Relationships are always unique, and depend entirely on the people involved, and their dynamic with each other. Some of the signs of a healthy relationship, we may agree stand as somewhat universal. We all need trust to get close to someone for example. Without trust there is always doubt and fear. Many of the examples presented here also apply equally well to friendships.
Sometimes when I write articles, I have to let the reader know that I understand perfectly well nothing about their own, unique relationships. My article is not an attempt to describe an ideal. You are simply free to take what you want from it, and leave the rest. Here are 10 signs of a healthy relationship:
1. Openness And Honesty
The foundations of a liberating relationship are often oppenness and honesty, which in turn lead to trust. Honesty is a matter of not lying, and also of not concealing the truth; a healthy relationship expresses emotion and intention, thoughts and feelings. We may feel like we can tell the person anything, and that they will support us in whatever way they can.
2. You Listen To Each Other
You talk and they listen. They talk and you listen. Communication is a two way process of sending and receiving signals. A well balanced dynamic sees all parties communicating when they feel they want to, and all parties listening. A deep relationship means a deeper level of listening; we must listen not only to the words, but to the feeling behind the words, to the look in the eyes, and to the subtle language that the strongly bonded share.
3. You Want To Share
A healthy relationship is one which encourages sharing; not only physically, but also in many other ways. When we feel close to someone we want to share ourselves; our whole selves without so much reservation. We also want to understand the other person; to know more. We want to share our interests and activities, our feelings, our personality, and in the case of lovers, our bodies.
4. Time Spent Together Is Valuable
In our modern society there are many different circumstances in which a relationship may revolve. Long distance relationships are not uncommon, and sometimes space and time can cause tension.
What is important is that no matter what the circumstance, the time spent together is valuable. Often, after a short catch up, couples and close friends find that they are straight back on the same level, as if they were never apart. Healthy relationships transcend issues of distance and time.
5. You Respect The Other Person’s Life Choices
There are many, many, aspects of a person and their life, which are likely to differ from your own. Couples and friends can differ in place of residence, hobbies, lifestyles, careers, political views, philosophical views, religion, and a million other life choices.
Whatever the circumstances, the other person’s right to make their own choices should be respected. In a healthy relationship all parties want what’s best for each other, and support decisions and directions, even if they are not inline with their own.
Healthy relationships do not constrict growth; they encourage it.
6. You Compliment Each Other
I don’t think I have ever had a friend or lover who I can categorically say is the “same as me,” not least because we are all too unique to be categorized. Lover’s and friends have similarities and differences, and sometimes the most stimulating relationships have at least some form of opposition in belief or interests.
The only common factor there seems to be in a healthy relationship, is that in the other’s company you feel complimented. Their views, traits, and extremities balance your own in some way. I also believe that there is a vibrational element to this complimentary feeling; harmonic or disharmonic waveforms if you like.
7. You Challenge Each Other
If you disagree on everything, all of the time, in a really argumentative and tentative way, then perhaps you are too diametrically apposed to see eye-to-eye. On the flip side, if someone is always in agreement, and never provides a counter argument or opposition, then the relationship may not provide enough of a challenge.
Balance and perspective are important, but a healthy relationship can be both comfortable and challenging, in the right way. We learn and grow by being around people who challenge us. This can be done in a very healthy way, and there is no better feeling for me than being taught a lesson from a loved one, in the way that only they can teach it.
8. You Can Work Through Problems
Deep relationships and friendships sometimes develop deep problems. I believe this to be something of a by-product of knowing someone so well. It is easier to feel emotionally agitated by someone we are close to, easier to see their vices, and easier to project our own vices onto them.
A healthy relationship can deal with these problems. Sure it encounters them, but it unwinds them casually, and never leaves a huge knot tied. Problems become bigger when they are ignored, or when they are deliberately incited. They become smaller with humility, humor, and good will.
9. You Make Each Other Happy
Okay, let’s get to the nitty-gritty. A healthy relationship is about happiness. Every relationship is different, but surely this one is fundamental. If our relationships are unhealthy then they cause us tension, stress, and sadness. If they are healthy then they lift us, elevate our souls, and make us smile.
10. Healthy Relationships Are Based On Love
Everyone has their own definition of love tucked away. Love is different for everyone, and for every relationship. I think it is somewhere between being able to give yourself completely to someone, and being able to take them completely as they are. It could be as simple as a moment, shared. Maybe it is bliss, maybe it is trust, maybe it is that perfect combination of comfort and excitement.
Whatever it is, it surely isn’t rational. It doesn’t think, it feels. The heart knows what is right. A healthy relationship is one which comes from the heart, and which is felt to be right in the heart.