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Healthy Relationship: 27 Signs, Qualities & What It Looks Like In Real Life

A healthy relationship will allow you to grow as a couple and be as happy as can be. Is your relationship healthy or do you need to do a little work?

signs of a healthy relationship

We all want to find that one person we can be with and be in a completely healthy and happy relationship. After all, most of us go through enough of the bad ones to know a good one from one that’s heading down the dumps. Or do we? There are a few signs of a healthy relationship to help us stay on track, that you just can’t ignore.

Sadly, it’s easy for a relationship to become dysfunctional and unhealthy. There are so many things that can happen that lead to mistrust, resentment, and manipulation. Proactively learning how to have a healthy relationship can only be good for you and your relationship.

If you’ve ever endured a toxic relationship before, then you know just how sabotaging it can feel. You may think someone must cheat for these things to happen, but even minor annoyances can lead to more significant problems if not handled correctly.

But when you’re in a healthy relationship, you naturally become your best version of yourself because of them. There’s nothing draining, toxic, or one-sided about the relationship with a healthy relationship. [Read: The biggest problems in a relationship and how to fix it]

What is a healthy relationship?

Truthfully, some couples look like they’re in a happy relationship, and it can be a total disaster on the inside. However, other couples radiate true happiness. It’s pretty obvious they have a healthy relationship.

In its simplest form, a healthy relationship is one where both partners feel secure, loved, and happy. They communicate and trust each other completely, and wish only the best for each other.

They don’t need to fake it, they don’t need to prove their love to others, nor do they have to post pictures on social media just to let others know they’re in “true love.” [Read: What makes a good relationship? 30 answers to this vital question]

Why you should never settle for an unhealthy relationship

Relationships are supposed to give you happiness, fulfillment, and comfort. So if you find yourself in a relationship that leaves you feeling less than happy, don’t accept it assuming that’s what love should feel like.

Never settle for a relationship that leaves you questioning yourself or making you feel less than complete.

You may do actual permanent harm to your mental health by remaining in an unhealthy relationship for too long. The best way to avoid this is to know the signs of a healthy relationship. This allows you to determine whether or not you’re in a good one. [Read: 18 emotions you should never feel in a healthy relationship]

What differentiates a healthy relationship from a bad one?

When you’re in a healthy relationship, you no longer have to question their intentions for you. It’s not perfect as all relationships will still have their significant fights and misunderstandings. However, there’s obvious respect, trust, and love in the relationship.

With a bad relationship, you already feel in your gut that something is off about the relationship. A healthy relationship encourages you to thrive in other areas of your life, just as a bad relationship will negatively impact and destroy other areas of your life.

Again, everyone has different definitions of a healthy relationship, but it all comes down to the big three – love, respect, and trust. [Read: How to have a good relationship that gets better with each day]

The signs of a healthy relationship you should ALWAYS look for

You’ll be able to feel the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. But if you’ve never had the fortune of being in a healthy one, you may never know just what it feels like or how you’re supposed to be treated.

For those of you who wonder whether your happiness with your partner is due to a healthy relationship or something else, these signs are your best bet in figuring out if it is, in fact, a healthy relationship.

1. You feel happy

This may be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people think they’re in a healthy relationship and are just unhappy, but blame everything else.

If you’re in a healthy relationship, you are simply happier. You don’t worry as much, you don’t have as many negative thoughts, and you’re genuinely in a good mood most of the time. [Read: 17 secret ingredients to a happy, monogamous relationship]

2. You can be apart with confidence

Most couples in unhealthy relationships can’t be apart without having reservations or without getting angry or upset about it. If your relationship is healthy, you have no problem being apart and making it work.

3. You argue

Yes, arguing is HEALTHY! You have to argue in order to get your opinion across. If your relationship is healthy and you’re arguing about important things, it means you’re comfortable enough to voice your opinions even if they differ.

But there’s a thin line between arguing constructively and arguing just because you’re annoyed and upset with each other. [Read: How to stop fighting with your partner and hurting each other]

4. You feel safe and secure with them

Safety and security are very important in a relationship. If you don’t feel safe with the person you’re with, then you’re always a little anxious. If you feel safe and secure with your significant other, then it’s a healthy relationship. [Read: Insecurity in a relationship – How to feel more secure and love better]

5. You don’t have anxiety when they go out with their friends

This is a big problem for many couples unaware they’re in an unhealthy relationship. If your partner can’t go out without you being super anxious and worrying, you’re in an unhealthy relationship.

