Everyone talks and fixates on the signs of a failing relationship and any red flags present.
So much so that we often overlook the good signs – the waving green flags that indicate everything is going swimmingly between you and your partner (even if it doesn’t feel like it).
And you’d be surprised to know that recognizing a genuinely happy and healthy relationship can be just as challenging.
So if you admit that you’ve fixated a little too much on the negative in the past, settle in and get ready to explore the 10 signs that you do have a genuinely happy and healthy relationship:
Who knows – you might discover that your relationship is even better than you thought!
1) Consistent and honest communication
One of the first and most indicative signs that you’re in a genuinely happy and healthy relationship is the level and quality of communication between you and your partner.
And no, that doesn’t simply mean talking.
Because we can talk and talk and talk, and say very little. As counterintuitive as that sounds.
Instead, it’s about feeling wholly comfortable in sharing your thoughts and feelings – even when they’re a bit controversial or uncomfortable to open up about.
It’s about knowing that your partner will listen without judgment (and certainly without ignoring you), and will be on hand to offer support when needed.
In a truly healthy relationship, there’s no topic that’s off-limits and no fear of being misunderstood or rejected.
2) Respect is mutual
Sure, you’ll still argue, but in doing so, you’ll still respect the other person and value their opinions, time, and space.
This also means acknowledging your differences and accepting them, rather than trying to change each other.
In early dating stages, these differences can seem cool and attractive, the glamor and novelty of which fades as time passes.
But the healthier the relationship, the more tolerant you remain of those traits and quirks which stand out between you.
3) You argue (sometimes)
A sign of a healthy relationship?!
But believe it or not, having occasional disagreements is a sign of a healthy relationship.
Perhaps not bickering away every 10 minutes, but the occasional disagreement which is handled with calmness and composure.
In a thriving relationship, conflict resolution has been nailed down. These couples know each other very well, and when to apologize, when to step back, when to give the other space etc.
This fosters the best environment for challenging one another, disagreeing, yet mediating and reaching a mutual understanding.
So if you’re in a relationship where disagreements lead to a deeper understanding of each other rather than that horrible lingering resentment, you’re certainly on the right path.
4) You’re still two people (who make up a couple)
You know those couples who spend every second glued to each other’s hips and begin finishing each other’s sentences?
Forget weekends with friends – their significant other is coming no matter what you say.
Eventually, they start to morph into one big blob.
And sure, while sharing common interests and spending quality time together is essential to have things to talk about and experience together, preserving your individual identities is equally important.
Healthy couples support each other’s personal interests, encourage their partner’s to venture off and be independent at times, and respect each other’s need for personal space.
This balance of togetherness and autonomy in harmony boosts mutual growth and creates a strong and long-lasting connection.
5) You trust one another
Trust doesn’t happen instantly, and certainly shouldn’t pop up on a first date.
It’s built over time when couples prove themselves continually reliable and honest, and forms the foundation of a happy and healthy partnership.
And this unwavering trust is about knowing that your partner has your best interests at heart and will not intentionally hurt you nor lie to you.
This also stretches above honesty, in being confident that your partner will keep their promises and commitments and won’t flake or forget things that are important to you.
6) You enjoy each other’s company
Sounds common sense, but if you’re not enjoying one another’s company…bad news!
In a truly happy and healthy relationship, both partners genuinely enjoy spending time together, even in those simple, quiet moments.
By no means does this have to mean grand adventures or extravagant dates.
It can be as simple as enjoying a quiet weeknight dinner at home, or just sitting side by side in comfortable silence (one person gaming, the other reading.)
If you find joy in the presence of your partner and these shared moments, no matter how small, it’s a wonderful sign of a strong bond and comforting connection.
7) You feel secure and loved
One of the biggest blessings of a secure and healthy relationship is knowing you’re loved unconditionally, just the way you are.
And that’s not to say that you need someone to feel valued and reassured. You can do that on your own.
But if you find someone who can bolster you even further and pick you up when you’re struggling or doubting yourself, you’ve lucked out.
And this sense of security isn’t just about physical safety, but also emotional and mental well-being.
It’s about being certain that your partner will be there for you through the highs and lows and won’t start running for the hills if you hit a depressive period or lose your job.
8) You can both apologize & work through mistakes
Mistakes are inevitable in all walks of life.
However, what truly matters is how we respond when we’re in the wrong. And how our partner’s respond, as well.
In a happy and healthy relationship, apologies are not just words.
Yes, “I’m sorry” goes a long way, but it needs to be truly meant and needs to be accompanied by a change in behavior.
Apologizing and owning up to mistakes is about acknowledging your faults, expressing genuine remorse, and making a conscious effort to not repeat the same mistake again.
Plus, it’s then being able to forgive if you’re on the receiving end of someone’s misdoing (if it’s appropriate.)
If your relationship has this level of accountability, then that’s a really powerful sign of respect and emotional maturity in your partnership.
9) You make decisions together
Another sign of a genuinely happy and healthy relationship is shared decision-making.
Whether it’s deciding on whether to get sushi or pizza for dinner, or choosing whether or not to move to a far-off city, do you and your partner discuss and decide on these things together?
Shared decision-making process shows that you value each other’s input. There’s no striding ahead by one party, dragging the other behind.
And yes, sometimes the give-take balance is not 50/50 and one person sacrifices more than the other for a short while.
But this should balance out as you work to integrate each other’s needs into your shared life.
10) You motivate and support each other
Finally, are you each other’s biggest cheerleaders?
Your partner isn’t just your lover, but also the first one to cheer you on when you do well at work or at the gym, or make a tasty new dish you haven’t tried before, you’ve got a good egg on your hands.
Healthy partnerships are about building each other up, not tearing each other down.
And if you’re in a relationship where you feel empowered and supported to chase your dreams with this person at your side, that’s a beautiful indication of a strong and healthy partnership.