Am I in a Healthy Relationship?

What does it mean to be in a “healthy relationship”? This is a question that has been discussed for decades and will continue to be discussed for decades to come. Every relationship is different, and the idea of a “healthy relationship” has to be tweaked for every unique couple. Although there are many factors that are different for every couple, there are many core factors of being in a fulfilling, rewarding, uplifting, and loving coupling with another person or people. Here are some relationship tips that you may want to establish with your partner to better your communication with each other:


1. Speak Up. If something is bothering you, it’s best to talk about it instead of holding it in. If you're hesitant to reach out to your partner, think of the reasons why you feel this way, and address them in your conversation if possible.

2. Respect Each Other. Your partner’s wishes and feelings have value, and so do yours. Let your significant other know you are making an effort to keep their ideas in mind. Mutual respect is essential in maintaining healthy relationships.

3. Compromise. Disagreements are a natural part of relationships, but it’s important that you find a way to compromise if you disagree on something. Try to solve conflicts in a fair and rational way. You do not have to be in alignment in all ways of thinking to be energetically aligned as a couple.

4. Be Supportive. Offer reassurance and encouragement to each other. Also, let your partner know when you need their support. Healthy relationships are about building each other up, not putting each other down. This involves being mindful of your partners hopes, wishes and dreams; of their opinions on different topics and interests that may not be shared by you.

5. Respect Each Other’s Privacy. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to share everything and constantly be together. Healthy relationships require space. Many people need their “me” time and this does not go away when one enters into a relationship. Co-habitating can be one alternative. Having set days to just be, on your own, is another alternative.

Even with these aspects maintained and refined, it is still very important to respect each others boundaries. Boundaries are an important factor of every relationship that is typically overlooked when one becomes a couple. When established from the beginning, the boundaries that you and your partner(s) set should allow you to do all of the following:


1. Go out with your friends without your partner. This further develops trust, and the necessary continuation of your respective individualities.

2. Participate in activities and hobbies you like. Restriction, whether imposed, or self imposed, is not healthy, and any loving relationship should offer support of the things you enjoy, even if your partner cannot or will not enjoy these things with you.

3. Not have to share passwords to your email, social media accounts or phone. This establishes the correct version of trust vs the other kind; where if you have nothing to hide, you're a good lover. Convert feelings of jealousy into feelings of mystery and desire for your partner.

4. Respect each other’s individual likes and needs. While you may both share a living space together, and have learned to compromise certain aspects of home life, the things you're passionate about and that light you up are unique and need to be respected and honored as you would have your own treated.

These aspects are important in the happiness of your relationship and show healthy trust and a mutual understanding between partners. Now, we cannot discuss healthy relationships without talking about their opposite. Unhealthy relationships come in many shapes and sizes, meaning that it is never clear-cut. Your partner can be obsessive, emotionally abusive or even physically abusive. Some of the signs and red flags for abuse, narcissm, gaslighting, etc. are hard to catch when you're so in love with your partner but they are incredibly important to be aware of. An unhealthy relationship can lead to depression and ptsd amongst other issues. Some people base relationships on control and power rather than equality and respect. People who do this lead the relationship in a negative direction. If your relationship has you concerned please consider these points:


1. Understand that a person can only change if they want to. You can’t force your partner to alter their behavior if they don’t believe they’re wrong. Even if they do change, if forced, it will be accompanied by feelings of resentfulness, and possibly self righteousness in imposing a change on you, leading to a vicious cycle. They have to see that this is something worth working on, in their own words.

2. Focus on your own needs. Are you taking care of yourself? Your wellness is always important. Watch your stress levels, take time to be with friends, get enough sleep. If you find that your relationship is draining you, consider ending it. A relationship should be something that enriches and adds to your life.

3. Connect with your support systems. Often, abusers try to isolate their partners. Talk to your friends, family members, teachers and others to make sure you’re getting the emotional support you need. Remember, our advocates are always ready to talk if you need a listening ear.

4. Think about breaking up. Remember that you deserve to feel safe and accepted in your relationship. If your partner is respectful of you they will grant you the space and be respectful of the new boundaries that have been established as well as any cords that will be cut.

If you think that you are in a dysfunctional coupling, seek help immediately and end the relationship as soon as possible. It is better for your own safety that you get out for your safety and be able to correctly evaluate choices and patterns so that your next relationship will be a happy and loving one.

If you are in a healthy relationship, remember that relationships are give and take and require a lot of work and effort from both sides. When your relationship is healthy and both sides are reciprocated, being in a loving relationship can be one of the best things in the whole world. It can also be a challenge; it would be easy if one side were always in control or one person always in charge of certain activities, but both parties need to be present and mindful, dancing and weaving with the changes that life presents.

In the following TED clip Katie Hood highlights five signs of unhealthy love as well as everyday things that you can do to maintain relationships that are built on respect, kindness and joy.

Read the full article for more insights here: