No relationship is perfect. I think that’s something most of us can all agree with.
While they may not be perfect, we sure do prefer happy and harmonious relationships –ones where you feel valued, respected, and safe.
How happy and healthy do you think your intimate relationship is? On a scale of 1-10, what would you rate it?
If you’re not sure how your relationship is doing, the following are 5 signs your relationship is doing just fine – healthy and happy!
1. You’re Able To Be Yourself
Being able to just be your authentic self in your relationship is a sure sign that it’s doing well. By authentic, I mean that you feel safe and comfortable enough to be your real and raw self, including your flaws, flakiness, moods, and so on.
Usually, in the beginning of relationships, we tend to put our best foot forward. After all, we don’t want to scare people away with our idiosyncrasies, insecurities, flaws, and so on. Plenty of masks are worn in the early months of a relationship. However, over time, you should be able to be more authentically you without having to worry that your partner will run.
And vice versa. Your partner should be able to authentically be who they are without you judging, shaming, running, and so on.
2. Your Communication Skills Are Up To Par
A sign of a healthy and happy relationship is having solid communication skills. This means no one is walking on eggshells, afraid that if they speak up, there will be just too much conflict to cope with. This also means not having to repress emotions, lie, or repeat yourself a hundred times to get your partner’s attention.
Your partner should be THE one person in the world you should feel safe enough to talk to about anything. And your partner should feel the same about you.
If you’re struggling in the communication department, good news is that there are some helpful communication skills you both can learn. It will take a commitment to reading books, articles, videos, or seeing a couple’s therapist, but totally worth it.
3. You Both Feel Free
Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to feel like you’re in a prison and have no freedom. If you’re feeling like that, you’re likely dealing with some codependency issues.
What you’re aiming for is an interdependent relationship. This means that you’re both able to have a solid sense of self inside and outside of the relationship.
You may “depend” on one another for some of your needs, but not all of them. Practically speaking, this may look like John going out to shoot pool once a week with his work buddies, while his wife gladly supports this outing because she understands this activity meets his “masculine play needs”. She, on the other hand, gets together with her sisters biweekly to enjoy a hot latte at their local coffee shop. John fully supports this, as he understands this is her need for “girlfriend time”.
4. You Trust Each Other
Another sign your relationship is healthy and/or happy is that the relationship sits on the foundation of trust. You trust your partner and they trust you – at least most of the time. If something comes up and you’re feeling insecure, you can go to your partner and have a conversation about it without it erupting in a huge fight.
Trust is based on feeling secure in and of oneself. The more secure you feel about yourself, the more trusting you tend to be. However, even the most secure person may struggle with trusting their partner if that person has broken their trust before. If that’s the case, it takes time to build up that trust again.
5. There’s Mutual Respect
Respect is a big deal in a partnership. To respect someone means that you treat them well, even if you don’t agree with their beliefs or actions. That is, unless we’re talking any type of abuse. If you’re being abused, it’s not so much about respecting that person. (Though I am not saying you should retaliate.)
You should be more concerned about disconnecting with them and getting some solid support to navigate the situation.
In a relationship, respect can look like you and your partner honoring and cherishing each other despite flaws, disagreements, various beliefs, and so on. It means no name calling, belittling, making fun of, shaming, gaslighting, screaming at each other, etc.
Aim for and draw a boundary line for mutual respect.
How’s Your Relationship Doing?
How do you think your relationship rates according to these five signs? Are you feeling pretty good about it or is there room for improvement?
Keep in mind that if you’re not happy with your relationship, there is a chance that some of that unhappiness is actually you projecting your own unhappiness onto the relationship. It happens quite often, so it’s a good idea to take some time to evaluate your own happiness level too; not just the relationship.
If you find yourself stuck, know that there are some really great therapists out there who can help you and your relationship get unstuck and thrive. It takes time and dedication, but it’s so worth it.
You are worth experiencing more joy and peace along your journey, so do whatever works for you individually and as a couple.