Relationships are an essential part of a person’s life: persons strive to form relationships and connections due to their inherent desire for feelings of love and appreciation. They drive themselves to build such connections and relationships. Many studies have shown that happy and robust relationships bring less stress and anxiety, better emotional and physical health, happier and healthier attitudes, and a sense of purpose in life.
What, though, is a good and healthy relationship? In all honesty, there is no correct answer as it depends on the people in the relationship. Relationships are all personal: people expect different needs and relationships, romantic and platonic, do not have to conform themselves to standards that are seen as “normal” and set in society.
Generally speaking, a healthy and strong relationship is based on the needs and wants of the people. Even though all relationships are different, many signs prove a relationship is healthy and robust.
- Trust and transparency.
All relationships, platonic and romantic, are built on a foundation of trust and transparency. People argue in relationships, which is natural, so an essential key in relationships is not to fear conflicts and arguments. People in a relationship have to feel safe and open to express their thoughts, desires, and emotions without fear being humiliated, degraded, or insulted. When people in a relationship share their most significant needs, fears, and desires, it strengthens the bond and lets them know they are appreciated and loved. Trust in somebody means that they are confident in the person and the relationship. It means that the persons feel safe and happy in the relationship, physically and emotionally.
2. Respect and love for each other.
As said in the last trait, trust is the foundation in all relationships: trust leads to respect, love, teamwork, and cooperation, vital to creating relationships and connections. One of the most important is the mutual love and respect people have for each other. Both people are responsible and entrusted to make each other feel loved, acknowledged, supported, and unignored. In a healthy relationship, both parties do not ask or beg for love and respect, but they are given it, whether they ask for it or not. The people are willing to love and respect each other’s boundaries and trust them by giving them freedom and space without feeling constricted or as if they are on a tightrope. They respect them as individuals and persons: they see their value and dignity and enforce their boundaries that both people should respect.
3. Teamwork and cooperation.
No relationship is perfect, and every person and every relationship will reach the juncture where they will fight and argue. There is no way to avoid the inevitable, but people can always solve the issues that can and should be solved. People do not have to fix every issue, but they should cooperate and work on what can be solved. It is okay to agree to disagree and engage in healthy fighting, but people in a healthy relationship are transparent and work through the issues they can solve.
4. Good communication and support
Both people in a relationship should be willing to communicate and support each other through trials, tribulations, and endeavors. In a healthy and strong relationship, both parties should be willing to see eye-to-eye how the relationship should be and trust that the other person can deliver the acknowledgment needed towards their needs. The persons should be willing to be transparent and open towards what is uncomfortable and what boundaries should be stipulated and enforced between the two. Arguments are typical and expected, but a strong relationship does not have mutual blaming, impulsive assumptions, or name-calling. Both parties have to understand the other and then help them understand themselves. Another important trait in a relationship is encouraging and inspiring the person to become the best versions of themselves. They have to be willing to see through their worst times and their aspirations, dreams, and experiences, whether they agree with it or not. Let the other person feel loved and appreciated: that is the purpose of a healthy relationship.
5. You enjoy your time with the person.
Every relationship will have a honeymoon phase where everything is seen as perfect and beautiful, but once this phase wears off, both parties should still feel happy, loved, and supported, even when the perfectness wears off. Every person deserves a relationship that makes them feel loved and appreciated and keep their identity in the relationship. Make sure that both enjoy the person’s company and feel happy when around the person.
There are many more traits and hallmarks of a good and healthy relationship, but these are the most important. For an excellent read on healthy relationships, check out a book about respectful relationships on The Poppies on the Hill, perfect for children, or see this self-help book on vulnerability in relationships.