It’s easy to be scared of a “healthy” relationship when previous partners skewed your idea of love. A toxic situation can train you to expect the worst possible outcome. While it’s important to remain cautious and protective of your heart, you shouldn’t allow the past to prevent you from future happiness. While it’s easy to point out the many red flags for a relationship, it’s also critical to understand where the green flags are!
Below, I’ve listed some tell-tale signs that your relationship is healthy:
1. You fight.
Let me clarify that. You fight (arguments or disagreements), and you fight productively. This basically means you or your partner are not bottling up your feelings and/or trying to avoid conflict. You speak through your problems, and find a resolution. If you need time to calm down before talking, take a breather before saying something hurtful. These moments push you and your partner to grow, to embrace compromise, and to learn how to work as a team.
2. You communicate.
Communication is critically important in a relationship. Open discussions about boundaries, your past, and your interests helps build a solid foundation of trust. Also, important tip: When it comes to relationship problems, talk to your partner, and avoid relying on other people. It’s not necessarily bad to seek advice from your family or friends, but don’t use them as a way to avoid hard conversations with your significant other.
3. You encourage each other.
You guys are still individual people with distinct goals and dreams. Encourage one another to pursue them, and to be the best possible version of yourselves. Your partner’s success shouldn’t be a threat to your relationship.
4. You celebrate each other.
Hopefully, your relationship isn’t about competing with each other. Your relationships (romantic or not) should not be based on who makes more money, who seems more accomplished, or who is more talented. A win for your partner, is a win for you! And vice versa.
Every relationship requires work and commitment from both people. Obstacles are opportunities for you to really grow stronger with time, like a fine wine. Relationships fluctuate through different seasons; don’t be too quick to throw in the towel when you guys hit a rough patch. And remember that no relationship is picture perfect, like you see on Instagram. If you have the bare foundations of trust and open communication, you can build a partnership that fulfills both of your needs.
Written by Desiree S. Washington