Samantha Jones of Sex and the City fame once stated that she could tell if someone was in a good relationship just by looking at their face.
If you’re always frowning, things aren’t going well.
If you can’t help but smile, the relationship is firing on all cylinders.
Not to contradict the fictional legend, but things aren’t as cut and dry – at least in the real world.
Just because a couple is going through a rough patch doesn’t mean they’re not meant to be.
Yet, that’s exactly when you experience doubts about your future together.
Rest assured: if you recognize these 13 signs, you’re in a happy and healthy relationship.
Despite whatever Samantha might say.
1) You respect each other
Mutual respect is a crucial aspect of a successful partnership.
It conveys that you value each other as individuals and treat each other with dignity.
When one partner disrespects or belittles the other, it creates a harmful power dynamic.
Thankfully, that’s not the case here.
Even when you disagree, you’re open to understanding the other’s point of view.
You don’t insult or put each other down.
Instead, you see each other as equals, acknowledging that both of you contribute to the good of the relationship.
2) You trust each other
You can’t have a happy and healthy relationship without trust.
You and your partner worked hard to build a solid foundation, so you both believe in the reliability and integrity of the other.
In other words, you don’t worry that your partner will ghost you out of the blue or keep damaging secrets.
You don’t feel the need to:
- Snoop through their belongings
- Check their location when you’re not together
- Pester them about what they do when they’re not with you
- Worry that they’ll break a promise
- Hide the fact that you’ve made a mistake
Doesn’t that feel nice?
3) You can talk about anything
There’s nothing wrong with keeping harmless little secrets from your partner.
After all, they don’t need to know that you flirted with a random stranger just for fun, that your cousin finds them annoying, or that the new shirt they bought makes them look like a time traveler from the ‘70s.
When it comes to the important stuff, however, you two can talk about anything.
No subject is off the table, and you’re not afraid to share your secrets with them or offer a controversial opinion.
You’re sure they won’t judge you, and that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
4) You accept each other just as you are
I once dated a guy who was sneakily trying to mold me into another person. A person who likes the woods.
I was a bookworm who didn’t like to leave the house; he was an adventurer longing for open spaces.
I told him that I was not particularly interested in expanding my horizons but that I was happy for us to do stuff we could both enjoy.
Perhaps we could go hiking, but rather than sleep in a tent and fight bears in the middle of the night, we could stay in a cabin with walls and a toilet that didn’t make me want to scream.
He seemed okay with this.
As the weeks passed, however, he began to criticize my indoor ways and mock my lack of wilderness skills.
He suggested I buy hiking boots. Go on more walks to build endurance. Enjoy how majestic the trees in the local park were.
His attitude became tiresome and made me understand that he didn’t fall for me. He fell for my potential.
Dating someone while secretly hoping they will change is a recipe for disaster.
People grow, but the key to being happy together is accepting each other just as you are now, differences and shortcomings included.
You and your boo already do that.
5) You enjoy each other’s company
Another sign that you’re in a happy and healthy relationship is that you genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
It doesn’t matter if you go out or stay in, as long as it entails spending quality time together.
You can watch the worst movie ever to grace the screen and have fun because you criticize it together.
How cool is that?
6) You have common goals
You know your relationship is going well when you feel like part of a team.
You and your partner talk about the future and have shared goals you’re working toward achieving.
Perhaps you’re both saving money to move in together one day.
You’re taking a course to learn Italian because you want to visit Rome in the near future.
You’re trying to eat healthier, so you challenge each other to cook more meals at home instead of ordering takeout.
You get the idea.
7) You each maintain your independence
Besides these common goals, however, you maintain an identity outside the relationship.
You have your own hobbies, friends, and interests – and your partner does too.
While you enjoy spending time together, like we established at number 5), you don’t mind being apart every now and then to do your own thing.
In fact, you encourage each other to pursue the things that make your hearts sing, even if you don’t understand them.
8) You make decisions together
Let’s say you’re offered a better job in a different city.
What do you do?
Do you ruminate on this decision quietly and make up your mind without consulting your partner?
Or do you reach out and ask for their input?
If you picked the second opinion, congrats!
You’re in a strong couple where the partners consider each other when they have life-changing decisions to make.
9) You know how to fight
Every couple fights. Even when the relationship is happy and healthy.
The difference is that partners who value each other figure out how to do it productively.
While conflict is unavoidable, dealing with it comes with a learning curve.
You two are way past that.
You actively listen to each other, you take breaks when arguments get too heated, and you’ve mastered the art of compromise.
And even if the fight is ugly, you move forward without holding grudges.
Those only build resentment in the long run.
10) You have a healthy sex life
You and your partner trust and respect each other – even when you’re under the sheets.
What constitutes a healthy sex life varies from couple to couple, but the two of you are on the same page.
All sexual activities are based on enthusiastic consent, and both of you make sure that the other has a good time.
Moreover, you’re satisfied with the frequency and quality of your intimate encounters.
And while you’re open to trying new things, you’re also diligent about respecting each other’s boundaries.
You’re doing great!
11) You don’t keep score
While seeing each other as equals in the relationship is essential, you and your partner don’t bother to keep score.
You understand that sometimes a person can give 80% of themselves to making things work, while the other contributes less.
Things will eventually turn around.
Your relationship is a priority, but it’s not the only one you have.
So, when one of you is busy with work or struggling with something, the other is fine with picking up the slack.
That’s a great attitude. It’s also key to making things last.
12) You support each other
Similarly, each of you is the other’s biggest cheerleader.
Your partner not only encourages you to grow as a person but also supports you while you chase your dreams.
They don’t laugh in your face when you tell them you want to run a marathon, change careers, or write a book.
They buy you new running shoes, research the industry you’re interested in, and suggest you wake up earlier to write before work.
Oh, and you return the favor.
13) Your friends are excited for you
Finally, if your loved ones are supportive of the relationship, it’s a happy and healthy one.
Your friends have your best interest at heart. They’re the first to notice when your love life is in shambles.
If they like your partner, express interest in how things are going, and encourage you to push through the hard times, you’ve found a good one.
Hold on to them.
Every relationship is different, and each couple experiences ups and downs as they navigate this complicated world.
But as long as you and your partner tick the boxes above, you’re on the right track to getting your happily ever after.