The top 15 signs of a healthy and happy relationship
Do you want to have a healthy, strong, harmonious and easy relationship with your loved one? Focus on these 15 signs and analyze your relationship.
The signs of a good healthy relationship are not always easy to spot early in a love affair.
Just because the sex is amazing or you both like to travel doesn’t mean your relationship is healthy or strong .
Healthy relationships involve signs of commitment, self-awareness, and empathy. They require constant care, forgiveness and open communication.
But it doesn’t happen overnight. A healthy relationship is never a work in progress, a daily job that you both willingly do.
Of course, we enter into a loving relationship first because, well, we fall in love. And attached to these powerful, chemically conditioned feelings are more practical desires for friendship, emotional intimacy, and feelings of belonging and security .
Being in a relationship is a good thing. People in serious relationships live longer, are generally happier, and tend to accumulate more wealth . But if that’s true, why are relationships so complicated? Why do we argue, humiliate, and give up on the one person we should love the most?
Is your relationship healthy?
You go through serious driving training and spend years studying in school to prepare for a career. But there is no expected or necessary training when it comes to the most important part of our lives – our loving relationships.
No one teaches you how to be a good partner or how to maintain a healthy relationship. Most of us jump into relationships like blind fools, convinced that love will conquer all.
You are lucky if you had good role models in your parents. But even then, your particular relationship has its own nuances, problems and unpleasant situations. Once the initial infatuation passes in a new relationship, you are left with few skills to overcome those rough edges and maintain the vitality and joy of the bond between you.
Over time, partners find themselves in different corners of the room, frowning at each other from afar. Certainly you didn’t dream of this when you first looked at him or her, when your heart melted with infatuation.
The relationship itself is a living, breathing substance that you have to nurture and care for every day — beyond your own individual needs or frustrations. If you want signs of a healthy relationship, you both have to work at it. Such care cannot be one-sided and cannot be neglected.
What’s in this article:
15 signs of a healthy relationship
So what do the signs of a healthy relationship look like? They may vary from couple to couple, but there are some universal signs that in all true relationships are happy, healthy and strong.
You make the relationship your top priority.
Undoubtedly, your marriage or partnership is the MOST valuable part of your life. If it isn’t, then it should be. If you prioritize, your love relationship should come before your work, your hobbies, your parents, and yes – even your children.
As a couple, you are the centerpiece of your family and if the couple is not strong, your family is not strong.
The sign of a healthy relationship is when both partners make the relationship their top priority in life. These cannot be empty words.
If you and your partner reinforce and demonstrate this commitment through your daily, even hourly, efforts to maintain a healthy and thriving relationship, then your couple has that first sign.
You are communicating openly and constantly.
You make a habit of sharing emotions with each other every day or every few days to keep you connected.
Both people feel safe and free to express their fears, frustrations and upsets, and both feel motivated to find a solution or compromise if necessary.
Each of you expresses your feelings openly and kindly, without resorting to passive-aggressive behavior, manipulation, or resistance. You don’t hold your emotions back or hide them under the rug to avoid conflict.
In fact, confrontation is not part of your communication style. You each feel compelled to put things back on track because of your love for each other and the deep value of the relationship itself.
You create emotional intimacy.
Emotional intimacy is the closeness that the two of you share. You feel free and secure to express your fears and vulnerabilities without shame or humiliation.
You have a high level of trust, transparency and openness based on your love for each other and years of experience together.
Emotionally intimate couples can share their deepest secrets and can express the depth of their feelings for each other. In this context, both man and woman feel fully accepted, respected and worthy in the eyes of their partner.
Emotional intimacy can be fostered by becoming better acquainted with one’s feelings, needs, fears and desires . To have this sign of an intimate healthy relationship with another person, you must understand yourself, walk the path of awareness.
Emotional intimacy also requires that you spend time together, away from everyday stress and distractions.
You create sexual intimacy.
Emotional intimacy is a sign and foundation of a healthy sexual relationship, and this combination creates a deep connection between two people.
When you have emotional intimacy, you are free to express your sexual desires – and you are willing to fully give and receive your partner’s desires.
Sex is not just physical pleasure or relief from stress, but rather an expression of your deep love and intimacy . Emotional intimacy creates an atmosphere for play, exploration, and complete safety in bed.
You attract each other sexually, mostly physically, but you can also do so with the confidence of a deep shared emotional connection. This is an important sign of a healthy relationship.
You spend time together.
