Everyone deserves to be in a safe and healthy relationship. Not only does a healthy relationship give you peace, but it allows you to grow and reach your potential. Toxic relationships are left, right and centre to the point that healthy relationships are not so common. Besides, many relationship experts are so concerned about spotting a toxic relationship more than actually building a healthy one. Do you know if your relationship is healthy? If you answer yes to most of the following questions then you’re probably on the right track.
Does your partner respect you?
Respect comes in many forms. From keeping promises, keeping boundaries and accepting that you are a unique individual, these are just a few signs that your partner respects you. In a healthy relationship, you both respect the fact that the other person has their own interests, needs and life experiences that are separate from yours.
You don’t have to have everything in common to have a healthy relationship—but you do need to respect each other enough to work together when your personalities or backgrounds conflict.
Does your partner trust you?
Trust in a relationship is a must for a relationship to be healthy. It might seem obvious, but it’s not—the definition of trust in a relationship is always changing. There are many situations which might spark temptations, jealousy or insecurity for partners. Instead of dismissing concerns that a partner raises, it’s helpful for each partner to pro-actively reassure one another with compassion rather than dismissiveness.
Couples should frequently reassure one another that they’re committed to the relationship. This is a bit different than when you trust a partner to keep their word.
Do you frequently communicate with each other?
Listening is just as important in a relationship as talking and as compromising, especially when you feel particularly strongly that you’re right.
It’s critical that both partners feel heard and understood first before they can move on to negotiating a compromise and or making a decision.
Do you work as a team?
Maybe you give your partner feedback on a run-through of their upcoming work presentation and they help you do the dishes even though they hate getting their hands dirty. While division of labour is necessary and inevitable, working (and playing) together improves relationships. In a healthy relationship, you feel your partner is also a great friend who enjoys sharing myriad life experiences with you, both the mundane and the exciting.
Is your sex life satisfying?
This is a tough one, and not just for the obvious reasons (fickle libido, anyone?). It’s important to note that some couples or partners don’t set sexuality as a priority for a partnership. However, if they do, it’s also important that they’re able to talk freely about their desires without fear of shaming, dismissive or disgusted reactions from their partner in response.