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Love is in the Air: How Healthy is Your Relationship?

engagement-1718244_960_720We can all benefit from the companionship and closeness of another, and all relationships have their ups and downs. So how can you tell if you and your significant other are in a healthy relationship that can last or one that will soon pass (or maybe should)?

To find out just how healthy your relationship is, ask yourself these questions:

“Do They Respect Me?”

Respect is shown and given through words and actions and applies to you:

  • Physically: You feel safe, gently handled, and unthreatened when you’re with your partner.
  • Emotionally: You feel cared about and not dismissed or disregarded.
  • Financially: Your partner is responsible, has his own money, and doesn’t take or spend your money without first discussing it with you.
  • Verbally: Your partner compliments you and doesn’t engage in name calling or making you the brunt of jokes.
  • Materially: Your partner respects your personal possessions and doesn’t discard them or use them without your permission.

Respect should also apply to some degree to your friends and family. These people and relationships are important to you and your partner should respect that. Your partner doesn’t have to have the same level of attachment to them, but they should not fault you for those relationships.

“Do They Encourage Me?”

A healthy relationship adds to your sense of confidence through the celebration of your efforts and accomplishments. There shouldn’t be competition between the two of you in attempt to outdo each other.

“Do They Accept Me for Who I Am?”

You should be accepted for who you are, and not made to be someone or something you’re not. That being said, we all have areas where we can improve and grow. A healthy relationship accepts you in that process, offering the support needed to help you reach your goals and potential.

“Can We Agree to Disagree?”

Remember that you and your partner are two different people, with two different perspectives that aren’t always going to match. You should be able to respect the differences and work for compromise. When you can’t agree with each other, a healthy relationship can agree to disagree and still maintain a connection and mutual respect. Forgiveness plays an important role as well in a relationship.

“Can We Share Our Feelings and Needs?”

Communication is important, and listening to each other is just as important as talking! For communication to be effective a message has to be shared and a message has to be received and heard by both parties. Does your partner give you the time and attention to hear what’s on your heart and mind? Do you do the same for them?

“Is There Give and Take?”

Balance is key. Too much taking or too much giving in a relationship isn’t healthy; it can breed resentment. You should be able to support, sacrifice and receive in a balanced way. Your relationship should be an equal one. There should be mutual decision making, compromise, and balance in how money and time is spent and mutual care and respect and open communication where both sides can be heard.

Remember, relationships are a two-way street. If you or your partner does not make the effort to contribute to the relationship in a healthy, positive manner, you may need to reconsider the relationship.

“Do We Have Similar Goals and Values?”

It can be difficult to build a future with your partner if you are always on separate sides of the world on issues, goals and values that are important to you. There should be some overlap as to what a priority is and what moral issues or otherwise you hold as non-negotiable. Career goals, family planning, religion, and exclusivity of the relationship could all be topics of potential conflict and thus should be topics of conversation between the two of you at some point.

“Can We Have Quality Time Together and Apart?”

It’s important to form a bond and attachment centered on interests & activities you both can enjoy. Shared experiences can build a base for your relationship. However, it’s equally as important to be able to spend time away from your partner. Being able to be by yourself has numerous health benefits in addition to helping you maintain your individual identity. You can also enjoy time with other friends and interests that preserve the integrity of the relationship. Absence really can make the heart grow fonder.

“Is There Mutual Trust?”

On that same vein, time apart shouldn’t cause suspicion between you and your partner. Outside contacts or activities on social media or in person shouldn’t devalue the relationship or cause doubt or jealousy. While jealousy in a relationship may happen, both you and your partner should know how to handle the emotion in a positive way and not lash out at each other.

You shouldn’t feel that you need to check up on your partner or they on you. You should feel that you can share private, special information with each other and that it will remain private.

“Are We Happy?”

You and your partner should look forward spending time with each other and feel joy in knowing that you are participating in this relationship. Relationships shouldn’t be based solely on necessity or dependence. In those situations, you run the risk of living without any of the important aspects listed above. In any relationship, there will not always be bliss, but there should be an overall sense that the relationship is caring, supportive, respectful, fun, and of course, loving.

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