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Healthy Relationships 101: Things to Look For in Any Healthy Relationship

The reason this topic is so important is because it is one of those things that society doesn’t talk about enough. People push the idea of being in a relationship and having a significant other, but rarely are there frank discussions of what we should be looking for, regardless of the person, in a healthy relationship. I decided to compile a list of some of the things I find incredibly important in a relationship and things I strive to bring to my own relationship on a daily basis.

 

  • Do they make you happy?

Ok so this may seem like a dumb question. But does your partner make you happy? If you even had to think about that for a second, then you already have your answer. The person you’re sharing your life with should be or have room to become your best friend. They are likely the one you are or someday will be spending the majority of your time with. If they are draining more than uplifting, maybe it’s time to have a chat about what you can do to change that.

  • Treating each other with kindness and respect

This is a given. You want to be with someone who respects you as a person and who always has your best interest in mind. But on a simple note, you want someone who is kind to you. What good is it to be in a relationship with someone who constantly criticizes you or says and does things that they know would hurt your feelings.

  • You both care about each others safety and wellbeing

Safety is everything. It relates to how you feel about the other person but also how you feel yourself. A healthy relationship is one that would do anything to keep you out of harms way. If they are harming you physically, mentally or emotionally, than these are signs of abuse and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Take it from someone who once found herself in a toxic relationship; someone who loves you would never do anything to hurt you. I put emphasis on emotional as well because you should never date someone who plays games with you or belittles you in any way. You and your partner are family and family has to go out of their way to make sure they feel safe and secure at all times.

  • Trusting each other

Ok, I admit this one gets a little sticky but just like the others, it is really important. I had my fair share of high school relationships where I got aggressively jealous and felt the need to scan my boyfriends phone (Not my proudest moment). But i’ve come a long way in my young adult years and although I will always be a teensy bit jealous, it’s never something I will allow into my relationship in negative quantities. I personally think it’s okay to be a bit jealous every now and then. You want to show your partner you care about them, not in a territorial way, but in a vulnerable way (Isn’t that the point of real relationships? Vulnerability with someone?). However, if this teensy bit of jealousy manifests itself into something ugly it’s time to take a deep breath and a step back. If you are genuinely that worried, you should be able to have a mature and open conversation with your partner about your fears and insecurities. We all have them, and I see no failure in admitting them every now and then. But don’t let it consume you. I’m lucky enough to find myself in a relationship now where I trust my partner 100%. We are two very different people who have different friend groups, go to different types of social events and live in different places. But because we have that trust and intimate bond, I am proud to know and trust that he would never be unfaithful and I know he feels the same about me.

  • When you make big decisions, you make them together.

You’re a team! That means that from the point you commit to a serious relationship onwards, your decision making process is a two step model. You have someone else in your life sharing in all the “big steps” and it’s important that you include them. You are likely to disagree on some things, but if it comes up often, I think it’s worth a discussion (I want a dog but my boyfriend isn’t 100% on board yet. Or even 50%…I’m working on it). The point is, sometimes we have to swallow our pride and agree to disagree on the little things. But the big things are the ones that can make or break/shift the course of a relationship. They are SO important and SO worth the conversation.

  • You fight, but are able to quickly rebound

A telltale sign of a healthy relationship is the ability to argue. You need to be able to have a healthy (not aggressive) argument every now and then and let out the frustration. Relationships aren’t fun if you agree on every single thing. HOWEVER, I made a point to say “healthy” argument. There is never a time where belittling the other person is alright,  and there is never a time where continuing to fight when the other person has stopped is alright. Lets jump back to the “team” thing for a second. Your partner is your teammate, your “person” and more importantly your best friend. You guys are connected for a reason. If someone belittles you or continues to yell when you have stopped, then this is not a healthy fight. You shouldn’t ever want to see your partner crying or upset. Regardless of whether or not you disagree, or are mad. The thing about long lasting relationships is that you have to love the other person even when you don’t like them. And if you love the other person, that love should be WAY bigger than whatever argument you are having. Which brings me to the point of a quick rebound. You need to be able to talk to your partner and even if that talk turns into a fight you should never walk away from it without making a legitimate effort to fix things. Communication is key to successful relationships and the ability to talk out disagreements is a sign of maturity and empathy above all else. So get mad, disagree, but never go to sleep without solving the problem.

  • You feel comfortable talking to each other

Something that is a major part of all of these points is communication. It’s the reoccurring theme in relationship 101 and something that people will always dish up for advice when things start to go south (But it’s because it’s a valid point). All of the aforementioned things stem from the ability to open up and have honest conversations with your significant other about what you want, the things you feel and questions you may have.

Hopefully these signs of things to look for in healthy relationships can help you in your quest for love. They are things that can be challenging at times and we may not always want to talk about them, but we need to.

 

I am a Junior at James Madison University studying Media Arts & Design. I recently completed an internship with Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, FL and plan to pursue a full time position with the company post grad. I love reading, writing, photography and videography.
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