14 Realistic Signs of a Healthy Relationship

Noemi J. Mullins

What makes a healthy relationship? Nick Hornby, a writer, once stated that “it’s not worth pretending that any relationship can have a future” if their record collections are divided violently or if their favorite films don’t even talk to each other at parties.

Although I am not a relationship expert or a therapist, nearly a decade of marriage has taught me that music and movies are not necessarily indicators of a healthy relationship. It can also be a clue as to whether you and your spouse will live happily ever after. Although my marriage isn’t perfect, it’s happy and fulfilling. It has also taught me some things about healthy relationships and what keeps them healthy. These things are not related to musical preferences. I wouldn’t have left my Beatles-loving husband if I had taken his country music. Instead, we have come up with a way to compromise on music and other issues and settled in for the long-term.

These are some of the things I learned that can tell you something about your union and be taken as signs of a healthy, happy relationship.

1. Talk Your Mind

Couples who are able to express themselves honestly and freely will have a better chance of building a relationship. This means that no topic is off limits and you feel heard. A healthy relationship is built on consistent communication.

2. You have your own space

You don’t have to spend every minute together just because you are in love. You can both grow and develop as individuals by taking time to explore your interests and friendships.

3. You can fight

The biggest difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships lies not in whether the couple fights but how they fight. Disagreements are common, so if you don’t fight, it’s likely that you are holding back. Healthy relationships are productive and fair when people fight. This means that you should avoid putting down your partner or calling them names. This means trying to understand your partner and not trying to win points. What if you are wrong? You apologize.

4. As you are now, you should be like your partner and yourself.

Reality is the best way to build healthy relationships. Your relationship will not suddenly improve if you have a baby, win the lottery or buy your dream home. Don’t expect that your relationship will improve. Recognize that neither you nor your partner are perfect. You accept and value one another for the person you are now, not what you might be.

5. You make decisions together

A healthy relationship is defined by the fact that you don’t have all the answers. Neither does your partner. You make decisions together, and you listen to your partner’s needs and concerns. This may mean that you have to watch Transformers on Saturday night again, but on Sunday it’s your turn.

6. Joy is yours

Happy relationships are filled with laughter and joy. It doesn’t mean you are happy all the time, or that your partner isn’t annoying you sometimes. But it does mean your relationship is mostly happy in simple ways. Making dinner together, laughing at each other’s jokes, finishing sentences with inside jokes, etc.

7. You can find balance

Sometimes, your spouse needs to work more hours than you while you are head chef and chauffeur. Sometimes, you have to care for an elderly parent while your spouse takes on the chores. That’s life. It doesn’t matter if your trade-offs are fair in the end.

8. Treat each other with kindness

A healthy relationship is marked by the way you treat your partner with love, respect, empathy, compassion, and appreciation. You may find that you are showing more respect for people you don’t know than you do to your partner. Take a look at your priorities.

9. You can trust each other

Trust and open communication are the foundation of healthy relationships. Do you want to find out how trusting each other is? This quiz is from the University of California Berkeley.

10. You can let things go

You will be annoyed by your partner. They will be annoyed, too. You’ll say things that you don’t mean. You will act inconsiderately. It is important to know how to deal with this. They forgot to get milk the second time. Let them know that you are disappointed and then let it go.

11. You are intimate

While it is important to have a healthy relationship, it is only one aspect. Intimacy is more about bonding, friendship and familiarity than it is about sexual pleasure. You will feel connected in and out of bed if you are in a healthy relationship.

12. Your relationship is your safe place

Your relationship should provide a safety net, a place you can return to at the end. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t fight, but it does mean that you prefer to see your partner when things get difficult.

13. Talk to your partner, not to other people

You should share your concerns and issues with your partner and not your friends at Happy Hour. Your friends will always be there to help you, but not as a way to avoid having difficult conversations with your partner.

14. Say the magic words

“I love you”, “Thanks,” and “I’m sorry.”

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