7 Signs You Have a Healthy Relationship Even If You Aren’t Sure You Do
The Beatles sang the song “All you need is love.” But in reality, fights, alone time, and disagreements are what actually give relationships strength and character. Although you might feel hurt and start doubting your partner after your first argument, psychologists tell us that these trials allow couples to get to know each other better and ultimately come out stronger.
1. You use “we” instead of “I”
“We are in love.” “We’re pregnant.” Constantly referring to yourselves in the plural can come across as a little weird to others, but it takes a minimum of 2 people to be in a relationship, and psychology tells us that using “we” concretizes the fact that you and your partner now have each other’s backs in the relationship.
According to a study, couples who frequently used the pronouns “I” or “me” in conversations were observed to be in a distant and troubled relationship. On the other hand, using “we” and “us” has been linked to empathy and humility. Using plural pronouns gives reference to 2 people as a couple and not as separate people doing their own thing.
2. You stay you amidst the “us.”
While there is a “we” and an “us” in a relationship, a flourishing relationship is one where 2 people identify as a couple, yet keep their own identity to remain their individual selves. Solo experiences allow you to grow and reflect on your personal life, which can also benefit your relationship and the connection you have with your spouse or partner.
Regardless of the new and different roles you assume in your life, you are still an individual. In order for you and your partner to continue holding on to your identities, you must respect each other’s boundaries, be patient, and constantly communicate. This means giving each other time and space, not only together but also apart.
3. You question each other.
Do you still ask your loved one how they are doing, where they are going, or who they are hanging out with? What might appear as “prying into someone’s life” is actually showing that your care, which helps strengthen your relationship and love, while keeping the romance and intimacy alive.
According to a relationship counselor, loneliness and neglect can come about with work stress, taking each other for granted, and spending too much time on screens. A recommended way to avoid the disconnect is to “check in” on your partner by asking them specific questions about how they feel, what they need, and if there are any conflicts that need to be resolved.
4. You agree to disagree.
Conflicts are only natural in any relationship — and are even needed to maintain a healthy relationship. Disagreeing on certain issues demonstrates that you are 2 different individuals with different viewpoints, yet you still manage to be together and find reasons to love each other.
You may have your own views as separate people, but you must also remember that you are a couple. According to an expert, the key here is to listen to each other without judgment and decide on compromises together. At the end of the day, “working together to find new ways to connect and enjoy each other is what being in a healthy relationship is all about.”
5. You openly talk about bad relationship experiences.
Should you talk about your past relationships and breakups with your partner or spouse? According to psychologists, yes you should, but only about the positive things that you learned from negative experiences. Studies have found that not all breakups are downers because as a person who has gone through losing love, you can learn and evolve from it, ultimately making you a better person.
If you’ve had past traumas in previous years, these are subjects that you can also bring up with your significant other so they can understand you better. Talking about the past and sharing your secrets not only shows that you trust your partner, but it is a gesture that shows them they can trust and open up to you too. It is important to remember that trust is one of the core factors of a healthy relationship.
6. You have set boundaries.
Boundaries must be put in place in order to show your partner both love and respect. According to experts, no healthy relationship exists without having boundaries, which act as the foundation for emotional intimacy. Some boundaries you and your partner can consider are:
- The names you call each other
- Your comfort levels on intimacy and public displays of affection
- Your privacy and space (Which of your belongings are they not allowed to touch? Are they okay with you having alone time?)
- How you act on social media (Are they okay with you posting photos of them? Will you be changing your relationship status?)
7. You leave your kids to focus on your relationship.
Most parents put their all into making sure their kids are well cared for, so when the opportunity for a couple’s day off or dinner out arises it is only natural for them to feel a little guilty about leaving their children in the care of others. But psychologists tell us that partners need to focus on their marriage and relationship first, before their family.
Making time for dates or a couple’s vacation allows you to build a stronger and better connection with each other without the distractions of your family responsibilities, and it allows you to rekindle the feelings and love between the both of you. While leaving your kids with your in-laws or at daycare may appear that you are not hands-on parents, getting a few hours away from them is actually healthy.
What are other relationship taboos that you feel actually make a relationship healthy?