You can’t grow a relationship without spending time together. This time is more than just being in the same house or spending time together with the kids.
You have to prioritize just the two of you. Sharing time together is a sign of a healthy couple relationship. You need space to enjoy each other’s company, share interests and experiences, and have fun.
Many relationships fall apart because partners mostly live separate lives. Everyone has their own interests and responsibilities, and they don’t have time to spend together.
They let the demands of life fill their time and then realize that they have nothing in common and have little to say to each other.
If you don’t have common interests, find ones you can enjoy together . Or get out of your comfort zone and pursue one of your partner’s interests. Don’t let work, children, or other entertainment take precedence over this important time for the two of you.
You speak kindly.
What words and tone of voice do you use with your loved one? Do you sound aloof, irritated, sarcastic, or demeaning?
If you care about this person, talk to them in a way that shows that you really care about them. When we feel stressed or depressed, it’s so easy to lash out at the person. If you do this several times, your words will cause deep wounds and undermine the intimacy of the relationship.
Always speak affectionately to your loved one, even if he or she will speak unkindly to you. Easy, pleasant and natural speech is a sign of a healthy relationship. There is more power in your words than you can imagine.
You are gentle with each other.
Non-sexual touching, such as hugs, holding hands, kissing and cuddling, is a vital sign of a healthy relationship for a couple.
Studies have shown that couples who regularly experience physical affection are happier and more satisfied with their relationship. They also recover faster from conflict.
If you want to have a healthy relationship, try to show more tenderness to your partner several times a day .
Over time, you will feel more affection and create a deeper emotional connection with your loved one.
You inspire and support each other to get better.
You offer this support not only through your words, but also through your actions. You show your man or woman that you want him or her to succeed. You are helping your other half to achieve goals and dreams and certainly not undermining the goal your partner is pursuing through your jealousy or indifference.
Each person genuinely wants the best for their loved one and tries to do everything for it. You see the positive qualities in each other and reflect them. Become a muse and a support for your partner. Focus on the positive qualities in each other, do not focus on the shortcomings and mistakes. In no case do not allow humiliation of each other.
Timely support is a sign of a healthy relationship.
You take each other for who you are.
You know this person from beginning to end. You have seen his strengths and weaknesses. You know his character traits and behavior. You see your husband/wife or partner as a person worthy of your respect and acceptance, not as a reflection of you or an extension of your ego.
One of the signs of a healthy relationship is not trying to change who a person is or how they act in the world . You may demand a change in behavior or discuss priorities or decisions, but you never try to control or shape the person into who you think they should be.
You like each other.
A strong, healthy relationship has such an important attribute as friendship. You simply like this person you live with. Signs of a healthy relationship are when you make plans together, you laugh together, you have things to talk about, you enjoy spending time with him.
You can honestly say that this person is not only your lover, life partner and second parent – he or she is your best friend .
You are quick to smooth over the cracks.
Does a relationship always have to be easy to be healthy? Of course not. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship.
Disagreements and resentments are inevitable in even the best relationships. But it’s how you deal with those cracks that makes all the difference in strengthening a strong bond between a man and a woman.
You may have to wait until your anger subsides and you can both communicate calmly. Never delay reconciliation after conflict, discuss the problem, express your needs and find a solution .
There is no need to hide the problem or wait several days (or weeks) to get rid of the disagreement between you.
Speed and ways to get out of a conflict situation is a good sign of a healthy relationship.
You are looking for ways to show your love.
Once the initial phase of infatuation is over, it’s easy enough to cool down toward your partner. Flowers stop showing up, and little love notes no longer appear in your purse.
Once you remove these small commitments to each other, it’s actually a good time to show your partner how much you love him or her.
Complacency leads to boredom and feelings of resentment. Resentment can lead to a loss of respect and intimacy. Don’t be shy about expressing your feelings. This sign of a healthy relationship relies on people continuing to fill their connection with creative gestures of appreciation and affection so that the connection will always remain fresh and exciting.
You practice active listening.
How many times have you or your partner tried to talk when the other was looking at the phone or otherwise distracted?
During conflict, how often do you think about what you want to say while your partner is always saying something?
Active listening requires more than just hearing your partner’s words. It involves listening with empathy – putting yourself in your partner’s shoes and trying to see the situation from their perspective.
Reflecting to your partner that you understand what they are saying and the meaning of the words is also a sign of a healthy relationship. You acknowledge that you really heard what was said without objection or argument.
