You and your partner have a fight. You find yourself not needing to be with them 24-7… these traits may sound like the onset of a failing relationship, but they’re actually signs you’re in a healthy relationship. Here are 10 other signs that your relationship is a lot healthier than you think.
1. You actually listen to each other, even if you disagree
Listening and being heard is a much more useful relationship skill than simply never arguing, Cyndi Darnell, a sex and relationship therapist, tells SheKnows. “You cannot be in agreement with your partner on everything 100 percent of the time. Fifty percent of successful communication is listening. If everyone is speaking and no one is listening, things go downhill — fast!”
2. You’ve never threatened to leave or dump each other
When you start threatening your partner that you might leave them or break up with them, even if you don’t, it starts to deteriorate the relationship, sex and relationship educator Bethany Ricciardi tells SheKnows. “Every healthy relationship has a strong foundation, and with that, you do not threaten abandonment. Even if it’s an empty threat, words are very powerful, and if you want a healthy relationship, you should only plant seeds of positivity.”
3. You make sacrifices for each other & don’t count the favors
When you start keeping track of what you did for them and what they did for you, it never ends well. “Being someone’s partner means laughing for them when they aren’t able and picking them up when they can’t stand on their own. You start to perform selfless acts in a healthy relationship because caring for your partner has become a priority,” says Ricciardi.
4. You are OK with your partner spending time away from you
“You recognize your partner is a complete person and always was, long before you came into their life. You are a complement to their life and they to yours, but you are not each other’s vital organs,” says Darnell. A little bit of fresh air in a relationship goes a long way.
5. You can tolerate conflict
“It’s not about ‘never fighting’ but about using common conflicts to learn about each other, compromise and become closer,” Sara Stanizai, a licensed marriage and family therapist and the owner of Prospect Therapy, tells SheKnows. “Think about it: You learn more about your partner on your bad days than you do on your best behavior. A couple who never disagrees is likely to not be as closely bonded. Not being afraid to have healthy conflict is a sign of a close relationship.”
6. Neither of you gets caught paying attention to other attractive people
This speaks to a healthy sex life together. “It can show how satisfied you both are with one another and the sexy tension is always fresh between the two of you. Other people don’t even catch your eye because all your thinking about is how sexy your partner is going to look later in bed,” says Ricciardi.
7. You both talk positively about being in a relationship
“If you catch yourself loving the relationship lifestyle and the partner you’re enjoying it with, chances are you’re in a healthy relationship,” says Ricciardi. When you find yourself and your partner talking to friends in a positive light about the relationship, it’s something to remember because it’s a good sign you have a healthy partnership.
8. You don’t need to know all of each other’s secrets
“Of course, any information that is relevant and affects your partner directly ideally should be disclosed, but certain things that are personal may remain that way unless you want to disclose,” says Darnell.
9. You can show your less-than-perfect side
People who can be themselves around their partners, flaws and all, are in a healthier relationship. “Instead of trying to curate a ‘perfect’ image of themselves, which is not sustainable, they gradually let their true colors show. We’re talking about things generally considered embarrassing, unflattering or not ideal. If you can share that side with your partner occasionally, it means you are in a comfortable, real relationship,” says Stanizai.
10. You can rely on your partner but you don’t need them
It’s great to be independent, and it’s also great to have partner who has your back. “If you are able to let them in, maybe to help with a problem outside the relationship, for example, it shows that you can trust them. Similarly, if you are able to make personal decisions without them or you don’t feel like you need to ‘run things by them,’ it shows you are an independent person rather than a possibly codependent person,” says Stanizai.