How Do You Know When You're In A Healthy Relationship
How To Know When You Are In A Healthy Relationship
Most of us know our list of red flags, what indicates an unhealthy relationship, or what we simply wouldn’t put up with, but how many of us actually know what a healthy relationship looks like? Would you be able to tell if you’re in a healthy relationship or not?
Whether you’ve never had a healthy relationship before and now you do you’re struggling to see it, or you’ve found someone you think is “the” one and you want to make sure you’re in a healthy relationship, this is the place to be!
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the signs of a healthy relationship (so you can see how many boxes yours ticks!) and we’ll also take a look at why some of us find it so difficult to accept healthy love and what we can do about it.
6 Signs Of A Healthy Relationship
Whilst there are endless signs that would show you’re in a healthy relationship, let’s take a look at the six most common and most important!
There’s Clear and Honest Communication
In a healthy relationship, both partners feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings, and needs in a vulnerable way, without fear of being judged, punished, or treated any differently.
A healthy relationship is one that includes active listening and where both people make an effort to understand each other as much as they possibly can.
There’s no topic too awkward or deep in a healthy relationship: it’s all on the table!
There’s A Foundation of Trust
Trust is an essential and fundamental aspect of a healthy relationship. In fact, it’s the basis of what a healthy relationship is built on.
A deep level of trust is built where both partners feel they can be completely honest with each other and put their security in each other.
Of course, this trust also means that both partners don’t do things that would break trust, such as lying, cheating, or keeping secrets, and they don’t expect the other to do that either.
Both Partners Show Each Other The Utmost Respect
A healthy relationship is built on mutual respect, meaning both partners treat each other with the utmost respect and don’t demean or disrespect each other.
In a healthy relationship, each person’s opinions, perspectives, and emotions are respected and there’s an effort made by both sides to ensure the respect is never broken.
Both Partners Feel Properly Supported
Whilst each individual in a healthy relationship is in control of their own emotions and how they manage them, there’s an underlying level of support.
Both partners understand that the strong partnership they share is built on mutual support and understanding.
Whether that means having that person there at the end of a bad day to give you a hug and chat things over, or having them support you through a life-changing moment, there’s always a feeling that your partner is in your corner and has your back.
There’s Equality In The Relationship
In a healthy relationship, both partners have equal say in decision-making and there is no power imbalance.
Both partners collectively try to break down gender, social, and cultural norms, meaning they both feel like equal individuals in a joint relationship.
Additionally, there’s absolutely no control in a healthy relationship and neither partner feels like they are being controlled or manipulated in any way.
Both Partners Have Independence
Whilst co-existing and being aware of your partner is an important part of a healthy relationship, co-dependence is not.
In a healthy relationship, both partners will have their own interests and hobbies and both maintain their own sense of independence and encourage their partner to do the same.
Neither partner depends on the other more (although one partner may need supporting more from time to time) and each individual retains their identity.
Why do some people struggle with accepting healthy relationships?
Whilst being in a healthy relationship is one of the most wonderful things for someone to experience, some people might actually struggle to be in healthy relationships.
If you have grown up surrounded by unhealthy relationships you’ll assume that’s the norm and you might find it difficult to accept love in a healthy way. The same goes for if all of your previous romantic relationships have been unhealthy or if you’ve only ever received love in unhealthy or toxic ways: you will likely struggle if you get into a healthy relationship.
This is due to the fact that you may have never truly understood or been shown what a caring, healthy, loving relationship actually looks like and instead you think love should be difficult, confrontational, or even abusive.
Therefore, when you experience a truly healthy relationship that feels calm, you might think your relationship is missing something or struggle to come to terms with it.
But, this definitely doesn’t mean that people who struggle to accept healthy relationships will never have successful relationships. There are a few things you can do to move forward and become more comfortable and accepting of healthy relationships…
What can you do if you struggle being in a healthy relationship?
Whilst you might always have wanted a healthy relationship and feel guilty for finding it so difficult now you’re in one, there’s no need to worry - it can get better, promise!
Here are three things you can do if you’re struggling:
Communicate with your partner
The very first thing you need to do is communicate with your partner. Whilst your partner might find it upsetting to hear that you’re finding things difficult, if you truly are in a healthy relationship, you’ll be able to talk openly to them without judgement.
Your partner might be able to help you work through things, or at least be there to support you in working through things on your own.
If you don’t communicate with your partner and you’re finding things difficult you might negatively impact your relationship with them. So, communicate with them straight away!
Work through previous relationship pain and trauma
As already mentioned, one of the main reasons why people struggle with accepting and embracing a healthy relationship is due to having previous relationship pain or other types of trauma.
Therefore, you have to work on these past issues to move forward in the present. If you haven't worked through your previous relationship pain and trauma, it will continue to affect your current and future relationships. By working through any issues you have, you can heal and move on, which will likely allow you to accept your happy relationship.
Seek professional help
When it comes to working through past relationship issues and trauma, as well as working to accept a healthy relationship, it’s very likely that you would benefit from the support of a mental health professional.
Relationship issues, traumas, patterns, and general emotions can be hard to understand and work through. So, heading to therapy or counselling allows you to learn skills and develop a deeper understanding of yourself, which will then help you to tackle whatever it is that’s making things difficult.
Make sure you’re relationship is as healthy as you think it is
Whilst your relationship might display a few of the signs mentioned above, if you are genuinely unhappy in it or find unhealthy patterns playing out, you might not be in a healthy relationship, even if it’s masking as one.
Seek the advice of friends, family, and people you are close to, as well as look deep within, and think about whether this relationship is a healthy one for you to be in.
When you’re truly in a healthy relationship, it might take a bit of work, but you’ll know deep down that’s right for you because it’s built on a fair, loving, kind, caring, equal foundation.
Being in a healthy relationship truly is one of the most special things about being a human - being able to connect with someone in such a kind, vulnerable, trusting way, that’s reciprocated, is wonderful.
So, to all of you in healthy relationships: enjoy!
To those of you struggling with the concept of being in one: you are worthy of a healthy relationship and you deserve that.
To those of you in not-so-healthy relationships: try to put yourself first and find a healthy love (or give that healthy love to yourself), it’s better than the alternative.