"I love my boyfriend, but is my relationship healthy?"
"I think my relationship is good, but other times it's bad!"
"Where is this relationship going?"
"Am I wasting my time in this relationship or not?"
The $64,000 question is "are you in a good relationship or not?"
Building your relationship with a partner that fits well with you is exciting and life-enhancing as the two of you look forward to a happy life together. You might even discuss hopes and dreams for the future.
So how do you ensure that you get to keep this wonderful experience you're building together?
There are many paths to a healthy partner relationship. However, once you get there, it most likely will look something like this:
Healthy partners exhibit excellent communication skills.
They appear to be both communicating well and listening to one another. They look at one another during conversations. One talks while the other listens. They take turns talking and listening.
How well do you communicate?
Healthy partners look like they're enjoying life.
Both partners will smile a lot. At the least, they'll have looks of contentment when in the same room. In essence, they seem happy to be together.
Are you enjoying life?
They appear quite comfortable with one another.
One partner might slip their hand into the other partner's hand spontaneously.
- At a party, they might chat with others together or "separate" briefly to take part in conversations with others. Eventually, they'll gravitate back to one another to see how the other's doing. They "check in" frequently with each other.
How comfortable are you?
Disagreements are handled using moderated voice volume and tone.
In a relationship, there's bound to be an occasional disagreement or misunderstanding. How these are handled makes all the difference.
- At those times, each partner will take special care to get hold of their own feelings and seek a resolution to the disagreement.
How do you handle disagreements?
When necessary, one partner admits their error and apologizes to the other.
In a close loving relationship, partners are honest with themselves and their partners regarding mistakes they make.
- Healthy partners understand that admitting when they're wrong demonstrates that they're supportive, caring and involved.
How do each of you handle being wrong?
Healthy partners show genuine respect for one another.
Such partners comprehend that sharing mutual respect sends impactful ongoing messages to one another of "I cherish you" and "You are special to me."
Do you respect each other?
Trust is obvious as the relationship grows.
Healthy partners have no need to create drama through having suspicions about the other.
- The ability to trust another person depends on many factors and is quite complicated. People in healthy relationships put forth a lot of effort to figure out this process and, ultimately, earn and give trust.
Do you trust each other?
They each care about how the other feels.
If one partner notices a particular look or behavior by the other that is unusual or out of character, they'll express concern and inquire about it.
- In essence, a healthy couple becomes consistently in tune with one another over time. In a sense, they monitor each other's feelings.
How much do you care about your partner?
Healthy partners have a shared social life.
They make plans to have fun and go out as a couple sometimes and other times with friends.
- Having dates just with each other solidifies the partnership and ensures partners stay intimately connected. Healthy partners want to have dates and eagerly make time for them.
- By the same token, such partners also strive to share their beloved relationship with friends and family members. They occasionally go together to social events or evenings out with loved ones.
How's your social life?
Healthy partners each have a solid sense of independence and a strong sense of self.
Each can stand on his/her own two feet, if they so choose.
- Even though they have each other, each partner understands he is still an individual and brings something important and interesting to the relationship.
How are you by yourself?
Their eyes still seek out each other and meet from across the room.
Interestingly, partners in a healthy relationship want and seek their partners out more than they do anyone else.
- Healthy partners are also good friends. They're interested in one another as individuals and truly strive to share as much time as possible.
Do you both have laser focus for each other?
Use these tips to develop a healthy, long-lasting relationship.
As you can see, building and maintaining a healthy relationship takes ongoing work, but the effort will pay off by bringing you many joys.
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