“One of the more ridiculous myths about “true love” is the idea of the soulmate – that there is someone out there who is your perfect match. A good relationship is about navigating the numerous differences between you – over politics, food, money, how to raise children,” says author Kate Figes.
Everyone wonders about their relationships, and some people often compare their relationship with their significant other to the relationships of people around them. Common questions that run through people’s minds include whether or not their relationship is happy and healthy.
Indeed, they can feel that way, but relationships can feel differently to people while they’re in them versus after they’ve ended. While there’s no right way to have a relationship, there are some standard things that most happy relationships meet every day. People in happy and healthy relationships will have a lot of the same qualities in their relationships.
“I think for any relationship to be successful, there needs to be loving communication, appreciation, and understanding.” – Miranda Kerr
Here Are 7 Signs You’re In The Best Relationship Of Your Life
1. You’re able to speak your mind
Healthy relationships are all about communication, and you know you’re in a great one when you’re able to speak your mind. You won’t have to feel afraid of upsetting your partner by staking your opinions and telling the truth. And your partner feels the same way. After all, communication in a relationship is a two-way street, and a happy, healthy relationship means you’ll both feel free to say what’s on your mind.
2. You have space to yourself
Even if you’re so in love you miss each other, you still have the space to be yourself and do what you want to do without your partner hovering over your shoulder 24/7.
Amy Baglan, CEO of MeetMindful, says, “A friend taught me that no matter how in love you are or how long you’ve been together, it’s important to take an exhale from your partnership. Hang out with girlfriends until late in the evening, take a weekend trip to visit family, or spend time ‘doing you’ for a while. Then when you go home to Yours Truly, you’ll both be recharged and ready to come together even stronger.”
A healthy relationship means giving one another time to miss each other. If you’re able to go out on your own without having your partner text you every five minutes to ask where you are or when you’ll be back, you’re in a pretty good relationship.
3. You like the relationship as is
The sign of an unhappy relationship is discontent and hoping that it will eventually change and work itself out. When you’re in a healthy and happy relationship, you like it just the way it is. There’s no waiting on your or your partner’s end for something to work out. You’re accepted for who you are by your partner, and you’re not expected to change a part of your personality to suit them – and you don’t expect that from your partner, either.
4. You make decisions together
In a happy relationship, you and your partner make decisions together. This means that you’re not left surprised when your partner makes all of the big decisions for you – where to live, what to do with the house, or anything else like that. As a unit, you and your partner are making decisions, both big and small, and keeping one another informed of your thoughts and opinions.
As Dr. Sue Johnson mentions, “It is clear that when we know someone has our back, we are more confident and more adventurous. We achieve our goals more easily and are less derailed by disappointments.”
5. The relationship is balanced
Unbalanced relationships can cause a lot of stress and strain on one partner. A relationship with one partner doing all of the household chores while the other makes all of the money can be unsettling for one reason or another. Relationships become happier and healthier when there is balance. Sometimes this means giving up and compromising together.
6. You trust one another
Relationships don’t last if there’s mistrust between partners. Your relationship is probably excellent if you can trust your partner and tell them everything, and they can do the same with you. You can also trust them not to hurt you or do things that would upset you. Trust is a variation on respect, and when you and your partner respect and trust one another, the relationship is bound to be happy.
7. You’re intimacy is closer than anything you’ve ever felt
Healthy relationships have a level of intimacy that unhealthy relationships don’t. Dr. Patricia Thompson says, “From the time we are born, we are meant to be touched. Touch is linked with feelings of safety, trust, and support, and individuals who receive more physical affection report feeling more positively about their relationship and their partner…”
When a relationship has run its course, being physically intimate with one another might be the first thing to stop. However, if you find that you and your partner are still being close and still enjoy it just as much as the first time, congratulations, your relationship is going strong.
Happy and healthy relationships all have the same key ingredients that unhappy relationships don’t. Relationships aren’t all the same, and they don’t benefit from being compared to the people around you. But comparing your relationship to a healthy relationship can help ensure that you’re getting everything that you need emotionally, intellectually, and physically out of a relationship.
6 Habits to Maintain Your Happy Relationship
1. Be Fully Present With Your Partner
What does this mean, exactly? Turn off the TV or put down your phone in your partner’s presence. You don’t always need background noise or activities during bonding time in a relationship. Sometimes, you need to enjoy one another’s a company without distractions.
In our digital world, relationships have suffered due to the advent of smartphones and other devices. We’re so caught up in social media and other forms of entertainment that we’ve lost touch with reality somehow. However, we can repair our relationships by simply giving the gift of our attention and presence.
Being fully present means turning toward your partner when they speak and listening to understand, not reply. It means enjoying you SO without any expectations or worries, being immersed in the here and now. Let go of any stress to get the most out of quality time with your beau.
2. Do Something New and Exciting Together
Relationships start to feel stale, especially if you’ve been with your SO for many years. The honeymoon phase only lasts a short time, and then you come crashing back down to reality. Juggling careers, families, and other obligations, marriage takes a back seat, putting distance between partners.
Fortunately, studies prove that planning something exhilarating or spontaneous with your partner can reignite the flames in relationships. Everyone needs some novelty in their life, so if you’ve been in a rut, consider:
- Planning a fun vacation to somewhere new with your partner
- Taking a class together, such as a pottery or baking class
- Working out together (studies show that exercising with your SO leads to greater relationship satisfaction)
- Cooking dinner together
- Going to a theme park together (adults need a break sometimes, too!)
3. Practice Active Listening
As we said earlier, many couples suffer from a lack of communication in the modern world. They have so many responsibilities that they forget about their obligation to each other. So, they start to feel resentful and alienated in the relationship, leading to tension and passive-aggressive behaviors.
Fortunately, research shows that active listening leads to greater relationship satisfaction. Every couple should feel comfortable expressing themselves to one another in a safe, authentic manner. After all, what’s the point of a relationship if you can’t share your deepest thoughts or insecurities? Communication and trust provide the foundation of a healthy relationship, so if you’ve been feeling distant, make time for a heart-to-heart.
You can practice active listening in the following ways: