Healthy relationships reveal the best in you and should make you feel good, both physically as well as spiritually. A healthy relationship does not mean a perfect one because, after all, no one is 100% perfect.
But what does a healthy relationship mean, exactly?
Well, it depends.
They do not look the same for everyone, because people have different needs. Everyone’s needs in terms of communication, sex, affection, personal space, hobbies, or shared values can change throughout life. So, a relationship that worked at the age of 20 may not work at the age of 30 or 40.
Although different, healthy relationships have some common characteristics.
Communication is the key
Relationships thrive when couples can express themselves freely and sincerely. This means that no subject should be banned or considered tabu and both partners should be heard equally. Consistent communication is vital to building a lasting life together.
It is important that both of you are on the same wavelength when it comes to the direction in which the relationship goes, but also when we talk about how quickly it moves. In a healthy relationship, you don’t have to feel rushed or pressured.
Without trust, it won’t work
Trust is one of the most important characteristics of a relationship. Without it, there is no solid foundation on which you can build your emotional intimacy. Without trust, you will find yourself in a constant state of insecurity, where you will wonder if you can really rely on your partner.
There are many ways to build and rebuild trust in a relationship. Trust involves honesty and integrity. Don’t keep secrets from your other half, no matter how “ugly” they may seem.
Independence is essential
Having space to be your own person, outside of the relationship matters a lot. Your partner should support your hobbies and relationships with other friends, family and co-workers. It is completely normal not to share absolutely all aspects of your life with your soulmate.
Independence means being free to make your own decisions and give your partner the same freedom. Healthy relationships are best described as interdependent.
Interdependence means that you rely on each other for mutual support, but you also keep your personal identity. In other words, you are there for each other, but you do not depend on one another to meet all your needs.
Quarrels are normal. If you don’t fight for your ideas, you may always be the one to take a step back. When we talk about healthy relationships, couple fights should be productive and fair. That means avoiding insults. It also means trying to understand your partner, instead of always trying to be right. When you’re wrong, you apologize.
Conflicts are normal and common parts of any relationship. Everyone has misunderstandings, but that’s okay! A healthy conflict means recognizing the problem and approaching it in a calm and detached manner, before it becomes a big mess.
Peace and joy
Healthy relationships are full of laughter and fun. This does not mean that you will have fun 24/7, or that your partner does not annoy you from time to time. At the end of the day, you will realize that your life together consists of more happy moments than stressful ones.
To cook dinner together, to laugh at each other’s jokes or simply a hot coffee brought to the office on a cold day – in a relationship it is about finding pleasure in the small moments and maintaining the state of happiness as much as possible. It is also very important to hear, as well as to say the magic words: “I love you!” or “I’m sorry!”
Intimacy often refers to sex, but not always. Not everyone enjoys or wants sex. Physical intimacy may involve kissing, hugging, or sleeping together. As long as you are both on the same page, then your relationship is a healthy one. Regardless of the type of intimacy you share, however, physical contact, in one form or another, should exist.
What other characteristics make a relationship healthy, in your opinion?