In a normal conversation, this means putting down the phone (or looking away), looking at your partner, and talking to him or her about the subject.
You give each other space.
Just because you are a couple does not mean that you are no longer individuals with your own needs, interests and boundaries.
A healthy and easy relationship has those characteristics when both people honor and respect each other’s identity . When it comes to your space, you each have different needs, but you work together to find a balance that works for both of you.
A compulsive or passionate relationship is unhealthy. Both people should feel confident and comfortable without co-dependency, which in turn makes the relationship fresher and more interesting when you are together.
You have fun together.
Life is a serious business that takes up most of your time. Because of work, kids (if you have any), politics and bad news, it can be hard to carve out time or energy for fun.
But remember your first meetings, how much fun you had together? You didn’t care what else was going on in the world or in your own life. You just wanted to be together and laugh.
The fun may not be as spontaneous as it used to be, but healthy couples make time for it. You don’t have to plan an elaborate outing. Grab a couple of water pistols and get down to business. Or turn on some music and dance in the kitchen .
If you’re laughing and having fun, it’s good for your intimacy and connection.
That’s what a healthy relationship should be.
We’ve listed the ideal signs of a healthy relationship, but we don’t suggest perfection. You can see what a healthy relationship should be, but it takes time and commitment.
As you consider these 15 signs of a healthy relationship, think carefully about your own marriage or partnership and how healthy it is.
- Where do you see yourself and your partner in each of these signs of behavior?
- What can you do to improve your connection and intimacy?
Invite your husband (wife) to read this article and discuss the signs of a healthy relationship. Discuss the changes you both want to make to improve your relationship.
Remember that in order for a healthy relationship to flourish, both people must be emotionally mature.
If your partner resists or you feel that you don’t want to improve the relationship, it may be time to visit a psychologist who can help you sort out any issues between you and make a plan to make your relationship stronger, closer and happier .
What a relationship should be like
How many people there are, so many possible options for the relationship between them. And very few people know how to build them correctly. So often men and women get together quickly, and also quickly dispersed or suffer together, but they can not separate. And what should be the relationship? For partners to be happy together, their love union must be healthy.
What is a healthy relationship?
What should a healthy relationship be like? The simplest answer to this question is that people in a healthy relationship are happy together, but can also live joyfully and fully without each other. But a short explanation is not enough, because healthy love unions have 15 specific attributes:
Acceptance of both your partner’s virtues and flaws is the very first sign of true love. This, in turn, means that the relationship is on a healthy path. Acceptance is the absence of attempts to “fix” the partner, to adjust it to oneself and one’s ideas about him or her. After the acceptance stage, the union is built between two real people with their own strengths and weaknesses. This is how a relationship should be. Everything that happens before this stage can be called idealization, which is normal only at the very beginning of acquaintance, at infatuation.
It is impossible to imagine love and a healthy relationship without trust. And it’s not about extremes, where people give access to all of their accounts, forward correspondence with others, and report on their every move. It’s about a lack of fear: to open up, to express feelings, to ask for help, to show weakness. Also in a normal love union, a woman and a man trust each other in making decisions and believe in mutual fidelity.
6. Willingness to care
Caring is not just about words, but also about actions. This is one of the main opportunities to show your warm feelings towards your partner. How does caring manifest itself in deeds? This is, for example, buying the right thing for your loved one, offering to help, even brought a cup of coffee or tea. The most important condition in a healthy relationship: caring must be sincere and mutual.
What should a relationship be like? In ideal love unions, people support each other, and one can always rely on the other under any circumstances. How else could it be? After all, life is unpredictable and people are not omnipotent and sometimes find themselves in critical situations. Help can be emotional (motivating and encouraging words, empathy, hugs, etc.) and material (deeds, actions, money, etc.). If one partner is unable to support the other, what kind of healthy relationship can we talk about? After all, this is their foundation.
Unfortunately, absolute understanding is utopia. But in a good relationship, both men and women should have the desire to achieve it. For this it is necessary to talk a lot and calmly explain your point of view, feelings, the reasons for behavior. Only in this way, gradually, partners learn to recognize and understand each other.
10. Motivation to self-development.
In a healthy relationship, people feel a strong need for their own development. They want to move mountains, to reach personal or professional heights. Hence the answer to the question, “What should relationships be like? They should inspire, make people better, motivate them to do something useful. If partners shine, look good, develop and feel generally happy, it indicates the beginnings of true love.
