Tell me this, can you spot a healthy relationship? Of course not. The two people you know are in a relationship might be happy just on the outside. Good relationships don’t happen overnight. They take commitment, fidelity, compromise, forgiveness and most of all — effort. The easy part is falling in love, textbook style. The challenge for couples is how to rekindle the sparks of romance from time to time and cultivate the mature, forgiving, trusting love that is the hallmark of a lasting and healthy relationship.
We must all remember the tale of Cinderella who found her Prince Charming, fell in love, then got married and lived happily ever after! Well, no one ever told us what happens after they live happily ever after. Nobody talks about the work that it takes to maintain the love, the romance and the newness, once things start to wear off. Nobody knows what really goes on between a couple, but decades of scientific researches into love, sex and relationships have made us aware of a few checkpoints to know when a couple is on solid ground or headed for high troubled waters. Sue Johnson, a clinical psychologist in Ottawa says that “the secret to loving relationships and to keeping them strong and vibrant over the years, to falling in love, again and again, is emotional responsiveness.”
Why is it important for relationships to be healthy?
Relationships are, not surprisingly, vital for health, and there are lots of studies on the biological processes that account for the link between a healthy relationship and your overall well-being. Unless you’re a wrecked ship on a deserted island, you ought to enjoy a handful of close relationships. From spouses to friends, to children, parents, siblings and your significant others, a healthy relationship can help build up your self-esteem, improve your mental and emotional health and help you live a fuller life. It also has an enormous impact on your physical health and human conduct.
This article will tell you 10 pragmatic signs of a healthy relationship and teeny weeny things you could do to keep that speck of love alive. So, keep reading.
- Being on the same page- The foremost thing that makes a relationship bloom is similar ideologies and ways of life that do not clash. Here you have to make sure that you are not only reading the same book but are on the same page! Being at par in terms of aspirations and basic values will help decide the things you both know you want out of life, your common goals and are firmly committed to achieving these together.
- You trust each other- Trust is the core of any relationship. Without it, the relationship will be shaky and will eventually fall apart. Trust means you can rely on your partner, can confide in them at all times and feel safe with them. Engage in open conversations with your partner, discuss everything- the good, bad and the ugly, listen actively, admit your mistakes and try to efficiently resolve the issues. Having trust in a relationship is reassuring, it helps you heal the hurt, be vulnerable and overcome varied obstacles together.
- You didn’t lose yourself- Unlike friendships, couplehood holds a much greater chance of “I” becoming “We”. Seeing each other daily while in a relationship, living together and the courtship turns you into a unit. Compromise ensues, and sooner or later you realize that you now never make a decision without taking your significant other into account. Now, hold onto that thought, if you want to love others the right way, you have to love yourself first. Don’t lose yourself just because you found someone else, embrace, value and indulge.
- It’s not suffocating- Just because you’re in love, doesn’t mean you have to spend every single moment together. Relationships should make you feel exhilarated and not trapped. Taking time to pursue your own interests, pacts and friendships keeps your relationship fresh and gives you both the opportunity to grow as an individual while you’re growing together as a couple.
- You let things go- Relationship requires you to put in efforts which can at times lead to mistakes. It is human nature to make mistakes. Your partner is going to annoy you. You will annoy him or her, too. You will say or do the thing you don’t mean to. You will be inconsiderate at a few stages. The important thing is how you two deal with all this. So they forgot to pick up groceries on their way back home from work? Tell them you’re disappointed, of course then just let it go.
- Living in the reality- Knowing what is now is more significant than what ought to be. Healthy relationships are based in reality. True chances are - your relationship won’t get better, all of a sudden if you win a lottery, have a baby, or move into the house of your dreams. Don’t base your courtship on the hope that it will change to be better someday. Accept that neither of you is perfect, realize the value of each other for who you are right now and not what you might become.
- You are truly happy- Healthy relationships are full of fun and laughter. This doesn’t mean you’re giddy every hour of the day or that your partner doesn’t drive you crazy and make you mad, but it does mean that your life together is mostly happy in the simplest ways. It could mean the smallest gestures like making dinner, doing activities together, laughing at the same things, finishing each other’s’ sentences, giving space and making the relationship not seem like a tedious task.
- Speaking your mind- Your mind is your most treasured characteristic. When you share your thoughts, you are sharing this aspect of yourself with someone, you are revealing the most unique part of yourself which can make you feel vulnerable. There is a feeling of closeness you get when you know someone, so sharing your thoughts gives you the opportunity to grow closer with someone. This is the best part of speaking your mind out to your partner, it cuts right to the core of who you are as a person and makes you want to believe your boo.
- You two are intimate- When someone says the word "intimacy," what's the first thing that pops into your head? Sex, right? Sex is an integral part of any relationships, but it’s not the only part, intimacy has a lot more to it. Intimacy is less about physical satisfaction and more about bonding, friendship, closeness and familiarity. A healthy relationship makes you feel connected both in and out of bed.
- You fight- I know this sounds absurd but bear with me here, disagreements are normal, so if you aren’t fighting, chances are you’re holding it all back. But when people in a healthy relationships fight, they fight productively to resolve the issues, avoid nasty arguments and prolonged put-downs. It also means striving to understand your partner instead of trying to score points to prove yourself right. And when you’re wrong? Just apologize. You need a tiff once in a while to balance out the feelings of pink and spring.
If the above signs are present, the Congratulations! You’re in a thriving healthy relationship. If not, don’t worry I’ve got you covered. Below are a few ways that will help you rekindle the love and get things back on track
- Fall in love with yourself first. Make yourself a priority.
- Embrace the differences. Accept your significant other as they are.
- Don’t get fixed on something. Let it go.
- Try to communicate more and resolve issues.
- Indulge in activities that you both enjoy.
- Be a good listener.
- Shake up your sex life.
- Do not be the “Fix it all” or go about giving unsolicited advice.
- Take a break. Plan out a getaway together.
- Be realistic about the highs and lows. Come on, its life.
A shared love of food or your favourite football team will help you enjoy the tiny moments but will do very little when it comes to a long haul. Trust your own instincts and trust each other. Try creating a safe space to work and grow together. Find peace in each other and even on your own. Relationships do not come with a guarantee or a list of steps to follow to make things picture-perfect. We are all unique with our own quirks and flaws. the above-mentioned areas will help you target the issues and find chances to resolve them.
Now go and tell your partner how lucky you are to have them in your life. Go!