In the age of “red flags” and “icks,” the opportunity to criticize our relationships seems to be abundant.
And while I believe it’s important to take certain things into consideration, how far is too far?
How long until we start expecting perfection from our relationships? Or how long until we stop wanting to put effort into them because of these expectations?
Especially if you have relationship anxiety, these kinds of sentiments might make you feel overwhelmed. As if love is this faraway concept you’ll never experience.
Like most things, balance is key – so here are 11 signs your relationship isn’t perfect, but it’s worth fighting for.
1) You communicate well with one another
If you and your partner both feel comfortable enough to speak up and assert yourself without having to fight for space, that’s a sign you communicate well with one another.
That includes how comfortable you feel to express your thoughts, feelings and concerns without fearing judgment.
You won’t feel the need to talk about the relationship with anyone else, because there’s nothing to hide from them.
There’s also a level of compatibility where you will be able to understand one another without strain. And are also able to ask for clarification without making negative assumptions.
All in all, healthy communication fosters understanding, builds trust, and ensures that both partners feel heard and valued.
2) You mutually respect one another
Mutual respect and open-mindedness have more in common than you’d think.
Beyond holding each other’s perspectives in high regard, it’s also about seeing each other as people you feel like you could learn from.
So it’s not just about being polite, but involves acknowledgement. You will likely ask each other for advice or when you need a refresher on a perspective.
You will also treat each other with care behind and in front of closed doors. Not that it’s about them, but the people around you will see how much you hold each other in high regard.
This is how trust finds its footing in a successful relationship.
3) You trust them as much as you trust yourself
Trust is a foundational element – and it takes time to build.
If you trust your partner as much as you trust yourself, it speaks to your relationship’s integrity because of your own integrity.
To foster reliability and honesty requires consistency.
It shouldn’t feel like you’re trying to force the trust, but it’s not something to be taken lightly. With mutual patience, it will be a process that feels worth the effort.
So with that being said, you could say that if you’ve been with your partner for years and you still have a hard time trusting them, that would be something to reflect on.
Because along with trust, comes emotional support and emotional intimacy.
4) You emotionally support one another
A relationship that can withstand the challenges is one where both partners provide emotional support.
Being there for each other during difficult times, and offering a level of understanding that helps you grow as a person.
It’s the most important two-way street in relationships, in my opinion because this is what really reinforces the bond.
Because life is not simple, and it can get in the way of even the healthiest of couples. When you both understand this, it makes more space for grace.
From your perspective, it will feel like they are accepting of all your emotional facets, as you would do for them.
Therefore, there won’t be this pressure to feel “perfectly fine” all the time.
5) You accept each other’s imperfections
Accepting a person’s flaws isn’t the same as overlooking their red flags.
There is a difference between mistakes, and deliberate intent to harm. As well as both partners’ desires to grow will impact their ability to take accountability for themselves.
Because mature and healthy relationships don’t need to be perfect, but they do need to be between two emotionally intelligent adults.
So neither of you will feel the need to take cheap shots, or have any desire to harm the other.
This level of stability as well as authenticity allows for vulnerability. Which all happen to be the main ingredients for forgiveness and healing.
6) You both apologize and forgive when needed
A sincere apology is more than just an admission of guilt or fault.
It signifies emotional intelligence and humility, and allows a bridge for openness and understanding.
By acknowledging your mistakes and taking accountability, you are able to rebuild trust.
Similarly by forgiving, you are making space for humility because you know you are just as human as your partner.
That’s why it’s so important for you to be on the same page as your partner emotionally.
It’s a major sign you share core values.
7) You share core values
Aligning on core values is crucial for long-term compatibility.
I could very much start and end the article here – because a person’s values and ability to stick to them is a blueprint of that person’s ability to commit in a serious relationship.
These values are also the pillars that will help the both of you ground yourselves every time there is a need for change.
Not to mention, your expectations for life and relationships will flow much better.
For example, a couple who argues about whether they want kids or not, is going to have different problems than a couple who argues about how they like to do laundry.
So you don’t need to agree on everything, but having a fundamental alignment on key aspects helps you to navigate those differences more effectively.
8) You work well as a team
In order to collaborate with your partner to cultivate a happy life together, you have to be willing to make compromises.
That’s not something that can be one-sided, and it really helps if you have a stable long-term vision of where you want to be in 5-10 years.
Another sign you work well as a team is if you both take the initiative to take care of your responsibilities, so things don’t become unbalanced.
For example, keeping the home a place of peace and cleanliness together.
In many ways, you are both wired to consider each other. Therefore, making joint decisions and striving for mutual goals will feel second-nature to the relationship.
9) You both cherish quality time together
Truly healthy relationships allow for both partners to exist authentically.
No one feels the pressure to take on specific roles, and everyone is encouraged to take it easy!
So when it comes to how you spend quality time, you will both make the effort to ensure it’s something you both enjoy.
Or it’ll be something you are keen on learning because the other person enjoys it. Needless to say, this effort should be mutual.
Whatever it is, their joy, is your joy. And vice versa.
Life can be a whirlwind, by taking the time to prioritize each other despite it, it will create a connection that is based on meaningful experiences.
10) You have a similar sense of humor
Similar to your values, I find that a person’s sense of humor says so much about them.
Not to mention, laughter is an incredible bonding tool – especially when the going gets tough.
If you can both lighten up each other’s moods with a harmless joke, it can create a positive atmosphere.
I also believe that a good sense of humor is a sign that a person is confident and intelligent – making the connection feel lighter and more jovial overall.
11) You are both committed to growing individually
When you genuinely appreciate one another, the relationship can become a big motivation for your individual growth.
And if you are both committed to personal development and encourage each other to do so, it’s a positive sign for how the relationship will flow in the long-run.
This mutual ambition also contributes to the relationship’s dynamism, and allows for your life together to be nothing short of exciting.
These changes might bring on challenges that you have no choice but to navigate.
But because you both know they’ll just strengthen the relationship, they are nothing you can’t handle together.
Embracing imperfection in love is a sign of resilience, not weakness
And healthy doesn’t mean perfection, either.
So with that being said, between two healthy individuals, a relationship that matches that energy won’t keep them stagnant.
It will be uncomfortable, and at times turbulent – but you will not be left disappointed by love.
It is a journey, not a race.
So if the idea of spending the rest of your lives together figuring it out excites the both of you, you have nothing to worry about.