Happy relationships don't automatically equal healthy relationships. I know that sounds like nonsense, but even when you feel like everything is fine, you could be experiencing subtle unhealthy relationship red flags that are easy to miss. And what's even more of a brain burn is that you can love someone and want to be with them so, so badly, even when the relationship isn't good or good for you.
Unlike the movies, love is absolutely not enough. You need a basic foundation built out of trust, communication, respect, and kindness, but you also need the little things, like friendship, security, and privacy.
Understanding what's healthy and unhealthy in a relationship doesn't necessarily mean you have to break up if you realize you have some problem areas. It can mean that you work together to better your lives together and to encourage each other to be your best selves.
Getting to a healthy place in your relationship can only make your life better. But the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to find help or to change things, according to the Santa Clara University Wellness Center. So take stock of your relationship now and move in the direction of health and happiness rather than codependent or abusive situations.
And if it doesn't make your love deeper and stronger, sometimes breaking up can be a gift, too.
1. You Don't Have Relationship Security
You shouldn't worry constantly about breaking up. If you've broken up and gotten back together numerous times, and it means you don't have relationship security, according to Alice Boyes Ph.D. in an article for Psychology Today, which is not healthy.
2. You Don't Equally Call The Shots
In healthy relationships, both partners call the shots, according to writer Brittany Wong in an article for Huffington Post. Even if one partner is naturally more assertive and the other is more laid back, and you're both kind of fine with one person making all the decisions, you still need to take turns. Both of you have valid opinions and powerful voices that matter. And the relationship belongs to you both.
3. You Can't Be Happy Without Each Other
It's unhealthy to be the sole source of anyone's happiness, especially your partner's, according to Wong. You both have to be able to do your thing once in a while and have some time apart. Remember, you were an individual before you were in a couple, and it's important that you retain your individual identity.
4. You Don't Have Your Own Friends
When a partner doesn't want you to have your own friends, hang out with new people, or go anywhere without him (or her), that's control, and it's unhealthy, according to Bentley University. Even if your partner says it's to keep you safe. Healthy, well-rounded people need to have their own friends and occasionally spend time without their partners.
5. You Don't Have Any Mutual Friends
It's also a red flag if you don't have any mutual friends, according to Dina Strada in an article for Elephant Journal. That likely means your family and friends don't like your partner, and if no one in your life likes the person you're dating, it's worth stopping and thinking about why.
6. You Have To Justify Your Actions
You're in control of what you do and where you go. If your partner controls those things, or makes you feel like you need permission to live your life, then you're in unhealthy relationship, according to the University of Washington. Keep in mind, there's a difference between taking your decisions through with your partner, and needing permission.
If any of the above situations happen in your relationship, you need to tap the brakes and have some serious discussions about how you can both make healthy changes. If your partner is unwilling to transition to healthier behaviors, the best thing to do may be to say goodbye.
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