You should always be able to let your significant other go out and spend time with friends without having to think twice about it. If you do this, no problem, your relationship is healthy.

6. You don’t doubt that they’re telling the truth

You just automatically take them at their word. That’s called trust. It is vital for a healthy relationship. If you don’t have this in your relationship, it’s nearly impossible for it to be healthy. [Read: 11 signs you just can’t trust the person you’re dating]

7. You feel at home with their family

Unless they’re not in contact with their family or their family is just very strict and seem to not like you, you should be able to feel at home and comfortable around their family. If you can do this, then you have a healthy relationship.

8. You barely complain about them to your friends

Because there really isn’t anything to complain about. If your friends even noticed how little you complain about this person compared to those you’ve dated before, it’s a sign of a healthy relationship. [Read: 20 things happy couples don’t do in a healthy relationship]

9. You don’t want them to change

How many people have you dated and thought, “If only they would stop doing that?” If you’re familiar with thinking this, then you have not been in healthy relationships in the past.

However, if you look at your partner and don’t want to change anything about them—other than them forgetting to change the toilet paper roll or other little things—you’re finally in a healthy relationship.

10. You never feel like they’re judging you

No matter what you say or do, if you know they’re not going to judge you, and you feel like they’ll try to understand rather than judge, you’re in a healthy relationship. [Read: Emotional roller coaster: Are you stuck in an unhealthy ride?]

11. You can be 100% yourself with them

From wearing no makeup to walking in straight from the gym drenched in sweat and smelling up a storm, if you aren’t afraid to just be yourself around them, you’re in a healthy relationship.

You should always be able to be who you really are with your significant other. If you can’t, you’ll never feel fully relaxed and happy. A sign of a healthy relationship is knowing you can be yourself, and they’ll still love you. [Read: 30 must-follow relationship rules for happy love]

12. If they don’t call or text back right away, you don’t mind

How many of you have ever been angry and annoyed with your significant other for not texting back right away? Probably most of us at some point. Now, this was probably when you were in an unhealthy relationship.

If you’re in a healthy relationship, you honestly won’t even notice this because you don’t care. A sign of a healthy relationship is understanding that sometimes they can’t always answer you right away. [Read: 20 reasons why a good morning text is so important in a relationship]

13. You never feel like they’re hiding anything from you

This is a big one. If you feel like your partner isn’t ever hiding anything from you, it’s a healthy relationship. When you constantly have to question what they’re doing or hiding, it makes you anxious. It shows you don’t trust them.

14. They support your life decisions

Bottom line, if your relationship is a healthy one, then your partner will support you in your decisions. Even if they don’t agree with them all the time.

They trust and believe in you to do what is best and right. They’ll support you all the way. This is a major sign of a healthy relationship. [Read: 10 signs your partner is truly supportive of your goals]

15. You can’t believe you ever dated anyone else because of how happy you are

This is kind of your “ah ha!” moment. If you ever look back and wonder why it is you ever stayed with your exes for as long as you did because they seem like garbage compared to the person you’re with now, then you have a healthy—and more importantly—a happy relationship. [Read: 9 stages all couple go through in their relationship]

16. You communicate easily

You always hear the saying that communication is key in all relationships – and that’s very accurate.  If you can’t open up and talk to your partner about the hard stuff, you’re not really yourself around them. [Read: How to communicate in a relationship – 16 steps to a better love]

In a healthy relationship, you should not feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them. You need to be able to discuss things and opinions with them without it turning into a fight constantly. Not only is that draining, but it’s also a sign that one of you doesn’t respect the other’s opinions.

17. You understand one another

Yes, communication is key. Yet, you can communicate until you’re blue in the face, but without listening and comprehending what you say, even the best communication can fail. You and your partner can’t just share your feelings and hope that is enough. You both must listen to the other.

