Reviewed by Rashonda Douthit, LCSW
It’s definitely better to know that you’re in a healthy relationship that is going somewhere. You might be concerned about whether your current romantic relationship is healthy or unhealthy. It’s easier to figure out where you stand when you have a proper understanding of a healthy relationship's characteristics. Read on to learn everything that you need to know about healthy vs. unhealthy relationships.
This will give you a chance to learn to recognize positive relationship qualities. You’ll also be able to recognize unhealthy relationship characteristics if they’re present in your relationship. Knowing the difference between unhealthy and healthy relationships will put you in the right position to make changes in your life.
Trust - Build Your Relationship Health
Trust is certainly one of the most important characteristics of a healthy relationship. If you and your partner trust each other deeply, then that’s a sign that your relationship is going well. You shouldn’t have to feel distrustful of your partner when they’re away from you. A lack of trust will be one of the biggest unhealthy relationship characteristics you will have to worry about.
When you can’t trust each other, it poisons the rest of your relationship. It’s hard to even enjoy your time together when there isn’t any trust between you. When one person violates their romantic partner's trust, it becomes that much harder to get it back. For example, you might become distrustful of your partner if they cheated on you in the past.
Past transgressions can be forgiven, and relationships can overcome even significant trust issues. It’s just up to you to decide whether you want to remain in the relationship. You get to determine whether you see your partner as someone that you want to work with to get your relationship where it needs to be. Hopefully, you’re in a trusting relationship already, and this is a characteristic that you were easily able to slot into the positive column.
Communication skills matter more than you might think when it comes to developing a strong relationship. If you aren’t good at communicating with your partner, then you’re going to have a very tough time getting along. Some couples struggle with communication issues because they don’t know how to speak to each other. You can talk to someone without doing a good job of communicating.
Essentially, you need to learn how to talk to your partner so that you can both get on the same page. If you’re already great at doing this, then that’s a sign that your relationship is very healthy. Good communication involves both talking about your feelings and being able to listen to your partner. You have to take the time to understand where the other person is coming from so that things will go right.
It isn’t unusual for people to struggle with communication in some ways. Men having a tougher time expressing their feelings is a common stereotype, but there may be times when there is some truth to it. You can recognize communication problems in your relationship so that you can make things better. If you’re both willing to try your best, then you can become great at communicating as a couple.
Even when you look at many of the most famous quotes about healthy relationships, you’ll find that listening is always important. If you can encourage better communication in your relationship, your relationship goals will be much easier to achieve. Consider taking a bit of time to work on your communication skills as a couple. It could take some time to develop your skills to the right level, but it’s certainly going to be worth the effort.
Ability To Work As A Team
Your ability to work as a team can show the world that you’re a great couple. Couples who are in healthy relationships will learn how to work in harmony quite nicely. This means that you can count on each other because you’ll know that your partner is getting things done while you’re busy with another task. Signs of great teamwork include raising children together well and working to maintain a household properly.
Admittedly, teamwork might not be the first answer that comes to mind when you hear the question, “what are the qualities of a good relationship?” However, you have to think about things in a practical sense. When you’re in a committed relationship, you will be sharing many things with your partner. This often includes sharing a home, raising children together, caring for pets, cooking, cleaning, and so many other things.
Couples good at working together can tackle things without having problems. Lop-sided relationships might not be as healthy as you would like them to be. If one member of the relationship is handling all of the responsibilities while the other is doing nothing, it can lead to resentment. A lack of teamwork is certainly unhealthy for your relationship.
Intimacy is something that you can’t forget about when you’re trying to cultivate a good relationship. Are you intimate with your partner often? If your relationship has a good level of intimacy already, then that’s a characteristic of a healthy relationship. Cultivating intimacy in your relationship can lead to greater happiness levels, and it’s definitely something that you should focus on.
Keep in mind that intimacy can refer to sex as well as general affection. Spending some time with your partner and being physically close is nice. You can watch movies together while snuggling on the couch to enjoy a few intimate moments. If you’re often showing each other physical signs of affection like this, then you’re probably in a healthy relationship. This is especially true if good intimacy levels are combined with many of the other healthy relationship characteristics being listed here.
It’s also good to focus on developing a satisfying sex life with your partner. It can take time for two people to become comfortable with each other sexually. Not everyone possesses an abundance of sexual confidence, and it might be necessary to learn about each other at a steady but comfortable pace. Ensuring that your partner is comfortable with your sex life is a must when you want to have a healthy relationship.
Being willing to be adventurous in your sex life can be a great thing, though. When you have a partner who cares about your sexual satisfaction, it’s going to be that much more pleasing to be in a relationship with them. Strong relationships will generally have very healthy sex lives attached to them. If you want your relationship to remain healthy, then it’s a good idea to put some of your focus on cultivating a satisfying sex life.
Independence might not seem incredibly important at first glance, but it’s actually one of a healthy relationship's great traits. You see, people need to be comfortable with spending time apart while they’re in a relationship. If you have a partner who just wants to dominate your life, it will be tough to make time for your friends or family members. A romantic partner who attempts to monopolize your life and isn’t capable of being independent might not be great for you.
If you’re in a relationship with someone comfortable with spending time apart, then that’s great. This doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t miss you, but it does mean that it’s good that they have their own life. It’s best for romantic partners to encourage each other to pursue interests outside of the relationship. This could mean encouraging hobbies or other activities that someone will enjoy.
You don’t have to do every single thing together, and you’ve probably heard the saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” This is quite true, and a little time apart can be healthy for your relationship. You should still make plenty of time for each other, but it’s good to have days where you both do your own thing.
A Supportive Nature
A good romantic partner is going to be very supportive of the things that you want to accomplish. When you’re with someone who truly loves you, they’re going to want to be there for you during the good times and the bad times. This even means that you can count on a partner like this for support when you’re sad. Your partner will want to be a big part of your support system so that you can achieve your goals.
Sometimes this support might come as an encouragement for you to get help. For example, your partner could suggest taking a relationship health test to see if you might be going through issues. Support isn’t limited to helping you get through mental health struggles or physical ailments, though. It’s also about helping you to be the best person that you can be. Your partner might encourage you to pursue your dreams even when you’re starting to doubt yourself.
If you have a person in your life who is very supportive of you like this, then that is a characteristic of a healthy relationship. One of the telltale signs that help you to differentiate healthy vs. unhealthy relationships is support. Supportive partners are there for you, and they might even be willing to put your needs ahead of their own. Try to be a supportive partner for your significant other.