Are you in a healthy relationship? Do you know how to distinguish between unhealthy and healthy relationships? Not everyone understands what a positive relationship is and what signs to look out for that indicate your relationship isn’t good. Knowing what a good relationship looks like will help you to develop closer bonds and longer lasting partnerships for a happier future.
Why You Need a Healthy Relationship
Most people crave connection and relationships with other people, whether these be romantic, friendly or otherwise. But not all relationships are beneficial. An unhealthy relationship can have more of a negative impact that having no significant relationship at all.
Especially when it comes to romantic partnerships, such as marriage, many people fall into the trap of thinking that traits which are not healthy are the signs of love and devotion. It is important that everyone understands what a healthy relationship looks like so you can avoid harmful partnerships in your life and strive to improve the relationships you do have.
The Signs of a Healthy Relationship
Every healthy relationship will feature open lines of communication between each partner. Communication is the key to sharing your thoughts and feelings, working through conflict, and showing respect for and interest in your partner.
However, not everyone is equipped with strong communication skills. It is perfectly common for couples to lash out at each other, to find it hard to talk about difficult topics, or to argue about petty things to avoid real issues. None of these mean your relationship is unhealthy, but it could mean that you and your partner need to work on your communication strategies to better share the way you are thinking and feeling.
Without a strong foundation of trust, a relationship is unlikely to last. Trusting your partner means being able to rely on them. It extends further than fidelity or being faithful within a relationship. Trust also means believing your partner when they make you a promise, having faith that your partner is always in your corner, and being certain that you are both on the same page when it comes to your relationship.
Feelings of uncertainty within a relationship can lead to stress and a sense of vulnerability. When trust is broken, it is not easily rebuilt and typically requires transparency and commitment from both partners and usually the assistance of an experienced couples counsellor. potentially counselling.
Couples will vary widely in how physically affectionate they are with each other. Even over the course of a single relationship, touch and intimacy can wax and wane. However, all healthy relationships require a level of affection, whether this is expressed physically, emotionally or otherwise.
Small gestures such as holding hands, kissing and hugging can make a big difference to the way a person feels loved, comforted and secure in their relationship. It reminds your partner that you care about them and are attracted to them.
Respect is a crucial element in a healthy relationship. If one partner does not show respect towards the other, the relationship cannot continue successfully, and can even become abusive. Respect means showing an appreciation for the other person’s point of view, valuing their time and opinions, and avoiding any action that may invalidate or belittle them.
A healthy relationship means treating each other as equal partners and showing respect. It means remembering that both people have a valid opinion on important decisions.
Finally, a healthy relationship will grow and evolve over time. Even for people who have been together for decades, a partnership cannot remain stagnant with no changes. It is important that you let your partner explore new things, change in their interests and goals, and pursue new opportunities. It is also important that you feel free and able to do these things yourself.
By allowing each other the space to grow and change, you are both becoming healthier and better versions of yourselves, which creates a strong relationship in the long term.
The Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship
Lack of Boundaries
Boundaries are a crucial part of any relationship. Even within the closest partnership, all individuals need their own boundaries and some room to be themselves.If your partner pressures you to act in a way that you’re not comfortable with, and makes it unpleasant or scary for you if you do not do as they want, it may be a sign that you are in a controlling relationship and you may need professional help and support to recognise this.
If your partner attempts to control you, it’s a sign of a deeply unhealthy relationship. Respect means allowing your partner the freedom to explore new interests and live a life that doesn’t centre around you. Controlling behaviour can be frustrating and even dangerous.
Every couple will have issues and differences that don’t always get fully resolved. We call these Perpetual Problems and these make up the majority of issues for couples with around 69% of problems in long term relationships being perpetual. Other issues are usually resolvable by the couple and aren’t reappearing problems. It is healthy to have differences from your partner, it is how you both manage the differences that is important.