13. Shared activities.
People in a couple don’t always have the same interests and hobbies. But in order to build a good relationship, partners must have something in common. It really helps to rally together and be one team. Therefore, it is good when a man and a woman, despite the difference in interests, find a common cause or hobby. Such a relationship can be called healthy.
So what kind of relationship should be? All of the above suggests that they should be based on mutual exchange. If you have a match on all counts, you can rest assured that there is true love between you and your dearest “soul mate. And your relationship is without a doubt a healthy one. It is true that such unions are very rare, so you probably did not have all the items matched. And from the following list, there shouldn’t be a single item in your relationship.
What shouldn’t be in a relationship?
If perfect couples don’t exist, why can’t there be at least one toxic trait in a relationship? All because everything is interconnected: one point flows from another, spills over into a third, etc. Toxicity is a poison that gradually kills the relationship. That’s why there shouldn’t be any in a couple:
Violence comes in several forms:
And all this can be expected from both men and women. Violence has no gender. If at least one type of violence is present in a relationship, it certainly cannot be called healthy.
Episodic emotional “outbursts” – the norm in any relationship, as long as they do not turn into a regular “roller coaster. How does it look from the outside? Partners behave inconsistently and impulsively. For example, today they adore each other, and tomorrow they are on the verge of breaking up. The situation may be completely different, but the meaning is the same – there is no constancy, calmness, stability in such a relationship. And this is not the norm.
A ban on personal space
In a bad relationship, there is no room for personal space. What does this mean? More often than not, one partner forbids the other to be alone with himself, put passwords on gadgets, go away for long periods of time, etc. Sometimes it happens with the help of manipulation: for example, it demonstrates resentment or sadness if the other person wants to go somewhere or read a book, watch a movie alone. In any case, the lack of personal space indicates the development of an unhealthy relationship.
In an unhappy relationship, there is control over almost every move. Partners may tell each other how to dress, who to talk to, what job to take, what pictures to post on social media, etc. But the point is that one adult can’t control the other. That’s only normal in relation to children. That shouldn’t happen in a good adult relationship.
Melt into each other
It is only normal at the beginning of a relationship to “dissolve” into each other, forgetting about everyone and spending all your free time together. This is a normal stage of the rapprochement of two people in love. However, in an unhealthy relationship, this stage does not end. In such a case, psychologists talk about the development of co-dependence, which gradually destroys all important areas of the partners’ lives.
The alarm bell in the relationship is ignoring or glossing over problems. In any couple, sooner or later there are misunderstandings, disagreements, interests clash. If partners are silent, trying not to raise painful topics, problems only accumulate. This usually leads to emotional outbursts or complete indifference, which may be a defensive reaction of the psyche to chronic stress.
If partners are afraid to talk about their emotions (fears, anger, sadness, guilt, resentment, etc.), it indicates that they are closed to each other. In such a couple, each one is alone with his or her own thoughts and experiences a deep sense of loneliness. Healthy relationships are built on the opposite principle.
It is impossible to imagine a union of two loving people in which there is constant competition. Such a relationship is more reminiscent of a struggle than the coordinated work of a “love team.” What can competition lead to: who is cooler, who has a better car, who earns more, etc.? Only to mutual envy and, as a result, to dislike. And this, of course, is not how a relationship should be.
Another sign of an unhealthy relationship is dating not a real person, but a made-up image of him. Idealization involves not accepting the shortcomings of the other, but ignoring them completely. There can be no intimacy in such a couple, because people do not really know each other.
What should a relationship be if there is indifference in it? Nothing. And the thing is that indifference is a clear sign that the relationship either never began, or died as such. Sometimes people date each other despite their lack of mutual feelings. Sometimes they stay in a couple when all emotions have passed. But none of these situations can be called healthy. When indifference appears (or feelings for the person don’t even arise), the whole point of the relationship disappears.
Manipulation can be overt as well as subtle. Most people manipulate each other in one way or another without even realizing it. A sign of a bad relationship is regular manipulation that destroys a person’s personality. Typically, one partner tries to subjugate the other in this way, making them dependent on themselves. And, of course, this indicates that the relationship is toxic.
What a relationship should be like you now know. And what should not be between two people who love each other, you also know. What’s left to know is, how do you build and maintain a healthy relationship?
How to build and maintain a healthy relationship?
