10 Tell-Tale Signs You Are In A Happy And Healthy Relationship
Given the representation of romantic love in pop culture, it can be hard to know for sure whether particular relationships are working well.
Whether you’re wondering about a partner you already have or just wanting to get a better sense of the type of dynamic you want to aim for when manifesting a new relationship, it’s good to think more about the signs that suggest you are in a happy and healthy relationship. Here are ten of the most common.
1. Consistent Respect
One of the most significant and empowering parts of a healthy relationship is mutual respect. This ensures that most parties feel valued. It also provides a strong and stable foundation that makes it possible to exercise autonomy and deal with any conflicts that come up.
There are lots of simple, everyday ways to show each other respect too. Examples include:
- Thanking each other.
- Showing interest in one another’s days.
- Truly listening to each other’s feelings.
2. Shared Time Together
Even if you and your partner have different careers and hobbies, it’s so important to have at least some time devoted to simply enjoying one another’s company.
You don’t necessarily need to have fancy dinners or plan anything very intense. Even just taking walks together, curling up to read books or chatting over a cup of coffee helps you to stay connected and emotionally intimate.
3. You Don’t Just Watch TV
An important amendment to the above sign of happy and healthy relationships is that shared time should at least partly revolve around direct interaction. Sometimes, couples can fall into a rut where they only spend time alone watching TV, focusing attention outwards.
If you ever worry that you’re spending too much time on television, have a chat about more direct ways of spending time together.
4. Small Gestures Of Love
Sure, sometimes big gestures are good for relationships, such as nice pieces of jewelry and surprise trips away. However, the most intimate gestures, the ones that really keep a healthy relationship going, are the small but meaningful ones.
Think to do a chore your partner hates, giving them a cup of coffee in the morning, leaving a nice note for each other and so on.
(TIP: For more inspiration and ideas, check out our list of kind acts you can do for a loved one today.)
5. Physical Closeness
The physical closeness involved in a happy and healthy relationship isn’t just about sex! It’s also about cuddling, kissing, sharing massages, holding hands and such. All of these types of interactions prompt your brain to release oxytocin (sometimes called the “love hormone”). This cements a strong bond, reduces stress and provides a foundation for lasting commitment.
6. “Good Arguing”
It might sound counterintuitive to say that happy couples are good at arguing, as perhaps you think that an ideal relationship doesn’t involve any kind of significant conflict.
In truth, all couples will fight at times. The trick is to ensure that this is managed as effectively as possible.
For example, listening to each other in spite of feelings of hurt or anger is part of “arguing well”. Plus, being able to trade mutual and sincere apologies (rather than holding grudges) is also vital.
7. Keeping in Touch
It’s great for couples to have their own hobbies, interests, and friends, and sometimes this might involve spending large parts of the week in separate locations.
Staying in contact during these times is a sign that your partner is still important to you and is consistently on your mind. So, this approach to keeping in touch is a good sign of a healthy relationship. Little texts, short phone calls or Skype calls can all go a long way.
Therapists sometimes talk about something called operational intimacy. This is something that develops between two people who are working as a team.
This can manifest in many different ways but is necessary for a long-lasting, harmonious relationship. For example, you might see it in the way you parent, how you plan vacations or the way you do the housework.
As mentioned above, happy couples are able to have somewhat separate lives at times. This is essential to maintaining your individual identities, and also to stay interesting to each other!
In the early days of love, it can be tempting to lose yourself in your partner and in what you share. However, this isn’t sustainable, as it leads to a loss of separateness that eventually undermines rather than supports a healthy relationship.
10. Confidence In Your Uniqueness
Finally, just as having a healthy relationship with yourself requires that you be able to drop comparisons to other people and feel satisfied with who you, so too do good romantic relationships require a realization that this is a unique dynamic.
Happy couples are able to judge their life together by their own standards, not focusing on what others assume or expect their relationship to be like. What matters is that the relationship works for you.
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