What does a healthy relationship look like? You probably have heard people talk about healthy relationships and sometimes one tends to want to know what, exactly, are the characteristics of a healthy relationship. One thing we must however establish first is that no two relationships are the same. What works in one relationship may not work in the other; what is the norm in one relationship may be a taboo in the other. However, despite the differences in our relationships, there are some standard traits or characteristics that are common ground for all healthy relationships.
What does a healthy relationships look like? Healthy relationships don’t fall from heaven; they are deliberately and intentionally created. There is no relationship without its ups and downs. What makes a relationship healthy is therefore the decision of all involved to make it healthy. This will involve bringing honesty, trust and respect to the table. It involves being open and plain both in words and actions. It has to involve the parties involved. A relationship cannot be said to be completely healthy if only one partner is giving. Everyone must be deliberate about making the relationship work. It involves esteeming one another. In a healthy relationship, partners are to respect each other’s independence and are supposed to be free to make decisions, as much as they believe it is in the best interest of the union, without fear of retaliation, retribution and grudges.
5 Major Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship
One major characteristic of a healthy relationship is respect. This includes respect for privacy and space, it includes respect for feelings and opinions. Normally, this doesn’t come by default because naturally, we are selfish. A wife will want to always be with her husband and will often be jealous when he needs to hang out with his friends. A man could also get jealous when his wife wants to hang out with her friends. Men want their opinions to always stand as much as women. Everyone wants theirs to be first before others. It is therefore a lot of work to get couples to respect each other’s space and privacy as well as opinions and feelings.
This is probably the most important characteristic of a healthy relationship. Without love, a relationship wouldn’t exist in the first place. However, love crosses boundaries and goes beyond when things are good; it also should be seen when things are not so good. Love is what will make you want to understand with your spouse why he should spend time with friends. You know he or she likes to hang out with friends so you allow just to make your spouse happy. Love is putting your spouse’s interest above yours. It is thinking before you talk. It is protecting each other’s interest. It is everything. In a healthy relationship, love is expressed tangibly; not just in words but in actions.
It is kind of hard to talk about a healthy relationship without a healthy communication. As a matter of fact, a healthy relationship became healthy because there was healthy communication. If there wasn’t a healthy communication, the relationship would grow lean and die. What does a healthy relationship look like? Communication will be free and smooth. Everyone involved can say their mind without fear. There is nothing that cannot be talked about because the parties involved know that they will be listened to. Nothing gives more joy than to know that your feelings and opinions will be listened to and respected by your partner, it gives you freedom to talk. It is on the table of a healthy communication that a relationship is built, strengthened and perfected. The moment you find out you can’t express all your feelings to your spouse or partner, then there is something wrong with your relationship.
A healthy relationship is sealed by trust. Trust is first given away, then vetted and confirmed. If you trust your spouse, you will believe what they say and the reason why you will believe is because you have found out over time that they don’t lie. Trusting a lying spouse or partner is hard and almost impossible; even when they are saying the truth. Trust must exist for a relationship to be healthy. The moment trust is lacking, then the relationship is definitely going to fall apart sooner or later.
What does a healthy relationship look like? A healthy relationship is not perfect. It is still going to be one coated with flaws here and there but what makes it beautiful and perfect is because the parties involved are decided to keep working on the flaws and covering them as much as they can. If you find it easy to expose your spouse’s flaws or your marriage flaws, then your relationship is not healthy and won’t be healthy as long as you keep doing that.
Do not be fooled, no relationship has got it all. When you see a relationship you admire, it is because the parties involved are working. So why don’t you get to work too? Your relationship could be healthy. In a few years, when other people ask “What does a healthy relationship look like?,” they can point to yours and say your relationship is an example of a healthy relationship.