10 Signs of a Healthy Relationship
I’m no expert on relationships by any means but definitely consider myself experienced in the realm of dating. When I finally landed myself in the most awesome relationship ever, I quickly learned our bond did not occur because the stars were finally in alignment, but because we shared some of the same traits as successful couples. I realized we were not any better or more special than anyone else who found true love. As I talked to friends and family who were either married or in loyal relationships, I developed this list of 10 real-life traits of a healthy relationship.
1 You’re Friends
In order to become friends you must first date and court one another. I don’t put a time limit on this because honestly the quality of time is all that matters. My current beau told me I was his best friend before he ever said he loved me. Being friends means that you can confide in each other, enjoy being around one another and are comfortable in each other’s presence. It also means that you have friend like qualities; you care for each other, like to have fun and can be yourself without judgment.
2 Your Families Agree with your Relationship
I can’t express enough how big of a red flag it is when your parents and close family members strongly dislike your mate. They are people who know you quite well and want the best for you and can sense when someone is not a good match. I’m not saying you should completely judge your decision based off of theirs, but you should at least consider it. Your family should be inviting to your relationship and encourage its prosperity, not doom.
3 You Complement One Another
It is so important to first understand yourself so that you know what kind of partner you need. If you know you’re a planner, but horrible with following through, it will be beneficial to have someone complement you by being an executor. Where you are weak, your partner should be strong and vice versa.
4 You Share Commonalities
This does not mean that you are identical, but it is important that you do share the same interests and sometimes vices. I once dated someone who was antisocial, only had one alcoholic beverage while out, was self-centered, introverted, lacked the desire to build a family and disliked anything from our new generation. After dinner dates and movies, we simply had nothing else to talk about and enjoy! Find someone who wants to experience life with you and is willing to compromise with activities that do not come natural to them.
5 Your Dreams and Ambitions are in Alignment
You have always dreamed of holding three degrees, getting married, becoming a parent, building your own home, owning your own business, joining the NAACP and traveling the world. Seek someone who is just as ambitious. It’s totally awesome to meet someone who not only has your same aspirations but even makes you dream bigger than you ever imagined. In this day and age I think it is totally okay to ask these question on the first few dates! No point in wasting your time!
6 You Both have Personal Goals
Although it is important to have similar aspirations, it is important to still maintain your individuality. Don’t give up something because you are now in a relationship. Keep your short and long term goals and celebrate them together at each milestone. Nothing is more attractive than seeing your partner succeed.
7 You have your own Friends
With number 6 in mind, it is also important that you have positive friends for an outlet. It should not be a struggle or time limit of when and how often you hangout separately, it should flow naturally and you hang out apart and together just as frequently. Plus, it’s awesome when both of your friends get along and you can party together. There is no greater feeling than being able to trust your partner and know they can’t wait to come home to you after a night of hanging out.
8 Your Love is Mutual
You should both love each other to the same degree, miss each other and long for each other the same and show the same amount of affection to the same capacity. Your relationship should not be lopsided where one person is insanely engrossed unless you love them at 100% and they just love you that much more naturally at 150%. There should be no power struggle or a schedule when you contact each other throughout the day, it should just happen naturally and should not become a chore. Your partner should not have to need and depend on you, they should want and desire you.
9 You’re Vulnerable Around each Other
As a woman, I cannot express how secure I feel when my partner is just as attracted to me fresh out the shower with sweats on as well as when I doll myself up and wear 5-inch heels. You should feel completely comfortable to be yourself around your partner without the threat of judgment. You should be able to cry, laugh, express anger or joy, happy and sadness as well as failures and triumphs with your partner. In fact, you should be able to expect constructive criticism, positive advice and being consoled after relaying such information. You should be completely transparent with your partner as this is the foundation of trust.
10 You have an Open Line of Communication
If you don’t have open lines of communication with your partner, how will you know how they feel, what needs to change, what they like, what they dislike, what their pet peeves are, their aspirations, their goals and desires and even their schedule? How can you effectively complement your partner if you don’t know who they are? You should be able to discuss anything with your partner without the threat of breaking up or divorcing. Naturally men and women think differently and it’s not always that you disagree, but you may see things differently. We have to respect people’s way of thinking (e.g. 2*4=8 but so does 16/2). Communication has the power of eliminating insecurities, clearing up discrepancies and reminding you of just how much you do agree with one another. One’s ability to express themselves doesn’t mean you are being a “Sensitive Nancy,” it means you can effectively communicate your thoughts and feelings about situations. Don’t hold back from your partner; they are the very person you should be letting in.
DISCLAIMER: No relationship is perfect! We all experience hard times and have tiffs in our relationships. If you expect perfection, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Learn to embrace the hard times and learn from them to further strengthen your relationship. However I will warn you, relationships should not be that hard either. So if you find yourself fighting more than loving, then please evaluate the effectiveness of your relationship. Not every problem warrants a breakup and not all the drama is worth the stress. Learn your deal-breakers, tolerances and boundaries so you have the tools to be prepared for a successful relationship.