It is estimated that around half of the UK’s population are in a relationship, but how many of them are healthy? What qualities does a healthy relationship possess in order for it to be a long and happy one? Are there a set of rules you can follow to make sure your relationship is having a positive impact on yours and your partner’s life? And if your relationship is on the rocks, what can you implement to get it back on track?
Here’s my list of essential qualities of a healthy relationship that you should try and bestow.
1. Responsibility for your own happiness
Yes, it is great if a big part of your happiness in life comes from your partner. It is always nice to know that you are making someone happy and you are happy when you are around them. But it is not the responsibility of your partner to make sure you are happy. Putting this type of pressure on your partner will only end in disaster. No one is perfect and no one’s sole purpose in life should be your happiness. If you can make your own happiness and your partner can do the same, it will only elevate both of your happiness together.
2. Shared sense of humour
Research into what creates longevity in a relationship shows couples who laugh together are more likely to stay together. If you can find a partner who can make you laugh out loud and someone who you share the same sense of humour with, it is a straight road to happy long term commitment. And it can only be good news for your six pack too.
3. Honesty about your feelings
It is important that you can be 100% honest with your significant other, whether that be about your thoughts and feelings about your partner and the relationship, or about life in general. Being honest about matters involving your relationship will allow your partner to understand you and your needs (and it works both ways) and being honest about other matters will allow your partner to truly understand you as an individual too.
4. Commitment to each other
Being committed to each other in a relationship is key. Committing both your time and effort will make each other feel needed and loved and there is no better feeling.
Committing physically proves to each other that you are serious about wanting to be together and that there is no other person you want to be with. I am not saying monogamy is the key to a happy and healthy relationship; there are so many different circumstances to relationships out there, but I know in the relationships I have been in, it is one of the most important things for me. I could not be in a relationship where my partner invited others into the bedroom, as it would only cause insecurity and distrust within myself. But commitment in some way needs to be present for any relationship to work.
5. Showing empathy and support
In order to feel like you are understood by your partner, you need to feel their empathy. Yes, sometimes little things happen and you need to rant to your partner, and all you are looking for is support in your opinions. And the same will happen when your partner rants and you think it’s not a big deal. But putting yourself in your partner’s shoes and empathising with the situations they are going through will make your partner feel truly supported by you.
6. Trusting your partner
Trusting your partner I would say is the most important quality of a healthy relationship. If you can not trust your partner, it will only cause you distress every time they go out or do anything without you and it will eventually cause a wedge between you both. You should trust your partner 100%. You should trust everything they say to be the truth. You should trust that they will remain committed to you. You should trust your life in their hands (that may sound extreme but that’s the level you are looking for). And if you do not, you need to question why you don’t and whether your relationship is going to work.
7. Having your freedom
Yes you and your partner have decided to commit to each other and put a label on what you mean to each other, but it doesn’t mean you have to be permanently with them. Yes you are a couple but you should have your own lives, your own interests and your own set of friends. It is important to still be your own person whilst in a relationship. We all need space, even from the people we love and not having space from each other will only create the feeling of cabin fever; no one wants to feel suffocated so make sure you assign time for yourself away from your partner, and that your partner does the same.
8. Putting in an equal amount of effort
When you are in a relationship with someone, you become a team. And no team can assign their victory to one member. Both of you need to play the game right in order to win. Both of you need to put in equal effort into making the relationship work. Relationships are hard, but with equal effort, commitment and time given, your relationship will grow and remain a strong one.
9. Working through your disagreements
Every time a couple who have been together for a long long time is asked what they think is the key to a healthy relationship, it seems this piece of advice always seems to come up. Working through your disagreements then and there avoids any pent up anger to seep into the crux of your relationship. Once anger gets it’s grip in a relationship, it is hard for it to let go and move on.
Experiencing a healthy relationship can be the best thing in the world and it should be something everyone aspires to achieve. I wish you all healthy relationships full of all of these things! Because love really does make the world go round and there is no better feeling than being in love and being loved back.