There is much more to a great union than sexual attraction and shared interests. How to know if your partnership is healthy or not?
You and your partner love trying new restaurants, going on long bike rides, and traveling together, but when it comes to a happy and healthy relationship, there’s more than just shared interests.
What Really Makes a Relationship Healthy? “A great relationship is a safe space for both people to love, respect, and honor each other,” says Jennifer Howell, a leadership and relationship coach based in North Carolina. You can state your wants, needs, and limits, as well as listen to the other person.
Building a healthy relationship is important because the opposite – a toxic relationship – can affect your quality of life by increasing depression and anxiety, affecting sleep, making you adopt unhealthy habits, and even heart disease. Can also affect health, says Mary Jo Rapini. , a licensed professional counselor specializing in intimacy and sex therapy in Houston.
According to a 2019 study, being in a high-quality romantic relationship is linked to better well-being. But the study found that being single was better for one’s well-being than being in a less happy partnership.
What’s more, many couples in unhealthy relationships don’t even know they’re in it, especially if they grew up in a household where that was the norm, Rapini says. That’s why it’s even more important to identify where you stand.
Here are nine signs that you and your partner are a good match:
1. You’re Not Afraid to Speak Up
It’s easy to notice when your partner does something you don’t like — maybe they don’t call you for two days or don’t help around the house when you’re together. But speaking up and telling your partner how you feel isn’t always easy. “It takes a lot of strength, confidence, and courage, because you have to come from a vulnerable place,” Howell says. In a healthy relationship, you will feel safe enough to open up with your partner.
2. Trust Is at the Core of the Relationship
Trust is the foundation of all relationships, but with social media and always-on gadgets, it can be all too easy. But in a healthy relationship, you don’t have to do that. In part, this is because your partner shows you that they are trustworthy. “They’re reliable and available. When they say they’ll be there, they’ll be there,” Rapini says. It also shows you that they trust you by giving you freedom and space without constantly checking in on you — and that includes checking your phone, she says.
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3. You Know Each Other’s Love Language
Many couples swear by the book The 5 Love Languages for a reason: In it, you discover your partner’s “love language”—the way they prefer to give and receive love (words of affirmation, sounds of quality time, etc.). In a healthy relationship, you’ve taken the time to learn each other’s “love language” so you can express your love in a way that works for both of you, says Howell.
4. You Agree to Disagree on Certain Issues
Every couple fights. But contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to solve every problem. In fact, it’s okay to have some topics that the two of you will never agree on. Sometimes, “it’s perfectly okay to agree to disagree. I think it’s a healthy fight,” Rapini explains. “In healthy relationships, there are at least five ‘don’ts’.
5. You Encourage Each Other to Go After Your Goals
“Many of us have a dream or a vision for life, and especially as we get older, we want to hold on to those visions,” Howell says. According to Howell, if your dreams don’t align as long as you “respect and encourage each other to achieve your goals, that’s okay.”
6. You and Your Partner Hold Separate Interests
“The couples who are most loving are the ones who are able to maintain their interests but don’t blame their partner for not sharing them,” she says. That is, both of you encourage each other to find what they love about themselves. Howell agrees, adding that while it’s easy to adapt to your partner’s habits and interests, over time being too dependent on one another can lead to resentment. “Growing up and investing in yourself builds confidence, self-love, and happiness,” she says.
7. You’re Comfortable in Your Own Skin
Howell says that when you’re in a relationship, it’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you’re confident around your friends but self-conscious at work. Or you know that little things, like your partner forgetting to take out the trash, can turn you off. Being aware of whatever your strengths and weaknesses are can help you reach a point of loving and accepting yourself, which in turn can help you love and accept your partner. .
8. Boundaries Are Honored and Respected
A healthy relationship means both of you are on the same team. “In a healthy relationship, both parties discuss and agree on important topics that are meaningful to each other,” Howell says. She gives the example of budgeting for something big like a vacation. An unhealthy In a relationship, an unhealthy-partner is not helpful.” Don’t respect that goal, and they may sabotage it by pushing you to do something unnecessary. If you can talk about it with your partner and they accept and understand your limits, that’s a good sign, notes Howell. “However, if your partner repeatedly disregards your values, including your boundaries, then it is worrisome,” she says.
9. You Feel Happy and Supported
Once the initial excitement of a new relationship wears off, check in with yourself: Do you feel happy and supported by your partner? How is your mood and self-esteem? If you feel any tension or a lack of support, talk to your partner – it’s a healthy thing to do.
Feeling unhappy in a relationship can lead to health issues. According to a 2015 study that looked at nearly 5,000 adults over the age of 50 who were partnered, having regular negative interactions in a relationship increases the likelihood of suffering from depression and anxiety, and here Even linked to suicidal thoughts, the likelihood of a relationship dysfunction increases. Stress of the day. On the other hand, strong partnerships protect people when they are in the midst of a crisis—just when they need someone with them.
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