What Makes a Healthy Relationship?
Hopefully, you and your significant other are treating each other well. Not sure if that's the case? Take a step back from the dizzying sensation of being swept off your feet and think about whether your relationship has these seven qualities:
1. Mutual respect. Does your partner listen when you say you're not comfortable doing something and then back off right away? Respect in a relationship means that each person values who the other is and understands — and would never challenge — the other person's boundaries.
2. Trust. It's okay to get a little jealous sometimes — jealousy is a natural emotion. But how a person reacts when feeling jealous is what matters. There's no way you can have a healthy relationship if you don't trust each other.
3. Honesty. This one goes hand-in-hand with trust because it's tough to trust someone when one of you isn't being honest. Have you ever caught your partner in a major lie? Like they told you that they had to work on Friday night but it turned out they were at the movies with friends? The next time they say they have to work, you'll have a lot more trouble believing them and the trust will be on shaky ground.
4. Support. It's not just in bad times that your partner should support you. Some people are great when your whole world is falling apart but can't take being there when things are going right (and vice versa).In a healthy relationship, your significant other is there with a shoulder to cry on or to be there.
5. Fairness and equality. You need to have give-and-take in your relationship, too. Do you take turns choosing which new movie to see? As a couple, do you hang out with your partner's friends as often as you hang out with yours? It's not like you have to keep a running count and make sure things are exactly even, of course. But you'll know if it isn't a pretty fair balance. Things get bad really fast when a relationship turns into a power struggle, with one person fighting to get his or her way all the time.
6. Separate identities. In a healthy relationship, everyone needs to make compromises. But that doesn't mean you should feel like you're losing out on being yourself. When you started going out, you both had your own lives (families, friends, interests, hobbies, etc.) and that shouldn't change. Neither of you should have to pretend to like something you don’t, or give up seeing your friends, nor drop out of activities you love. You also should feel free to keep developing new talents or interests, making new friends, and moving forward.
7. Good communication. We all know how many different meanings the little phrase "no, nothing's wrong" can have, depending on who's saying it! But what's important is to ask if you're not sure what your partner means, and speak honestly and openly so that the miscommunication is avoided in the first place.
Having a Healthy Relationship
Some questions you can ask yourself:
- What kind of relationship do you want to have?
- If you’re in one, how would you describe your boyfriend/girlfriend?
- Respectful and honest
- Fun and caring
- Loving and affectionate
- Jealous and sometimes mean
- Manipulative and dishonest
- Violent and abusive
Relationships can be complicated and can have some elements of the things in the list above.
Ask yourself these questions:
- If they get jealous, do they also try to control who you talk to and see?
- If you argue, how often do you do this? What are the arguments about? Do they call you names when you argue?
- Have they ever grabbed you to stop you from doing something?
- Do they tell you how to dress?
- Do they tell you who it's ok to be with?
- Do they call you to find out where you are and who you're with? Tell you to break plans with friends or family because you have to be with them?
- Do they tell you what to eat, what not to eat or how much to eat?
- Have they ever broken any of your things when they've been angry?
- Have they ever threatened to hurt you or someone you care about?
- Do you walk on eggshells around them? Do you think before you speak or act, to make sure you don't make them angry?
If you recognize any of the things above as describing your relationship or that of a loved one (including a friend), please know that:
- It is abuse.
- You are not alone.
- It can stop.
One of the most beautiful things in this world is being in a loving, caring and respectful relationship. Everyone deserves this, including you, never accept anything less.
If you or someone you know needs help or just wants to talk, give us a call 24/7 at 1.877.382.1888.
We can help.