Not all relationships are good relationships.
Unfortunately, many single adults are forced to believe that ANY relationship after being single for a significant amount of time is better than nothing. As a single person the message that a relationship will make you happier than being single is heavily reinforced in society. The emptiness some people might feel when single can often make an unhealthy relationship seem appealing.
Many people turn to research and theories like the 5 love languages, or ‘Attachment style’ to help them analyze the state of their relationships. Feeling anxious or nervous – could be your attachment style. Feeling under appreciated? Might be your love language.
While it’s helpful to have insight on what might be happening within our individual personalities, it can also be helpful to evaluate the relationship as a whole. You want to make sure that you’re in a healthy relationship and these are a few ways to tell.
Mutual respect in a relationship can manifest in many ways. The clearest signs that your partner respects your are the following:
They value you. When your partner values you in a relationship, it means that they are taking your time, opinion, feelings, and overall well being into consideration when making decisions. They understand the impact they have on your well being and they do their best to include your needs and preferences when considering their actions and behaviors.
They accept your boundaries. When a partner respects you, they also respect your boundaries and don’t pressure you to do things that you don’t want to do. In a healthy relationship your partner is clear on what your boundaries are and never asks you to change them for their convenience.
They listen to you. Listening is an important part of showing respect. They don’t ignore any of your concerns, desires, or forms of self-expression. A partner that listens to you, pays attention to information that you share about what you want from the relationship. They don’t dismiss your thoughts or opinions as invalid.
Every healthy relationship requires some level of accountability. You are not responsible for their happiness and vice versa but in every healthy relationship each partner should recognize how their actions affect the other person.
If your partner refuses to acknowledge that their behavior contributes negatively to your state of mind, or welfare they are dismissive of your value. If your partner refuses to be accountable for their actions – such as committing to promises and obligations within the relationship then there is a clear lack of accountability.
Taking time apart to recharge and continue to grow as an individual is an important part of a healthy relationship. If you find that you feel uneasy without your partner this isn’t a sign that you are codependent or anxiously attached. It could be the result of unhealthy behaviors that have led to you feeling abandoned or ignored.
If you are unable to give your partner space or your partner doesn’t want to give you space then your relationship could be exhibiting unhealthy trends and habits.
No one can know what it’s like to be you but your partner should be someone who you can relate to. Showing empathy in a relationship is a sign that you have a healthy bond and not a trauma bond. In the case where you are bonding from pain it’s common to play to the victim with your partner and to show off who is hurt the most, or wounded the deepest.
This type of connection doesn’t show empathy for each other’s pain. A healthy relationship is one where each person shows the other empathy and understanding.
In a healthy relationship empathy confirms that your partner knows how you feel. This isn’t to say they have felt the same way. Empathy shows an understanding and a compassion for each other without trying to compete with who has been hurt the most in the past, who has it the worst, or who is more damaged.
One of the most important signs of a healthy relationship is dependability.
No one wants to feel alone when they are with someone else. The ability to rely on or depend on your partner is critical for you to feel safe. Whether you can call your partner at any time of the day or you can count on your partner to follow through with their word, dependability is an important part of a healthy relationship.
If your partner isn’t available to you when they say they will be (physically or emotionally) or you can’t rely on them to meet your needs, even the trivial ones, then you might be in an unhealthy or unbalanced partnership.