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5 Signs You’re in a Healthy Relationship

You and your partner love trying new restaurants together, going on long bike rides, and traveling, but when it comes to being happy and healthy in a relationship, there are other things to consider besides having common interests.

What exactly makes a relationship healthy? “A great relationship is a safe place for both people to love, honor, and respect one another,” says Jennifer Howell, a leadership and relationship coach based in North Carolina. You can communicate your wants, needs, and boundaries, as well as listen to the other person.

A healthy relationship is important to cultivate because the opposite — a toxic relationship — takes a toll on your quality of life by heightening depression and anxiety, impacting sleep, causing you to take up unhealthy habits, and even impacting heart health, says Mary Jo Rapini, a licensed professional counselor in Houston who specializes in intimacy and sex therapy.

Being in a high-quality romantic relationship is associated with greater well-being, according to a study from 2019. But being single was far better for someone’s well-being than being in a less happy partnership, the study found.

What’s more, many couples in unhealthy relationships don’t know that they are, especially if they grew up in a household where it was the norm, says Rapini. So it’s all the more important to be able to identify where yours stands.

Here are nine signs you and your mate are a good match:


1. You’re Not Afraid to Speak UpIt’s easy to know when your partner does something you don’t like — maybe they don’t call you for two days or don’t help out around the house when you live together. But it’s not always easy to speak up and tell your significant other how you’re feeling. “This takes a lot of strength, self-confidence, and courage, because you have to come from a vulnerable place,” says Howell. In a healthy relationship, you’ll feel secure enough to be open with your partner.

2. Trust Is at the Core of the RelationshipTrust is foundational in all relationships, but with social media and always-on gadgets, it can become all too easy to snoop. But in a healthy relationship, you don’t need to do that. In part, that’s because your partner shows you they’re trustworthy. “They’re reliable and available. When they say they’ll be there, they’ll be there,” says Rapini. They also show you they trust you by giving you the freedom and space you need without checking up on you constantly — and that includes checking your phone, she says.

3. You Know Each Other’s Love LanguageMany couples swear by the book The 5 Love Languages for a reason: In it, you discover your partner’s “love language" — the way they prefer to give and receive love (through words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch). In a healthy relationship, you’ve taken the time to learn each other’s “love language” so you can express your love in a way that works for you both, says Howell.

4. You Agree to Disagree on Certain IssuesEvery couple fights. But contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to fix every issue. In fact, it’s okay to have a handful of topics that you two will never agree on. Sometimes, “it’s totally fine to agree to disagree. I think that’s healthy fighting,” explains Rapini. “In healthy relationships, there are at least five issues that are ‘no-talkers.’ They’re the issues that you both differ in opinion and perspective on, and that’s okay.”

5. You Encourage Each Other to Go After Your Goals“Many of us have a dream or vision for our life, and especially as we age, we want to maintain those visions,” says Howell. According to Howell, it’s okay if your dreams don’t align with one another as long as you “honor and encourage each other to achieve your goals.”



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