As far as relationships go, there's nothing better than waking up one day and realizing you're finally in a mature and healthy relationship. Seemingly all at once, you are struck with the facts — you are happy, you are comfortable, and you have an overwhelming desire to daydream about the future. These are all great feelings, as well as signs that things are going well with your SO.
But perhaps the biggest sign of relationship success? You always feel like your partner listens to you, which shows the depth of your relationship's maturity and health. "Signs of an unhealthy relationship center around issues with poor communication and listening skills," says psychologist Nicole Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC, in an email to Bustle. So not having to deal with these issues (especially if you've dealt with them in past relationships) can feel incredibly refreshing.
Another huge sign is an utter lack of drama. Gone are the days of trust issues, and being blamed (or blaming others) for things they may or may not have done. Gone are the days of frequent fights, and personal attacks (versus level-headed discussions). And you can't even remember the last time you felt torn down, or belittled.
Instead, you feel supported. You feel listened to. And, best of all, you feel happy. Read on for even more signs that your relationship is healthy and mature.
1. Arguments Stay On Topic
If you think back to your past, unhealthy relationships, then you might remember how quickly each and every argument went down hill. One minute, the two of you were bickering over dishes. The next, you're both screaming about that thing from five years ago. Pointing to a better, more mature way to argue, Martinez says, "The couple stays on task and focused on the issue, instead of resorting to personal attacks and yelling." Clearly this new way of disagreeing is far better.
2. You Always Tell The Truth
You might notice that you no longer feel the need to lie. Not about money, your opinions, what movie you'd like to see — nothing. In the past, you kept most things to yourself for fear of being judged, or ridiculed. But now that you're in a healthy relationship, all of that worry has fallen away.
3. You Are OK With Alone Time
The moment you are both OK with alone time, is the moment your relationship crosses into the realm of maturity. Not only does spending time apart mean your relationship has healthy boundaries, but it also means there is a decided lack of co-dependence. As Martinez says, "The couple is just as comfortable with their time together, as they are with time apart." And so everyone goes about their business, guilt-free.
4. Communication Is A Breeze
When you chat, both of you feel like the other is listening. And, of course, you are. "Mature and healthy relationships have open and honest communication," Martinez says. "Each person allows their partner the chance to be heard, and tries to understand things from their point of view." (Hint: this is another reason why your arguments always run smoothly.)
5. You Don't Want To Change Each Other
In past relationships, you always went in with a laundry list of changes. (Maybe he'll get a job. Maybe she'll someday be nicer.) But now that's not the case. As Beth Leipholtz said on EliteDaily.com, "In a healthy relationship, changing your partner shouldn't even be a desire on your radar." And it's not. In fact, you wouldn't dare change a thing.
6. You Plan Way Ahead
Suddenly, the future seems to expand beyond this coming weekend. Instead of planning things days in advance, you both suddenly want to talk about next summer, or what could happen five years down the road. "In an adult relationship, plans can be made months in advance without stopping to wonder where the relationship will or won’t be," Leipholtz said. Just like that, you both have full calendars, and lots of vacations and holidays to look forward to.
7. You Know Where The Other Stands On Important Issues
When you're with someone who isn't a good fit, the two of you will likely hesitate to talk about big, scary things like marriage and children. "These topics usually arise naturally, so avoiding them like the plague is a giveaway you might not be in the most grown-up relationship," said Zara Barnes on SELF. So the fact you both love talking about such things? A totally good sign.
8. You Learn From Past Mistakes
Remember what I said about arguing over things that happened five years ago? And, ya know, holding grudges for forever? Well, unhealthy relationships are often full of resentment, while healthy couples look to learn from mistakes, according to Ann Smith on Psychology Today. A problem is never a problem, because you both learn from the issue, and move on.
9. You Support Each Other's Dreams
Instead of being intimidated by each other's success, you feel an overwhelming desire to see your SO succeed. If that means driving them to work at 5 a.m., or pitching in so they can finally buy a guitar, then so be it. You know they'd do the same for you.
10. Responsibilities Are Split Equally
When it comes to your relationship, there's no such thing as an unfair balance of chores or responsibilities. In fact, you both equally pitch in when it comes to cleaning, grocery shopping, and paying bills. "It’s a sign you each respect your relationship, the other person’s time, and the home you’ve created together," Barnes said. What could be more mature than that?
11. Everything Feels Easy
Conversation is easy. Splitting the chores is easy. Supporting each other easy. But above everything else, feeling happy is easy. "When it’s easy to feel content from day to day, show someone you love them, and receive that same love in return, it’s a sign you’re in an adult relationship that may be built to last," Barnes said.
So there you have it — what it looks like to be in a mature, healthy relationship. Pretty great, right?
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