Connection is a basic human need, but so often we find ourselves scared that what seems to be love will fizzle out — or worse. The sad fact is it can sometimes be hard to tell if a relationship is actually good, or if it just seems that way on the surface. In a world filled with stories of broken hearts and failed relationships, romance can seem daunting. So, how can you know your love is healthy and that it has a future? The truth is, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to spot a good match. If your relationship has these five foundations, it’s built to last.
You Both Are Equals
Simply put, it takes two to tango. If you are starting to feel like a spectator in your relationship, it may be time to call it quits. Think about recent decisions that impacted both of you. If you are both equals, compromising and responding to each other’s input, that’s a great sign! This is a great barometer because you can look at concrete examples to make sure you aren’t being swayed by how you feel in the moment. Equal partners take steps together, always mindful of the other’s well-being and happiness.
On the other hand, if one of you always gets their way, the outlook isn’t too good. This applies to little things, such as where to go on date night, what time dinner is, and who takes out the trash, as much as it applies to big things like where you’ll move or whether or not you want to have kids some day. What can feel like a small thing at one moment becomes more than a hiccup if you notice a trend.
Continue reading for the next significant sign of a healthy relationship.
You Both Have Mutual Respect
It might not seem like the most glitzy of emotions, but at the end of the day, respect is the workhorse of healthy love. Beyond attraction and romance – dates, a healthy sex life, and simply enjoying each other’s company – partners in a healthy relationship fundamentally appreciate the other’s values and choices. Not only that, but partners in love think highly of each other, despite each other’s flaws. After the honeymoon period has worn off and each other’s flaws start to sink in, puppy love breaks down, but true love is just getting started. When you both have mutual respect, you will find your partner listens to you when you are making a difficult decision or trying to work through a mistake, and tries to empathize even when they don’t quite relate. Lovers who nitpick, criticize and patronize probably aren’t in it for the long haul.
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Open And Honest Communication
Communication is, in a lot of ways, directly tied to mutual respect. Do you and your significant other talk about the hard stuff, such as finances, family and the future? Do you remember to ask about each other’s days? Do you address gripes and miscommunications? We all have times when we’re a little self-involved and stressed out, but if you start feeling you and your partner are falling out of touch, check in about why that might be. Open and honest communication is the fuel that drives a relationship. If you are not learning about each other and growing together, you’re probably growing apart. Open and honest communication is about more than words, too: it’s about the how it feels to talk to your partner. There will always be hard talks, but if talking about the hard stuff makes you feel judged, belittled, or ignored, it’s time to move on. Open communication needs respect and empathy to work.
Continue reading to learn about how goals matter in a healthy relationship.
They're Supportive Of Your Goals
It might seem like a no-brainer, but two individuals who don’t like each other’s dreams for the future probably don’t have a long future together. This goes for everything from career goals, to dreams for domestic life, to budgets and habits. The details of these day-to-day goals shape our behavior and make us who we are. In a good relationship, goals complement each other. So, when did you and your significant other last talk about goals? If it’s been a while, it’s never a bad time to check in and find out how your partner’s feeling. Or, if your own goals have changed, or if you’ve made some progress or are having difficulty staying on track, let your partner in on it. If they're supportive of your goals, they are ready to love you for a long time.
Continue reading to learn how responsibility comes into play.
They Are Responsible And Accountable
If your relationship with your significant other is healthy, they are likely responsible and accountable. This means you can depend on them to do what they say they will, and expect them to put in the effort when they mess up. In a good partnership, you’re both trying your best to come through for the other. And in a good relationship, you call each other out when you make mistakes. In a healthy relationship, both partners should feel comfortable bringing up issues, annoyances, and fears without worrying their concerns will be ignored, or worse, retaliated against. There is nothing worse than trying to start a tough talk about something that’s going wrong, only to find your partner won’t hear it. Of course, it is normal to get defensive sometimes, especially if an issue isn’t brought up very tactfully, but love means working to be your best for the one you love.