Do you sometimes wonder whether you’re in a good relationship or not? In all honesty, you’re likely to already know.
A healthy relationship works only when all parties are invested similarly in the relationship. Be it in a monogamous, polyamorous or an open relationship.
Of course, a healthy relationship differs across couples in different stages of our lives, but the overarching attributes remain the same.
So what makes a good relationship?
Results from a study of 11,196 couples, revealed in the Stylist1, found that the quality of a relationship is in the relationship characteristics (perceived partner satisfaction, commitment, affection etc) rather than the individual characteristics of each person (income, age, personality etc).
The study suggests that the relationship we build is much more important than who we choose as a partner.
All that time that you’ve spent on perfecting your dating profile or the number of times you’ve swiped left because a potential match is too short. These individual partner characteristics aren’t what matter in a good relationship.
“The dynamic that you build with someone — the shared norms, the in-jokes, the shared experiences — is so much more than the separate individuals who make up that relationship”Samantha Joel2, the study’s first author and the director of the Relationships Decision Lab at Western University
9 signs of a healthy relationship
Here we explore 9 signs of what makes a happy, healthy relationship.
- Open communication – You talk about what is on your mind, including vulnerable thoughts and feelings. You find a way to communicate and compromise to resolve conflicts and stresses that are bound to arise throughout your relationship.
- You’re able to be yourself – You’re both comfortable in each other’s company and don’t need to tiptoe around your partner. If your partner wants to change you then this may be a red flag.
- You bring out the best in each other – You grow together and react positively when your partner receives good news. You support each other in a number of ways.
- Spending quality time together – You take the time for each other and try new things together, away from work and other easy distractions. Time spent connecting with each other especially in unfamiliar territories will help maintain a quality relationship.
- Spending time apart – You allow each other to do other things such as pursuing your own hobbies or spending time with friends and family separately, which can improve a relationship. Time spent apart will allow you to miss your other half and also find new ideas to bring into and help grow the relationship.
- Share similar relationship goals – You both have the same vision of your life together. For example, if one person wishes to get married but the other doesn’t, this is something to discuss early on in the relationship.
- Show appreciation and affection – As relationships become longer, showing affection and appreciation for your partner usually diminishes. Continue to show affection daily and be intimate (hugs, cuddles, kisses, sex etc) with respect.
- Trust – You feel safe in your relationship, not just by trusting that they won’t cheat or lie, but also trust that they won’t physically or emotionally abuse you.
- Happiness – Being in your relationship makes you happy. You laugh together and together enjoy the small things in life.
If you’re not doing these already, then hopefully this has given you some ideas of where to build your relationship.
The main thing is to choose a relationship that is right for you from the start. Don’t just settle with someone who you find attractive. If you see red flags at the beginning, address them if you want to be in a relationship that lasts.
- 1 Stylist (4th August, 2020): What makes a successful relationship
- 2 Inverse (27th July, 2020): Landmark study on 11,196 couples
- Featured image: Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash