If you are looking for a partner or are in a relationship, it is helpful to know the qualities of a healthy relationship in order to determine whether your relationship is worthwhile or unhealthy. People who end up in abusive relationships often overlook the signs of an unhealthy relationship such as extreme jealousy, threats, poor communication and insecurity. When you find a healthy relationship, you have to consistently work at it to maintain it.
Honesty and Trust
In a healthy relationship, it's essential that you and your partner are honest with each other in order to develop trust. If you find out that your partner has been dishonest, it can be challenging to build and maintain trust. A couple of emotions that could have a negative impact on trust are jealousy and insecurity. If someone is overly jealous or insecure he may not be able to trust his partner, which can cause unhealthy arguments and accusatory behavior.
It is difficult to have a healthy relationship without mutual respect. Trust -- as mentioned above -- and respect are two of the most important elements of a healthy relationship. Respect requires listening to your partner, refraining from yelling and name-calling, and treating your partner in a manner in which you would like to be treated. It is also essential to act in ways that warrant respect from your partner, says author Hara Estroff Marano, writing for Psychology Today.
Sometimes people get swept up into relationships and start to lose their individuality. A couple who becomes too dependent on each other can find themselves in an unhealthy situation. Giving up your hobbies and interests for your partner will have a negative impact on your overall well-being, and ultimately hurt your relationship. A healthy relationship will not require you to change your core values. Avoid abandoning your personal interests, and allow your partner to indulge in activities that he enjoys as well.
Are you actively listening when your partner talks or are you more concerned with having a ready response? Active listening means hearing what your partner says and attempting to understand his point of view. You don’t have to always agree with your partner to have good communication. In fact, having differing opinions is healthy since everyone is different. Discussions and disagreements should not lead to name-calling or other forms of disrespect. The silent treatment is unhealthy and should be avoided; instead, talk about your feelings.
A healthy relationship involves enjoying each other’s company and having fun together. Fun times are often necessary to overshadow the stresses of everyday life and conflicts that naturally arise in relationships. It is a good idea to schedule date nights, go for walks together or take road trips to unfamiliar places. A red flag within an unhealthy relationship is when one or both partners doesn't put forth effort or feels obligated to spend time with each other.
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Michelle Bolyn is a licensed mental health professional and has worked since 2006 as a therapist. Bolyn has been writing mental health, wedding-related and relationship focused articles since 2007. She is published on Suite101.com and Examiner.com. Bolyn received her master's degree in social work from New York University.