You can listen all you want, but if you don’t understand and comprehend what they’re trying to say, then it’s pointless. If you want to learn how to have a healthy relationship, then learn to understand where they’re coming from. [Read: The 20 best questions to ask in a relationship to understand each other]

18. There is mutual respect

This is a significant one as respect is everything in a healthy relationship. In fact, it’s the primary reason why a lot of relationships fail and fall apart. Without respect, both trust and love are affected. Mutual respect is a priority for all relationships.

If your partner views you as an equal in things like the workforce or family, then the same goes for your relationship. [Read: How to show respect in a relationship and love each other better]

19. You both maintain your independence

In a relationship, no matter how close you are, you can’t depend on one person for everything. Not only is that a lot of pressure to put on each other, but the relationship as a whole. More importantly, a lack of independence leads to codependent relationships, which then leads to toxic relationships.

You’re in a healthy relationship if you’re both able to have your own time on your own or with friends/family and your partner doesn’t get upset about it. [Read: How to be independent even if you’re in a happy relationship]

20. You have a good amount of self-worth

Many of us let a potentially healthy relationship become dysfunctional because we don’t realize how much we’re worth. We let our partners treat us less than decent because we think it’s what we deserve. Or we even become martyrs without our partners realizing we’re unhappy because we offer to do so much.

While you shouldn’t rely upon your relationship for self-worth, if you feel confident and you love who you are, there’s a chance that it’s because of a healthy relationship.

21. You’re able to compromise

This is a word so many people hate. This was the cornerstone of a healthy relationship for ages. But, now that we can get everything we want at a click of a button, we expect to find the perfect partner too. But, no one is perfect. Without compromise, your relationship will eventually turn sour.

If you’re able to compromise and meet your partner halfway, you’re in a healthy relationship. [Read: How to compromise in a relationship & not feel like you lost out]

22. You’re happy to be totally honest with each other

You’re honest with one another, and it makes for a great foundation for your relationship. When you’re honest, then there’s also trust.

While white lies are normal, you need to find the line between the things that are okay to keep to yourself and what you need to tell your partner. After all, it’s better to hurt them with the truth than comfort them with a lie. [Read: Why you should tell the truth even when it hurts & why it matters]

23. You can happily set boundaries

You don’t take it too personally when your partner sets personal boundaries, as it’s what comprises a healthy relationship. If anything, this is how you both avoid making the relationship toxic and unhealthy. Boundaries are so important in any relationship, even friendships!

So don’t be afraid to set boundaries for fear that your partner will get offended. We assure you, it’s how you keep both your sanity while also respecting one another’s individuality in the process. [Read: How to set personal boundaries & guide other people to respect it]

24. You also have a friendship

Many people don’t know this, but people in healthy relationships also have friendships with one another too. It’s the best feeling in the world when your partner is also your best friend.

It means that you understand and get each other in a way that others won’t. Friendship is one of the best foundations to make your relationship work, but this also means there’s an automatic level of trust and respect.

14. You’re patient with one another

Love is patient, and love is kind. That’s one of the most common definitions of what love is. When you love someone, be patient enough to see them grow and become better. One of the factors why toxic relationships occur is that we’re impatient enough and want our needs to be met immediately.

However, a relationship requires patience for it to work. If you don’t have patience, then what happens when there’s conflict and misunderstandings? It also means you won’t have the patience to understand where they’re coming from, and you’d just walk away easily. [Read: How to be patient in a new relationship & avoid risking a new love]

15. You’re a real partnership

A relationship is all about partnership. Neither of you should be superior to the other. You’re partners, so you should both be equals in the relationship. So what the other lacks, the other makes up for.

There shouldn’t be any sign of a power struggle in the relationship so in having a healthy relationship, become their equal. Don’t try to compete with them or rise above them, as that’s not how it should be. [Read: 15 rules to be a good partner in a relationship & wow your lover]

16. You fight fair

Every couple has their moments where they get on each other’s nerves or say something that offended the other person. Of course, an argument may arise, but a healthy relationship isn’t based on who can hurt the other person more or a battle of who’s smarter than who. When you fight, it’s done fairly without the intention to hurt each other.

We mentioned that fighting is healthy, but it’s how you fight that separates healthy from unhealthy.

17. You laugh together often

Now, there’s laughing at someone else’s expense, and then there’s sharing a laugh together. The are very different things.

