A relationship requires constant work and commitment from you and your partner equally. Of course, it may (and should) bring you both a lot of happiness and other benefits, but only if you keep it healthy without engaging in any toxic behaviours.
These may not always be easy to identify. On the other hand, some healthy habits that actually help the relationship grow often are perceived as toxic. How can you tell the difference?
After consulting the dating experts from Beyond Ages and other specialists, we have gathered the most important things everyone should know about healthy relationships.
A healthy relationship is about
Arguing respectfully and efficiently
People may differ significantly and still be well-matched. Being in a healthy relationship doesn’t mean that you don’t argue with your partner. It’s more about being able to achieve a compromise, to listen to and respect each other, even if you only agree to disagree. Some conflicts remain unsolved, but they won’t be a problem if you both learn to let go sometimes.
For some couples, it will be a peaceful, quiet discussion, while others need to raise their voices and let some steam out. Whatever your style, be sure that neither of you is afraid to express disagreement: no judgment, no humiliation, only productive discussion.
Open and honest communication
Communication is key is not only an overused saying but a true and necessary foundation of each relationship. It’s essential to know each other’s fears, desires, and expectations. Even if you aren’t always able to meet halfway, you should always acknowledge both the similarities and differences.
It’s true that effective communication is not always comfortable, but in a healthy relationship, you should know each other inside and out. Whenever you’re not alright with a request from your partner, discuss it. There shouldn’t be any secrets that may influence your life in the future. Lying and hiding things is the first significant step to a toxic relationship.
Compliments are just as important as constructive criticism. If you decide to share a life together, make sure you genuinely share it. It may sometimes mean that you will hurt each other’s feelings, but as long as it’s out of love and genuine concern, it’s better to share harsh truth in a relationship than let it outside.
It’s as simple as that. You need to accept that you can’t control your other half, and you shouldn’t even try it. A healthy relationship is about believing in mutual love and support. When you get too jealous, and you start doubting your partner, everything becomes toxic.
When you’re in love, you don’t suddenly go blind and unaware of other people’s qualities. You can still say if another person is attractive in your opinion, you can even feel attraction for other people, and you should accept that your partner feels it too. As long as neither of you acts on it, it’s alright. Suppressing any kinds of feelings has never done any good to anyone.
It takes time to build trust, but once it’s there, it should be honoured and respected. Honesty and support are necessary for it.
We all know a couple who is always together, but in most cases, it’s not a healthy relationship. People may be madly in love with each other, but they still need some time apart and a life outside their closeness. Don’t abandon your friends, stay in contact with your family, and don’t give up your hobbies for another person.
It’s vital always to consider your partner’s opinions and preferences and prioritise each other over others, but you can’t ever forget about yourself. No one can be happy being focused on one person only.
We all have our own boundaries and comfort zones, and you need to make your partner aware of yours as soon as possible. If you don’t want to see them every day, it’s perfectly alright; it doesn’t mean that you want them any less. But you can only be in a healthy relationship with a person who accepts it (and the other way around). Whenever you feel like someone uses boundaries to control or change you, it’s unhealthy and indicates that a relationship should be reconsidered.
Relationships are about choice. You choose to be with someone, so you choose that person with all their virtues and vices. Of course, it often happens that a couple turns out to be ill-matched, and it takes a lot of maturity and healthy habits to be able to admit it and let things go. The most important thing is to listen, both to yourself and your partner.