Getting to know each other and starting the dance called “relationship” is easy. It becomes difficult when the partners don’t get on the beat and don’t know what actions to take. To avoid getting into such a situation, follow psychological advice:
Everything starts with yourself. You can’t hate yourself, blame yourself for any lapse, feel insecure and expect your partner to treat you differently. Instead of constant self-criticism, learn to support yourself, appreciate, take care of yourself, see your strengths. This will help you love yourself. And it’s safe to say that your partner will start treating you the same way, too.
Remember the beginning of the relationship
Think back with your partner what you were like at the beginning of the relationship. You probably had romance, you looked great coming out on dates, showing off your best side. Yes, of course, then you saw more of each other’s images, and now you know all the flaws. However, this does not mean that there is no need to show your most beautiful sides. Try at least sometimes to arrange a date, make gifts, say compliments.
Do not strive to remake your partner
You remember that the main condition for the development of a healthy relationship is acceptance. So get rid of thoughts that your partner is imperfect in some way. Of course they are. But your task is to understand and accept the negative qualities and not try to destroy them. If need be, the person themselves will try to change (but this is inaccurate).
Loyalty must be kept, first and foremost, to yourself. But from this comes fidelity to your loved one as well. If you are together and are going to build an ideal relationship, then your values are already the same. And this means a similar view of treason. If you both believe that the relationship should pass without them, then you should adhere to this rule and not break it.
Learn to trust.
If you’ve had a habit of constantly controlling your other half, it’s time to get rid of it. Checking accounts, texting, calling, snooping, etc. says more about you than it does about your partner. As you remember, there is no room for pathological jealousy in a healthy relationship. It’s better to talk to your loved one at the slightest suspicion than to torment and torture them with your hyper-control.
It is necessary to respect the person not only when things are calm, but also in moments of intense emotion. Under no circumstances should you do the following (if you want to maintain a healthy relationship):
- recall past grievances;
- threaten to break up.
What you can and should do: be “here and now”, let your partner speak, keep a calm tone, take a pause if emotions take over. With these simple rules, your relationship will not turn into a painful hell for the two of you.
Try to give genuine caring attention to your loved one. As you already know, this can manifest itself even in little things. Sometimes it’s enough to ask how your partner is feeling and your mood, but it’s better to do something for your partner on a regular basis. If you think this is an unnecessary element of the relationship, then think: it is in whose interest to create all the conditions for a comfortable life of a loved one? Who else but him/her will have a good time?
Active listening is the best thing you can learn to finally understand your partner. After all, it depends on this solution to problematic issues. How do you learn to hear and listen to your loved one? To do this you must:
- Wait until your partner finishes his thought;
- Do not interrupt, even if you really want to speak out;
- Do not second-guess and not to finish phrases for a man;
- To specify from time to time, if you have understood the partner’s words correctly
- Use common sounds to confirm careful listening (e.g., “uh-huh” or “uh-huh”).
Expressing emotions openly
Another overly important skill is the ability to recognize and communicate your feelings to your loved one. Speak your emotions openly, transcending the fear of rejection and non-acceptance. If you want to build a serious and healthy relationship, you will have to show your weaknesses from time to time. Relationships from this only benefit, because people become truly close, accepting the most vulnerable sides of each other. The main thing is to start your sentiment phrases with “I.” For example, “I’m feeling right now…” / “I’m feeling right now…” You can use this rule when figuring out conflicts, too, so you don’t start mutual accusations.
Set clear personal boundaries.
Not in the literal sense of the phrase, of course. You don’t have to draw circles around yourself or build additional walls. It’s enough to indicate to your partner in a heart-to-heart conversation what is unacceptable to you. For example, how much time you want to spend with the man, whether cheating in your relationship that you do not like sex, etc. You can even have more than one such conversation. The main thing is that the partner understands what personal boundaries he should not cross. The same thing your loved one needs to do in relation to you.
Find common interests
As you already know, you and your partner should have something in common, something interesting for both of you. Maybe you’ll start a tradition of reading books together and then discussing them. Maybe every weekend you will go out in nature. Or create a common business with shared responsibilities. The options are many.
Recommendations will only help if you and your partner work on the relationship together. If both efforts do not bring results, or your partner refuses to do anything at all, it makes sense to see a psychologist.
So, what should a relationship be like? To summarize, we can especially emphasize the word “love. It is at the core of a healthy relationship. However, you can’t go far with just one feeling. It must be expressed in some concrete way. For example, through active and mutual actions. That is why the importance of motivating people in a couple and their willingness to change is so often stressed. If all of this is there, then the likelihood of building and maintaining a relationship with a partner is very high.