Love is beautiful, love is kind, love is caring, love is understanding and as we all know, love is never having to say ‘I’m sorry.
But if you’ve ever been in love, then you would know that ‘never having to wait to say ‘I’m sorry” is a lot closer to the truth. However, it is not enough to just be in love and in a relationship, the type of relationship matters too.
It is only when you’re in a functional and healthy relationship, that you’ll understand the true meaning of love. Granted, there are different kinds of love but for the purposes of this post – I mean ‘romantic love’.
A healthy relationship can be characterized by many signs but for simplicity’s sake, here are five simple ways to know if you’re in a healthy relationship or not.
You Don’t Hide Your Feelings
A healthy relationship starts with honesty. If you find that you can freely talk about your feelings with your partner then this is probably a good sign. It’s even better when you can express your feelings freely.
You can get angry, happy, sad, excited or whatever without worrying that it’s too much for your partner or might scare them away. A lot of people get in relationships and become afraid to tell their partners when they upset them because they think this might drive a wedge between them.
So if you don’t have this problem, congratulations, your relationship is healthier than most.
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You Make Decisions Together
If you don’t make all the decisions alone or your partner doesn’t make all the decisions alone and impose them on you then you’re onto something healthy.
Regardless of the choice, whether it’s where to have dinner or how many children you should have, you listen to each other’s objections, opinions and concerns and then make healthy choices based on all the factors. From the small things to the big things, if everyone’s opinion is taken into consideration then you’re in good hands.
You Trust Each Other
There are no two ways to explain this one but unless a relationship is built on trust – there is no way it can succeed. Trust is the most necessary foundation for building healthy relationships.
When you trust each other, you allow each other to grow in the relationship. When there’s trust, you don’t become overbearing or paranoid and most of the actions borne out fear are avoided – this only allows actions borne out of love to push the relationship forward, hence, making it a safer and healthier relationship.
You Are Each Other’s ‘Safe Place’
Your relationship should be your ‘safe place’. The first person you want to talk to at the end of a bad day should be your partner, he/she should also be the first person you want to talk to when something good happens to you as well.
No one is saying things have to be perfect here, all that is being said is just – everything should be better with your partner around, not the opposite. Your partner should be able to make you feel better when you’re having a crappy day.
However, if your partner is the reason for your unhappy day…or you’re dreading to go home after an awful day because you know your partner will make it worse, then maybe your relationship is probably not as healthy as you think.
You Have Your Own Identity
In a relationship, people tend to become so involved in being a couple that they forget what its like to be single. They get too invested in being a ‘we’, that they are no longer are capable of being an ‘I’.
Things get really messy when you become too focused on how you push your relationship further and not yourself. You give up your hopes and dreams, your time, your independence as well all because you’re in a relationship. If this happens then you’re currently in an unhealthy relationship.
However, if you’re capable of still making time out to do the things you love like hanging out with your friends, taking an art class or writing class then you’re relationship might actually stand a chance. A little separate identity never hurt anyone.
Besides, having a separate identity while in a relationship is a good way to keep things burning hot as you both will never run out of things to talk about or things to share with each other. Couples too involved in each other’s lives have a tendency of fizzling out sooner rather than later.