How do I know if I have a healthy relationship?
Healthy relationships don't just happen, they are built and both partners must work on improving themselves first as well as the partnership. Here are 10 important characteristics of a healthy relationship:
- Time Together - The very definition of a relationship: "the way in which two people are connected." Go on dates, video chat, and make each other a priority with time.
- Time Apart - It's also healthy to have separate interests, friendships, and hobbies too. You'll both grow as individuals and appreciate each other more.
- Boundaries - Give each other privacy and personal space, and know where you end and your partner begins.
- Safety - Both partners feel safe without any physical, verbal, sexual or emotional abuse.
- Trust - Trust is a key component, and you must be vulnerable. Time to build will vary, but you should be able to rely on each other's loyalty and honesty overall.
- Communication - Open and honest communication while sharing your wants, needs, and feelings - even when they differ from your partner's.
- Managing Conflict - Every couple experiences conflict from time to time, and the key to managing your differences is connecting without insults, name-calling, sarcasm, and other types of negativity.
- Teamwork - A couple in a healthy relationship views themselves as a team, and teams work together - they don't compete against each other.
- Intimacy -Mutually satisfying sexual relationship and the ability to share thoughts, feelings, and needs with one another. Physical and emotional intimacy maintains the connection.
- Commitment - Maintain your commitment with boundaries between your relationship and the outside world. Work to block any "exits" in the relationship with an effort to thrive.
When you hit a roadblock, you work on rebuilding that connection again, which may include seeking therapy or online relationship advice.
Norene Gonsiewski, LCSW
Relationship Coach, Counselor, Author and Educator since 1980