Relationships are a fundamental part of life, but there are many different kinds. Some are casual acquaintances you might smile at in the hallways, and some are more intimate, like friends who share your hobbies or your love for the same sports team. Whether it’s romantic or platonic, healthy relationships can give your life meaning and support you through the good times and the bad.
There are a few key traits that indicate that a relationship is a healthy one. The most obvious is that you and your partner make each other a priority in your daily lives. This includes not only big decisions, such as career moves or moving to a new city, but also small ones, such as deciding who will pick up the kids from school tonight or where you should grab dinner. Another indicator is that you respect each other’s time and space, with neither of you assuming that the other will always be available. If you find yourself jealous of your partner’s other activities, or resentful that they seem to spend too much time away from you, it’s important to communicate openly about these issues.
You and your partner are on the same page regarding important matters, such as how you handle feelings of insecurity or jealousy and how you’d like to see your lives progress. This is especially important in a romantic relationship, where you’re essentially sharing everything about yourself with someone else. This can be difficult, but it’s vital if you want to be happy in the long run.
Both of you make an effort to talk to each other regularly, and listen to what the other has to say without judgement or interruptions. You double-check to make sure you understand each other correctly, too. Misunderstandings are inevitable in some relationships, but you’re able to work through them together without feeling hurt or confused.
If your partner isn’t a good listener or doesn’t make you feel comfortable, it might be a sign that the relationship isn’t right for you. You may be tempted to keep the relationship going, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to tolerate any behavior that makes you uncomfortable.
A healthy relationship should be a supportive and safe place for both of you to be your most authentic selves. If you’re not feeling that, it might be a good idea to take some time away from the person and see if you can reevaluate your situation. After all, a loving, committed relationship should bring you happiness and enjoyment every day, not just during the good times. In fact, a lack of joy can be a serious indicator of an unhealthy relationship. If you can’t find any joy in the present, it’s probably not worth hanging on to in the future.