Relationships are unique experiences. They will vary between couples, and no two are the same. This is one of the true joys of growing and developing a relationship with another person!
The beginning phase of meeting someone and building a partnership with them can feel exciting and almost out of this world. It’s a special time, and one hopefully to be fondly remembered as you grow forwards together.
Relationship health is not automatic. In fact, it isn’t even reliant on attraction. The wellness of our partnership relies on many elements of joy and caring. But what signs can we look out for to be able to ascertain relationship health, and what do they mean?
Here are 7 healthy signs to look out for in your relationship – including the most important one;
“Take all the time you need…”
Allowing your relationship to develop at the pace you’re comfortable with is just one of the ways your partner can show you the respect you deserve. It can also be a significant sign of positive communication between you.
This doesn’t just apply to the beginning stages of the partnership; it can include discussions on when or if to get married, when you’re ready to meet his children from a previous relationship, or even when you’re ready to take a vacation together. Pay attention to your conversations and listen to your own intuition – it can be a powerful informer of how you’re really feeling.
“Have a good time with the girls tonight.”
Healthy, happy relationships are built on trust. You should be able to enjoy time away from one another without the presence of unreasonable telephone contact or ‘checking’ your plans. A healthy relationship should be built upon a genuine belief in the other person, without the need for checking up.
If your partner is comfortable with time away from you, this is certainly a healthy sign. If they are not able to trust you being away from them, then this is something that needs to be addressed.
“I need to talk about my past”
We have all done things in the past that we aren’t proud of, or that we might change if we could. But it’s important to be open with our partner about the elements of our lives that might impact them in the future.
If you and your partner are able to communicate supportively about where you’ve been in life – including the parts you’d rather not face – then this stands you in fantastic grounding for a strong future together.
“What can we do to make this better?”
As a couple you are inevitably going to face challenges at some points – what’s important, is that you are able to work through these hurdles together without either of you feeling you are fighting the battle alone.
If you and your partner are willing and able to face the world as a team, this is a fantastic sign of unity and one to build a strong foundation of relationship happiness upon. You cannot control what life will throw at you, but you certainly can take action to support your partner when the need arises.
“I think you’d be great at that!”
You deserve to explore where your dreams and ambitions could take you in life – it’s a big world out there! If your partner is encouraging you to be all you can be, this is a great sign of healthy behaviour. Every relationship takes compromise which includes consideration of how your choices will affect the other person. But your dreams and goals are worth listening to – you are worth listening to!
“You’re hilarious – I love laughing with you!”
You are a unique, incredible, special person. There is no one on the planet the same as you – and your partner should be able to see the very best sides of who you are, even when you sometimes can’t yourself. Our partners should be there for us to help us to be the best of who we can be. They are on our team, they are our team mates but often our cheerleaders when we need reminding of who we really are. If you and your partner can help to cultivate the very best sides of each other’s character, then this is a brilliant forward motion in relationship health and happiness.
“I’ll be there for you.”
And on to our final, most important sign of relationship health; friendship. No, I’m not asking you to ‘friend-zone’ your partner or spouse. I am referring to the key element that many couples overlook. Many people forget that for a relationship to work, it needs all of the elements of a close friendship. Think about it – would you mistreat your closest friend? Would you take out your bad day on a workmate?
Of course, we are closer to our partner than we are to our friends which implicates a much higher and more acute level of emotion. But at the end of each day, we need to think if we have been a good friend to our partner also. It can be the difference between a healthy, happy marriage and one of distance or unhappiness.
Ultimately, no one ever said relationships were an easy ride. But equally, they can be a true joy in our lives. An experience of sharing life’s experiences with another person while growing together is an opportunity money cannot buy. It is a sacred experience and certainly something to be celebrated. Such a precious gift requires good care taking!
So the next time you close off from a partner, or are tempted to snap at them through frustration, perhaps take a moment and think;
“Am I being a good friend?”
It really could make all the difference.