What Does A Healthy Relationship Look Like? 7 Things Happy Couples Have In Common
Although no relationship is perfect, many of us are striving to have a healthy relationship. A healthy relationship is one that involves respect, trust, and, of course, communication at its core, but also other components as well. But while you may already know this to be true, you still might wonder if your relationship is healthy or not, because, really, what does a healthy relationship even look like?
If you've ever asked yourself this question, you're not alone. According to Google, of all the relationship-related questions that get plugged into their search engine, "what does a healthy relationship look like," is number 10 in the top 10 list. So healthy relationships are clearly on people's minds. But where do you even begin to find out if yours is healthy?
"As the relationship evolves, you both become more in tune with each other, making it is easier to be more intuitive about each other's needs," Behavioral Scientist, Clarissa Silva, tells Bustle. "The beauty is that you won’t have to negotiate what you might need, your partner will just act on it."
But it's certainly more than having your needs met without saying a word. Here are seven things that a healthy relationship should look like, according to Silva.
1. You're Better Because Of The Relationship
When you're in a healthy relationship, your partner automatically brings out the best in you. Not just that, but you want to be a better person because of them.
"One of the key elements about a relationship is that it should make you a better version of yourself," says Silva. "When you find someone that enhances you in ways that you were always hoping for, that is the beginning of a long-term successful relationship."
2. Your Fears Are Reduced
It's normal to have fears, and being with a good partner won't be able to take them all away, but you may notice that once you have a supportive partner that you feel differently about some of the things you used to fear.
"Think about the fears you may have had before you got into the relationship," says Silva. "When you are in an optimal relationship, those fears are reduced." It's because you have a partner and feel as though you have back-up, which you do.
3. There's A Lot Of Chemistry
In a healthy relationship, chemistry is so important! And not forced chemistry, but real chemistry. It's also this chemistry that allows for feelings to grow from lust to attachment, creating a deeper bond.
"With each person you encounter you are taking risk, but with the right person the chemical process that is occurring within both of you complement each other," says Silva. "This goes beyond what most people think of as 'love at first sight.' It is a continuous feeling of comfort that creates ease about taking risk with that person. That chemistry is what we are seeking with each person we date."
4. You're Invested In The Relationship
"When you are in a healthy relationship, you are more able to address things that you are unhappy with," says Silva. "You feel more invested in the outcome of the relationship and are more willing to deal with the challenges of the relationship."
In other words, you'll do whatever you have to in order to save the relationship. You don't give up, because you're truly invested. It's this investment that's made clear by your willingness to communicate.
5. You Can See It As Different From Past Relationships
Every time a relationship comes to an end, we take with us another lesson. And in a healthy relationship, you'll likely notice something different.
"What did you experience that you hadn’t experienced before? Long-term relationship success is based on unique feelings the person brings about in you," says Silva. "This has to do with you and your past relationships, not the other person. It symbolizes your growth and expectations of what you will tolerate in a relationship."
6. It's A Real Partnership
As Silva tells me, finances are one of the biggest strains on a relationship and one of the leading causes of divorce. Yet, if you're in a healthy relationship, you not only are able to communicate about money, but should your partner have debt or financial issues, you're able to work on it together.
"When you are in a healthy relationship you are comfortable that you are establishing an equitable partnership," says Silva. "You don’t see their debt as a barrier to your outcomes and vice versa."
7. You Have Shared Goals
One of the biggest signs you're in a healthy relationship? You're planning for the future together — whatever that means to you as a couple — and move toward that future as a unit.
"You are willing to create shared life outcomes," says Silva. "You create plans to achieve your goals that includes both partners taking risk and gaining reward as a result of that risk."
While it might be hard to determine what a healthy relationship looks like from the outside, from the inside, it means compromise, feeling safe, and, you're willing to put in the work — together.