beliefs! This doesn’t mean simply avoiding the topic completely and walking away whenever they mention their belief. It means understanding that you are both different and allowing that person their own thoughts and ideas. If you are trying to change your partner’s beliefs to match your own, you do not truly love the entirety of that person. Loving all of them no matter how different they may be is an excellent indicator that you respect each other and are working towards a healthy relationship. Figure out what you both believe and if they are steadfast in those ideals, be willing to accept and respect them!
As time goes along in a relationship, there will be little things become apparent to you. Perhaps they wear socks in their sandals, or they smack when they eat. No matter what the annoyance is, it is important to realize that it is small and insignificant in the larger scheme of things. If you were to focus or discard your whole relationship based on petty annoyances, you know that your relationship wasn’t as healthy as you thought. On the other hand, if you are in a healthy relationship, you will realize that these small things that bug you are just that – small things! You still will love your partner even if they got worse in their habits! Over time you will acknowledge those annoyances but easily dismiss them. The petty things that turned you off will be the last things on your mind, and you love them for who they are – bad habits and all!
11Build Each Other Up
A good indicator of a healthy relationship is figuring out if you can build each other up. Unfortunately, many relationships resort to low blows and rude comments, whether they are done in a sarcastic way or a defensive way. When we get angry with someone sometimes hurtful words can come out without much thinking about it. Names can be called, flaws can be pointed out, and comments can be made that can deeply hurt one another. It happens because you have come to know that person so well over time that they have trusted you with their problems and their insecurities. A healthy relationship is one that uses words to encourage one another and to help them in the tough times that life hands us. You don’t resort to harsh words when fighting and instead you keep the fight just about the fight. The focus is on building each other up and not tearing each other down.
Everyone has their own goals and dreams, and going into a relationship will not change them. Sure, they may alter a bit to include your partner in those dreams, but they won’t just go away. When in a relationship, it is important to realize that you both have goals and they may be different. If your relationship is healthy, you will be aware of what your goals or dreams are and that they both line up. Many couples enter into relationships knowing that their dreams will take them in different directions, but avoid talking about it. When the day comes to follow your passion, the problem becomes that your partner is going another way. Being sure you are both on the same page is an indicator of a healthy relationship. You both know what you want and will be happy that when the time comes to follow your dream, your partner will be right beside you.
9You Have Individual Lives
Being in a relationship sometimes creates the feelings of oneness. You want to do everything together and are lonely when you are separated. This is fine to an extent, but if it gets to a point where you can’t do anything without them, you may be in an unhealthy relationship. A relationship has two individuals in it who are on the same page, and it is important to recognize that sometimes doing things as individuals is healthy. Just because you are together doesn’t mean that you are the exact same person. It is important to know who you are as an individual as well and allow for some time alone. It is very healthy for your own health as well as your partner’s to have some me-time. Get to know you! If you are able to understand that you have individual lives as a couple, then that is a good indicator that you have a healthy relationship!
If you have been hurt in the past, trust may not come easy to you. But over time in a relationship you should be able to trust your partner. If a relationship is healthy, you will find that you can trust your partner with absolutely anything! Whether it is your deepest darkest secrets, your embarrassing stories, or your Netflix password, there is nothing that you would not trust them with. Being unable to trust your partner shows that there is something sticky in your relationship that you need to work on. Perhaps it is your own jealousy, or maybe they have lied in the past. You may have to come to the realization that trust will never be built and then it might be a good idea to look at where the relationship is going. Being able to trust each other is one of the biggest indicators of whether or not your relationship is healthy.
7Two Way Love
They say that love is a two-way street. There can’t simply be all taking or all giving. A relationship is built of two people that need to work together to make it better. You need to be able to give love as well as receive it. If only one of you is giving love and there is nothing being reciprocated, your relationship will become rocky and feelings of anger, exhaustion, or even loneliness can begin to develop. To have a healthy relationship, it is important that you are both putting in the effort and doing the grunt work. Both of you need to be able to love on the other person, support them, and listen to them. Don’t be selfish in your relationship and use your partner as a way to get things done or get things of your chest. Be sure you are there for them as they are for you!
In some relationships, some people may experience jealousy. They have just got this amazing guy all to their own when they notice other girls still trying to get him. The burning jealousy kicks in every time he so much as speaks to another female. Jealousy is often derived from the inability to trust your partner. If he is in the relationship completely, there is no way that talking to another girl would change his feelings. Even if she was to come on strong and make herself available to him, he knows that you are his one and only and is good with that. A good indicator of a healthy relationship is having the feeling of jealousy completely faded. You don’t have to get worried just because another woman is in the room with him. If your relationship is healthy, you will be able to trust him and no longer feel the need to be jealous!
Relationships can sometimes begin with you noticing a problem and thinking, ‘Oh, don’t worry I will be able to change that.’ No matter if it is his extra few pounds that hangs around his belly, or the fact that he shuts down when he gets embarrassed. No matter how hard you may try, there will be things that cannot be changed. It is important to know who your partner is and be able to accept them for who they are! If you are busy trying to change them, you will be unable to appreciate them as they should be. An indicator of a healthy relationship is that you both know that you aren’t going to change the other person. You know that it isn’t important to change them to what you want and instead you realize that you can accept and love them even more for being who they are!
No one is perfect and everyone has a past. Some pasts contain hurts and scars that have not yet faded over time. When in a healthy relationship, you are aware of your partner’s secrets and troubles and are there to support them. That doesn’t mean you are simply nodding as they talk and saying “Don’t worry, you can do it! Just get over it!” It means that you are there through the toughest situations. You are the shoulder they can cry on and the ear that will listen attentively. Knowing their secrets also means that they will stay a secret. You will not only listen to your partner, but also you will do anything they need to help them. You are willing to work together as a team to get them through this difficult time! Knowing their secrets and being willing to support your partner 100% is a good indicator of a healthy relationship!
When you first start off dating someone, you think constantly about what will sound good. Should you reply with a cute laugh? Should you have avoided bringing up wanting to get married? You will over-think every little thing you said and worry about how it sounded to your partner. That is fine when you are still trying to impress them at the beginning, but over time that should go away. When you have finally reached the point of being in a healthy relationship you will realize that you don’t have to worry. You can bring up any topic and not fear that they will judge you. Conversations will become meaningful! You will also be able to have casual conversations and not rack your brain for the next topic. They will become natural and comfortable that you no longer remember that stupid thing you said the other day. Your conversations will be real and healthy!
When you are first with someone, you will most likely find yourself running to your best friend or family member to talk your problems out. Sure, you like your new partner, but you don’t want to bother or share every detail and problem of your life with them just yet. But when you have reached the point where your relationship is healthy you will find yourself running to your partner! He will become your go-to guy that helps you talk out your problems instead of always going to your friend or family member! Sure, those people will still ones you can go to, but your partner will probably know you more intimately over time! You trust them enough to keep it to themselves, and to know what is best for you when giving advice! Your relationship will be healthy when you realize that they are there to help you and support you in anything you do!
One of the most important and obvious indicators of a healthy relationship is knowing that there is no better person out there for you than your partner. If you are with someone and find yourself wondering what it would be like to date that other guy, or thinking that life could be a bit better with someone who was a bit more macho, your relationship may be heading for a cliff! Being in a healthy relationship is acknowledging that you are in it till the end! You are there for that person 100% and would not want any day of your life without them. There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but you don’t need to go fishing any more! You are able to laugh at all those relationships you had prior knowing that you are in a real relationship now. An indicator that you are in a healthy relationship is knowing there is no better and you can’t see yourself with anyone else.