Relationships are an important part of our everyday life. Whether it’s at work, at home, at school, wherever we are, we need to interact with other people. Relationships help us to develop and mature as social beings. They can make us they can also break us. There are some relationships that can have a negative or positive impact on our lives.
Here are 7 signs of a healthy (romantic) relationship:
• Reciprocity. A healthy relationship should be give and take on both sides. Each partner contributes and benefits equally in the relationship. If you find that you seem to be always sacrificing and spending more time/resources than your partner and it makes you feel overstretched, then you should begin to evaluate your relationship. There are some people who are naturally very giving and compassionate, that’s their gifting and they don’t having a problem contributing more than their partner. But if you’re in a relationship and you feel taken advantage of and imposed upon, then you need to have a discussion about a more healthy reciprocal balance.
• You are Valued. Each person should feel respected and important to the relationship. Each partner should feel special by the other. Their feelings concerns and opinions are respected and valued. They do not feel ignored or neglected. Each partner is allowed to be themselves. No one feels like they are being controlled or being forced to be someone they’re not. Both partners should respect and understand that they can not change the other by force or continual fault finding. Each partner should be appreciative of the others contributions and gestures (gifts/acts of kindness).
• Boundaries are Respected. Every healthy relationship should have boundaries. Boundaries are basically our personal limits of demarcation for privacy, confidentiality etc. Your partner should be aware of your boundaries and respect them and vice versa. If your partner is always breaking your boundaries (e.g. opening your letters or taking your personal things) even though you’ve called them out on it several times, you need to reevaluate your boundaries or relationship with them.
• Good/Effective Communication. You should be able to express yourselves without fear of being ridiculed or ignored. You should feel comfortable in the relationship and that your partner will not ignore or invalidate your feelings/emotions or opinions, but respect the difference of opinions even if there’s no agreement. You should be able to converse without it ending in an argument most of the time. If there is conflict or a grievance, you don’t both avoid discussing it and just ignore one another indefinitely but are able to resolve it in a timely and respectful manner. Listening is considered one half of communication: you feel that you are being listened to and you are also a good listener.
• Empathy/Love. I believe this is essential for every relationship. In order for a relationship to be healthy, there should be empathy. Empathy is the awareness or identification with others thoughts, attitudes, and needs. There are genuine feelings for one another, each is emotionally invested in the other. When one partner is hurt or is going through some trauma (emotionally or physically) the other partner exhibits genuine compassion for their feeling/emotions and vice versa. There is a willingness to try to alleviate any pain they’re going through and provide comfort. Each partner is ready to give up their time to take care of their partner’s needs because they genuinely care for them.
• Forgiveness. Your partner is able to forgive and let go of any grievances they have against you. They are not bitter and resentful and keep bringing it up at every opportunity, making you feel guilty over and over again. They are not vengeful and looking for the opportunity for ‘payback’. But they look for opportunities to repair the relationship.
• Honesty/Trust. There should be a level of trust and honesty in a healthy relationship. As the saying goes, ‘Honesty is the best policy’. Dishonesty undermines the relationship and breeds mistrust. Constant lies and deceit will damage and destroy the relationship. The relationship becomes shallow and false because you can not trust the others actions or words. A healthy relationship is when you both can tell each other everything and anything.