Of course, there will be times when something funny happens to your partner, and you’ll laugh. But, you should be able to sit down with your partner and laugh together. [Read: The 10 signs your partner is truly supportive of you]

18. You know each other’s love languages

That’s right. There is more than one language of love. Most people don’t realize we have different ways of showing love. There are actually five different love languages: physical touch, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and words of affirmation.

Not everyone shows love the same way. By knowing how another communicates love, you build a stronger relationship.

19. You can talk about tough things

Relationships aren’t all rainbows and butterflies; there are going to be moments where you’re going to have to discuss difficult topics. But, if you can’t talk about these things with your partner, then who will you talk about them with?

If you’re able to navigate these tough times together, you have a healthy relationship. [Read: Easy communication exercises for couples to communicate better]

20. You have a mutual commitment

A healthy relationship is built on trust. Of course, there are different types of relationships out there, for example, monogamous or polyamorous.

But, regardless of their structure, they should have a commitment from everyone involved. By committing, you invest in the relationship and accept the good and bad times that lie ahead.

You’re both equally committed and you feel it.

21. You both show empathy

This is one of the most important qualities of a healthy relationship that really matters. Empathy is being able to understand and feel someone else other than yourself.

You need to be able to walk in your partner’s shoes. Maybe they have had a hard day at work, and if you don’t understand them, you won’t be able to provide them with the support they need.

In a relationship, if you don’t have empathy, you’ll suffer from a lack of communication and understanding. [Read: How to develop empathy and master the art of growing a real heart]

22. You have shared values

When you’re in a relationship, you want to feel like you have a purpose in it. You’re not just filling in a position; you’re with your partner for a reason. You feel comfortable, safe, and cared for. Is this relationship really good for you? 

It may seem like a selfish thought, but if it’s not making you feel good, then you can’t contribute to the relationship. If you share life values and you’re heading in the same direction, that’s a good start. [Read: Should you lower your expectations to find love?]

23. You don’t expect perfection

Everyone has flaws, but accepting these flaws and imperfections is one of the important qualities of a healthy relationship.

You’re not here to change your partner and vice versa. A healthy relationship is one where both people accept their flaws and continue to love each other through knowing these imperfections. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for successful love]

24. There is a balance of power

No one has more power over the other or tries to one-up each other. Instead, there’s balance. You both have equal say in the relationship and both opinions matter.

Of course, one person may make a decision. For example, you decide what’s going to be for dinner, but the other person decides what movie you will watch. Do you see what we mean?

25. There is no ulterior motive to be together

You want to be with them because of them. Okay, yeah, there are people dating just for money or gifts. Let’s not play dumb, this is happening, but that’s not a healthy relationship. It’s not even a relationship, it’s a business partnership.

The only thing you should want to get out of the relationship is their love. If you are with them simply because you adore every part of them, that’s a healthy relationship.

26. There’s no blame game

You’re going to argue no matter how amazing your relationship is. But there are two ways you argue. Firstly, you guys both blame each other and eventually mentally explode from exhaustion. Or you both accept your mistakes, apologizing and learning from the argument.

We know the first one is easy to do, but the latter pays off in the end.

27. You’re not scared to be vulnerable with each other

Who else are you going to open up to on that intimate level if not your partner? Sharing yourself with them means you’ll need to be vulnerable.

Of course, they need to be vulnerable to you as well. If not, then it’s one-sided and that’s not a relationship. [Read: What does it mean to be vulnerable? 15 easy ways to learn to open up more]

How to build a healthy relationship together

Sometimes, you date someone and fall in love with them. You start to overlook a few things that bother you, and then some more. And before you know it, you’re settling in a relationship that drains away your happiness instead of adding more of it.

Change it, communicate with each other and work towards a happier and healthier relationship.

You always need to remember that no relationship is perfect. If it is, it’s only because two unique people came together, fell in love, communicated with each other, and worked towards a happier future together.

It’s doable, and you just need to start by learning to express yourself and learning to listen to your partner too.

[Read: What to look for in a relationship? 23 traits of a happy romance]

How many of these signs and qualities of a healthy relationship do you see in your own life? Remember, when you’re happy, everyone around you is happy. Start small, one day at a time, and you’ll get to experience the best kind of love soon, if not already!

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...