Healthy relationships play an important role in our overall life satisfaction. Social media and the portrayal of healthy relationships in movies and tv shows can create unrealistic expectations. So what makes a healthy relationship? While there's no such thing as a perfect relationship, there are some key characteristics that can create a strong foundation for a relationship.
1. Trust and vulnerability
Trust and vulnerability are both important when it comes to relationships. If your partner isn't being vulnerable with you, it can be difficult to trust they are being their authentic selves. When you don't trust your partner, it can be difficult to feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable. When there is vulnerability and trust in a relationship, it is easier to form a deeper connection with each other.
Clear communication is part of a healthy, long-lasting relationship. Conflicts are inevitable in all relationships, but learning how to communicate with your partner effectively to resolve differences of opinion is key to a fulfilling relationship.
In a healthy relationship, you need to be able to work with your partner in an effective and balanced way. Who picks up the kids from school? Who washes the dishes? Who cooks dinner every day? It's not about who's doing more, but being able to find resolutions that feel good to both parties that can make you feel like a better team.
When you share a life and love someone, you're not obligated to spend every moment with them. It's important in a healthy relationship to have friendships and interests outside of your partnership. This will allow you to grow as an individual and no be co-dependent.
5. Have fun
Last but not least, have fun! Couples who play, laugh, and have fun together have more satisfying relationships. Play helps build intimacy, and bonding, and allows couples to feel more confident in being their authentic self.
Ariana is a student counselor working on her masters in mental health counseling at Sul Ross State University. She enjoys working with teens and young adults addressing anxiety, depression and phase of life issues. Ariana is supervised by Aimee Rhodes, LPC-S
Elizabeth Oldham is an LPC-S and co-founder of Transform & Renew, PLLC. She specializes in co-dependency, anxiety and OCD, depression and mood disorders.