At some point in our lives, we all dream of being in a healthy relationship with someone we love. But did you know that there are characteristics of a healthy relationship?
That’s right. There are traits that determine what makes a relationship healthy or unhealthy.
Since people have varying needs, a healthy relationship may not look the same for everyone. Your needs surrounding communication, sex, touch, common interests, and more, might change as you continue on through life.
Relationships in general are diverse and carry many qualities. Here are 5 defining characteristics of a healthy relationship.
1. Open Communication
Getting into a healthy relationship requires open communication between yourself and your partner. Being able to communicate effectively requires active listening skills, approachability, confidence.
You should be able to feel like you can tell your partner anything. From everyday life to more serious matters, your partner should listen to you without judgment.
Communication isn’t a one-way street. If you voice your concerns about something and feel heard, then your partner should feel the same way about coming to you with their worries.
2. Physical Intimacy
When you hear the word, “intimacy,” what comes to mind? Sex.
It’s crucial to understand that intimacy does not always equal sex in a healthy relationship. In fact, not everyone enjoys having sex. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a relationship with healthy characteristics.
Intimacy can be a lot of things other than sex, such as kissing, hugging, sleeping next to one another, and even talking about things you enjoy.
If sex is an important role in the lives of both you and your partner, you:
- Are comfortable speaking about sex
- Can handle when the other person is not in the mood
- Feel safe expressing your desires
It may seem straightforward, but being kind is a major component of a healthy relationship. Think about your partner. What do they like to do on a rainy day? What are their favorite snacks? What are their favorite hobbies?
Always staying in tune with the lifestyle of your partner and even surprising them now and then is a true display of your kindness. Thoughtfulness and consideration go a long way.
4. Conflict Resolution
A healthy relationship isn’t all that healthy if conflicts do not arise. Working out the differences between you and your partner is essential if you want to be with that person.
Now, it doesn’t matter that conflicts arise (because they will). What matters is how you respond to them.
By addressing the conflict through active listening, you are showing your partner that you care about resolving the matter at hand.
However, some conflicts can last for a long time. When this happens, it can feel like the relationship is stuck in time and not progressing whatsoever.
If you find that you and your partner are in this situation, check out this couples therapy retreat.
5. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
A strong, healthy relationship can be considered a team because you and your partner both work equally to maintain the shared connection.
Consider your relationship a full-time job. This isn’t a bad thing! It just means that you never give up on loving your partner and showing them how much you care.
These Are the Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship
Now that you know the characteristics of a healthy relationship, take a moment to reflect: How many of them were you already familiar with? How many of them were you unaware of?
It’s important to check in now and again with the status of your relationship. If these characteristics are not present and you generally do not feel good about the connection you share with your partner, this may be a red flag.
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