A healthy relationship is something to be desired but not all relationships are admirable, beneficial or healthy; that is a fact. And sometimes, we can spot these crazy, dysfunctional relationships from a mile away. At other times, however, what we thought was a marriage or relationship made in heaven is actually an unhealthy, unpalatable experience for those involved.
Whenever we discover the truth about some of these not-so-rosy relationships, we may be surprised wondering how they were absolutely no signs to give us insight into the true state of affairs. The truth is that there are always signs; they may not have been as obvious as in other cases.
We need to know what makes up a healthy relationship not only to help those who might be prone to choosing wrong relationships but also for our sakes; so that we can avoid unhealthy relationships.
Here are some ways to determine if a relationship is healthy:
Healthy relationships are founded on the basis of acceptance of each other. No meaningful relationship can do without acceptance of the qualities, strengths and flaws of each other.
When people accept each other, it means that they know what they were going into before taking up the relationship. There is hardly room for confusion or unrealistic expectations in such a relationship. This contributes greatly to peace and happiness of such a relationship.
Only people who have accepted themselves can truly acceptance so the starting point for mutual acceptance in a healthy relationship is that both parties know and love their own selves just the way they are.
Compassion and Empathy
One of the main ingredients of a healthy relationship is that both partners are kind and compassionate towards each other. They look out for each other and look to love and serve each other as against waiting for what they can get or how much the other person has contributed.
Healthy relationships are also marked by empathy and understanding from both partners. They are able to put each other in consideration in the things they do without becoming people-pleasers or pretenders. The starting point for this is that each partners has learnt how to take care of him/herself with kindness and compassion.
Conflicts arise in all relationships but the difference is that in healthy relationships, conflicts are resolved in such a way that brings about meaningful resolution of issues and allows either or both parties to learn from it.
One of the marks of proper conflict resolution in a relationship is that both partners listen to the other person’s point of view with a desire to understand and are not more concerned about making a point or winning arguments.
In healthy relationships, conflict is used as an opportunity to learn, improve or adjust and not as an tool to malign or control each other.
Trust is a necessary ingredient of every good and balanced relationship; both partners have a faith that the other person will not deliberately do anything to harm or hurt them. They also have faith that they are both committed to seeking each other’s wellbeing and happiness. This kind of trust means that negative assumptions are not suddenly made about the other person’s actions; they believe the best of each other and do not live in suspicion.
Trust in a relationship also means that attempts are made clarify and understand any behaviour that is inconsistent with the expectations they have of each other.
Enjoyment of Company
A relationship is not a good one if one or both are sticking around despite the fact that they do not enjoy the other person’s company. It makes no sense.
For a relationship to be fulfilling and meaningful that both parties must enjoy being together even though they do not cling to each other all the time.
Healthy relationships are also marked by independence on both sides. This means that both sides have made a choice to be together and be inter-dependent not because they cannot function individually without each but because they love and are fond of each other.
They should still be able pursue individual interests and maintain personal friendships and possession even though are in a committed relationship. This should also earn support from their partners.