The relationships that we have can have a significant impact on our wellbeing. Healthy relationships are important, because they will help us live an overall healthy life. While no relationship is perfect, there are some key characteristics that should be at the foundation of the relationships we have. In this article, we focus on relationships with a significant other, but these tips can also be applied to any type of relationship.
Trust is an important part of every relationship. Our ability to trust others is usually influenced by our overall attachment style. Couples will establish trust based on how they treat one another. When a partner is dependable and someone we feel safe to confide in, we are more likely to have trust in them. Building trust requires that both parties in a relationship share things about each other. Over time, trust can grow stronger and stronger. If you feel like you have to hide things from your partner, it may be a sign of a lack of trust.
In close relationships, it’s important to have mutual respect for one another and treat each other kindly. There are many ways that partners can show respect for each other. Relationships with respect means that partners offer support and security, rather than demeaning or belittling a partner. With a respectful relationship, partners will listen to each other, build each other up, take an interest in what the other partner enjoys, allow for the other partner to have their individuality, and have empathy for one another.
Honesty is another important quality of a healthy relationship. This doesn’t mean that you need to share everything with your partner. It’s alright for each individual to have their own privacy and space; in fact, it’s a healthy boundary to have. However, each partner should feel comfortable sharing their feelings, hopes and fears with their partner if they choose.
Healthy relationships are also characterized by fondness and affection. The intense early feelings of a relationship tend to decline after some time. It’s normal for their to be changes in affection throughout a relationship. VeryWell Mind explains that the key to a healthy relationship is that both partners are content with the level of affection that they share with their partner.
Lastly, kind and clear communication is part of every healthy, long-lasting relationship. Even some of the healthiest relationships involve conflict, but the key is that both partners know how to argue and resolve differences of opinion effectively through communication.
These five points are just some basic indicators that you are in a healthy relationship. Focusing on these key elements can help strengthen our relationships. While all relationships have some conflicts and bumps in the road, there is a line where relationships can become unhealthy. If you feel like your relationship might benefit from outside help, consider talking to one of our therapists. Eugene Therapy & Oregon Counseling offers couples counseling for couples facing a variety of relationship issues.