There are many different philosophies on what makes a relationship good, but it is hard to argue that having a healthy relationship isn’t an essential ingredient for lasting love, not to mention for the overall wellbeing for you and your partner. If you are part of an unhealthy relationship, it could be toxic to your mental health and begin to take a toll on you physically, so you should recognize the positive signs to look for and know what to do if they’re not there. It might be possible to reconcile with your partner and build a healthier foundation, but you first must be able to take a step back and look analytically at your partnership.
Signs of a Healthy Relationship
Good relationships are not necessarily built on the same taste in movies or activities—in fact, it may be better if you have separate interests and don’t agree on everything. What matters most is that you and your partner have a mutual respect that is evident through:
1. Open communication
Do you tend to find yourself talking to friends and family members about problems in your relationship before going directly to your partner to discuss? This could be a bad sign, since you should feel comfortable speaking your mind and communicating, even when there is uncomfortable subject matter at hand.
The way you communicate is also important. If you never fight, for example, you may be repressing issues that would be better addressed directly. When you do argue, however, you should take note of whether you tend to own up to mistakes or shift blame to your partner and vice versa. Going directly for insults or manipulation in an argument could be an indicator that there is unresolved tension in your relationship.
2. Alone time
You should love spending time with your partner, but this should not be all that you do. It’s important to have positive relationships outside of your romantic partnership, spending time alone with your own friends and family members. Both partners should maintain outside interests and understand the value of spending some time apart.
3. Positive feelings about the relationship
Naturally, a healthy relationship will make you feel good. Feeling happy and giddy around the clock is not practical, but you should generally feel positive about your relationship and spend plenty of time laughing and enjoying time with your significant other.
4. Collective decision making
When it comes to major purchases, career decisions, and other big choices in life, you and your partner should be working together. Otherwise, there is a high chance of resentment later on if a decision is made without input from both sides as well as fair compromises.
5. Active sex life
Every couple is unique, so there is no magic formula for an appropriate amount of intimacy in your relationship, but an active sex life can be an indicator that things are going well.
Can You Repair Your Relationship?
Relationships are complex. They go through highs and lows, and it may not always be clear what the right next step is. That’s why if can be helpful to consult a therapist or counselor independently and with your partner to explore whether you may be able to repair your relationship when there is a deficit of the healthy signs discussed above.
With MeMD’s behavioral health services available through online consultations, you can easily take the first step in getting your relationship back on track or making the tough decision to walk away for the benefit of your health. We can connect you to a licensed therapist within 48 hours, so you will not have to face relationship difficulties on your own.