Ah, relationships and love. The topic on so many people’s minds from the time we’re old enough to have our first crushes (how old were you when that happened, btw? I feel like everyone’s is different and I’m curious to hear your answers!). We all experience romantic connection at some point or another, some of us with multiple people throughout our lives. But how do you know if your relationship is a healthy one that can withstand the test of time? Is your significant other the one, or just another frog to kiss on your journey to finding that person?
If these are questions on your mind, you’ve come to the right place, my friend! I have come up with a super simple list of characteristics that in my journey through love so far I have discovered are SUPER important to a strong and healthy relationship. From the most toxic of relationships to now being with the most incredible man I’ve met (don’t tell him though or it’ll go to his head hehe), I’ve pretty much experienced it all. I hope that by sharing my discoveries with you that you will be able to understand what a great relationship looks like, because you deserve to have only the best! 🙂
1. You both equally value the relationship.
I think we as a society have this idea that whoever cares less in the relationship is the winner. Someone please tell me where this insane idea came from, because up until recently I absolutely believed this one. The person who cares less is less likely to get hurt when it all falls apart, right? First of all, relationships should never be a competition, especially with one partner against the other. That is just asking for disaster. Second, why are we setting ourselves up for failure? This idea basically says that the relationship is going to fail, and you need to be ready for it.
We as a society need to be able to open ourselves up to full experiences more. I feel like we’re so closed off because we’re afraid to get hurt. I’m going to let you in on a secret: getting hurt is one of the absolute most important things you will ever experience. Through it, you will become so much stronger than you ever could have imagined. Then when you find someone who doesn’t hurt you, you will be able to appreciate them that much more! In a strong, healthy relationship, both partners care on an equal level. You both want the relationship to succeed, and you both work towards that common goal. There’s no competition, and there’s a lot less hurt to be had.
2. neither party tries to control or “fix” the other.
If someone wants to be with you, then they need to want you as you are, flaws and all (none of us are perfect!). I have 100% been in a relationship where the other person tried to change me through a lot of manipulation and control tactics. Let me tell you, that was not a healthy situation. It damaged me for years, and I’m still working through some of it and trying to rediscover myself. If someone loves you, they will love you for YOU. They won’t try to change your personality or values. And the same goes the other way around. If you love someone, then you need to love them for who they are in this moment, not who you want them to be.
3. there is open communication and honesty.
Yes, this may seem cliche, but there’s a reason everyone talks about this as being important. Without open communication and honesty, your relationship is built on lies and deceit. Not very appealing, is it? Of course, this may also be one of the hardest parts of a relationship for many people. Nobody likes to talk about the difficult stuff. We all have baggage from our own life experiences that we bring into a relationship. Things also happen within relationships that need to be confronted with open communication and honesty. It is absolutely essential to the health of a relationship to commit to being open and honest with your partner.
4. Both of you have independence.
When we’re in a relationship, it’s incredibly common to want to spend as much time with that person as humanly possible (trust me, I’m 100% this person haha). And of course that’s wonderful! That being said, it is super important for both of you to still maintain your own independent lives outside of your relationship. Whether that be having different friends, doing different hobbies, or whatever else works, that alone time away from your partner is also essential to maintaining a healthy and happy relationship. This is because it’s so important for us to love ourselves and be able to spend time with ourselves.
Enjoying the company of your significant other is one thing, but being dependent on it is actually fairly unhealthy for both parties. Make sure that both of you have time to do your own things, so that you have time to miss each other and can enjoy reconnecting when said activities are complete.
5. you inspire each other to be the best versions of yourselves.
This may be confusing, and I know what you’re thinking: “But Daynna, you just told me to never let anyone change me, so what are you going on about?” and that is a great question! There’s a difference between someone actively trying to change your personality and someone encouraging you to grow to be the best version of yourself. As you can probably see, one is a lot more positive than the other. While we need to be motivated ourselves to grow to our highest potential, it’s also incredibly beneficial to have a partner in crime who can be by your side. In a strong and healthy relationship, both partners work as a team to encourage each other to grow both individually and together.
6. you trust each other.
Trust, trust, trust. Everyone talks about it and how important it is, but how many people are able to fully open their hearts and trust their partners? Granted, this is an incredibly difficult thing to do, especially if you’ve been hurt in the past and have your guard up. That being said, if you can get past it (and your partner hasn’t given you reason not to trust him, which is a whole other story) then you’re opening yourself up to beautiful possibilities within your relationship. Partners that fully trust each other are able to experience each other more authentically and are able to worry less about petty, small issues. Trust is a wonderful thing in a relationship if you can find it in your heart.
7. you deal with conflict in a healthy way.
This is one that I’m even still trying to wrap my head around. In the past, conflict in my relationships has been incredibly aggressive and emotional. It has always been something that I’ve tried to avoid at all costs in relationships. Since starting my relationship with my current boyfriend, however, I’ve come to realize that conflict doesn’t necessarily need to be this scary, negative thing that I’ve made it out to be in my head.
Here’s the facts: if there’s no conflict in your relationship, then someone is consistently giving in, which isn’t a good thing. You are two individual people who have come together to form a partnership, but that doesn’t mean you need to agree on everything. Some conflict every now and then is healthy so long as it’s dealt with in a healthy way. I have found that trying to take the emotion out of conflict has been helpful for me when dealing with issues. Another great tip is to view it as you and your partner vs. the problem, rather than you vs. your partner. This solidifies the feeling of working as a team to get through life together, which makes for a stronger relationship than if you are working against each other.
8. there is balance in your relationship.
In any relationship, whether platonic or romantic, there needs to be both give and take on both ends in order for the relationship to be successful. Have you ever been with someone who expected you to make tons of sacrifices for them but never really seemed to make any in return? If so, how did that make you feel? Probably not great. Any relationship that’s unbalanced in this way can become stressful. Resentment may eventually creep up if the issues at hand aren’t dealt with properly. If you feel like this is the case in your relationship, I would strongly recommend taking the advice from the previous point and having a healthy conversation about what’s bothering you. If you can work it out so that you’re both giving and taking within the relationship, your chances of experiencing a happy, healthy, and strong relationship will be so much better.
9. there are no hidden agendas.
You’re not dating them for their money. You’re not dating them to get to their best friend. There are no hidden agendas in a healthy relationship. You’re both there because you want to be. You both want to be with each other in an authentic way. Yes, this may seem obvious, but how many people do you know who have dated someone to get something from them? I don’t know about you, but I see it happen way more than I would like to. Be with someone who you genuinely want to be with and who feels the same about you. It will lead to a much happier outcome!
10. you have fun together!
Last but absolutely NOT LEAST! FUN! It seems like a no brainer, but I think it’s absolutely worth mentioning! How can you be with someone who you don’t have fun with? Does your significant other make you laugh? Do they go out of their way to do nice things for you? What about just spending quality time with you doing an activity you both enjoy? These are so so SO important to a strong and healthy relationship that will last. The number one thing you need to take away from this entire article: have fun with your partner!
Now I want to hear from you! What characteristics of a strong and healthy relationship did I miss? Let me know in the comment section below. Also, make sure you become one of our lovely subscribers for more awesome content, as well as access to the FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY!!!