So you think you've found the love of your life. Each day, you wake up, eyes clouded with hearts for your partner, excited to spend the rest of your days side by side. But how do you know that you're really in love, or if your honeymoon stage clouds your judgment? Great communication, agreeing to disagree, and respecting boundaries populate a healthy relationship checklist. What else should you look for?
Healthy relationships depend on communication. How are you supposed to coexist if you can't talk to your partner without stakes escalating and tensions running high? Good relationships allow each other to voice their opinions, and each side listens to the other to improve the relationship.
A relationship expert shares a tidbit of advice they overheard. “The only people who would be upset about you setting boundaries are those that benefit from you having none.” Let that sink in. The only people who want to prevent you from establishing boundaries are people you shouldn't give time or energy to.
Enjoying Time Apart
Everyone needs alone time. Even the most popular, extroverted souls benefit from recouping in their own spaces, free of judgment and other people. Those in healthy relationships appreciate time apart from their partner to unwind and enjoy solo activities, so when they return to their partner, their bond strengthens.
Talking to Others About Other Topics
People in love adore bragging about their partner and mentioning their accomplishments to friends and families, but they also speak on other topics. Healthy relationships indicate stability and trust where you don't have to fill every conversation with an update about your partner.
Not Being a Package Deal
Respect your partner's wishes to hang out with their friends, and they will respect yours. As it is healthy to spend time apart, it's also healthy to spend alone time with your friends while your partner fills their time with the friends they knew prior to the relationship.
Nontoxic relationships thrive on jokes and amusement. You have to be able to laugh with your partner. If you can't act like a goofy fool around the person you want to devote your life to, how are you supposed to have any fun? Healthy couples succeed in joking around and carrying out serious conversations when they need to.
Supporting Each Other's Goals
Let's assume one partner wants to fulfill a music career. The other wants to fulfill an art career. The two work together to make their dreams come true, which includes investing time, sharing support, and sticking with them when times get tough. Unsupportive couples would dismiss their partner's aspirations and condescend toward them.
Disagreeing Without Blowing Up
It's natural to have disagreements. In a healthy long-term relationship, partners work together to resolve the problem rather than storing up blame and resentment.
Relationship Repair After Ruptures
It's unrealistic to never have hurt feelings or misunderstandings. In a healthy relationship, partners take time to repair after one of these relationships ruptures – using them as an opportunity to develop deeper understanding and trust as they learn more about one another.
Two people coexisting in the same space need to be able to do so without talking with or entertaining the other person at every waking moment. You'll spend a lot of time in silence with your partner, and it has to feel comfortable.
They Don't Make You Feel Nervous
Romantic partners should not make you feel nervous. Period. Partners should provide sources of comfort when you feel uneasy or uncomfortable. They should not serve as the source of your pain or tenderness. If they are, you probably aren't experiencing a healthy duo.
Wisdom from Long-Term Couples on Relationship Success
Couples who have thriving long-term relationships have learned some things over the years.