There are many signs you’re in a mature, adult relationship. Some of them are more apparent than others.
However, they all have something in common. In almost all cases, they require constant action and a continuous will and effort to work on the relationship.
So, let’s explore some of the most important signs of a healthy and mature relationship.
1) Open and honest communication
Open and honest communication is the foundation of a deep and mature relationship. Without it, there is NO healthy relationship.
When you listen actively to your partner, and they feel comfortable enough to express their thoughts and concerns, that means you’ve got something good.
Of course, this has to go both ways.
There can’t be just one line of communication.
Partners need to engage in open discussions about consequential matters like finances and personal goals, ensuring transparency and building trust through effective communication.
This leads us to the next point.
2) Mutual respect and equality
Partners in an adult relationship must respect each other, and they both have to have equal rights.
This includes all decision-making but also the division of household chores, which still isn’t happening often enough, even when both partners have jobs and careers.
Partners have to work together to create a system that distributes the workload fairly. Financial decision-making is also extremely important, but I’ll talk about that a bit later.
3) Appreciation and gratitude
Another building block of a healthy and mature relationship is appreciation and gratitude.
These can include small gestures like complimenting and expressing gratitude for a delicious meal and other little things that often go unnoticed.
However, praising each other and highlighting their strengths, achievements, and positive qualities is also extremely important.
For instance, complimenting your spouse on their creativity, intellect, or ability to handle challenging situations. This will boost their confidence and reinforce their sense of self-worth.
You can also surprise each other with small acts of appreciation like a heartfelt note, a small gift, or a planned date night to show that your partner is appreciated and cherished.
The next sign is also extremely important.
4) Trust and reliability
Partners in a mature relationship trust each other’s words, actions, and intentions.
If you and your partner both follow through on commitments, keep your promises, and maintain consistent reliability, you know you’re in a good relationship.
This includes trust in your partner’s interactions with the opposite sex and knowing that there’s no cause for concern or jealousy.
Can you say you really trust your partner?
If you’ve been burned in a previous relationship, this could make it difficult to regain trust in your new partner, however, with time, you should give the benefit of the doubt and have belief in them.
5) Shared values and goals
Shared values and goals is something all relationships should have, not just mature ones.
It’s much easier to accomplish important goals such as buying a house when both partners are dedicated to saving for a deposit, for example.
If only one person is dedicated to this goal, and the other wastes their money on frivolous things, it could add years to the effort.
Family, finances, career aspirations, and lifestyle choices are also vital things that both partners should be aligned on.
However, that doesn’t mean partners are joined at the hip.
6) Personal growth and independence
Indeed, personal growth and independence should be valued in an adult relationship. Partners should support individual interests, goals, and aspirations while also nurturing the growth of the relationship itself.
This includes having individual hobbies and interests, as well as shared ones. More importantly, this also includes major milestones like career changes. This can greatly affect both partners and should be discussed but also encouraged.
For instance, when my partner had enough of their high-stress career, I encouraged them to change it, although this could potentially mean taking a significant pay cut.
At the same time, they were encouraging me to pursue my passion projects that could lead to long-term benefits.
Luckily, it all worked out for both of us, and since then, we have changed jobs and careers several times.
7) Financial responsibility and teamwork
Money is something that causes great stress in any relationship. Finances should be shared equally, no matter if one person earns (much) more than the other.
Of course, if it’s possible, both partners should bring home the bacon. That way, one spouse doesn’t have the upper hand just because they are money earners.
In fact, women often stay with their abusers because they don’t have the means to support themselves.
Partners that communicate openly about financial topics, set financial goals together, and work collectively to manage finances and make decisions, are happier knowing they have each other’s back.
It also means they’re good at this next point.
8) Conflict resolution and compromise
Any relationship should have disagreements on a number of things. However, it’s how partners resolve these conflicts is a sign of an adult relationship or lack of it.
Both partners should engage in effective problem-solving and actively seek compromises that should benefit both sides.
Although satisfying both sides isn’t always possible, there should be at least an effort to find a compromise, aiming for win-win solutions where both individuals’ needs and desires are addressed.
A disagreement that’s close to home is the dreaded household chores.
Creating a chore schedule that considers both partners’ preferences and availability, and ensures a fair distribution of tasks, is the way to go.
9) Intimacy and emotional connection
Intimacy is also incredibly important in a relationship. However, this is something that many couples neglect after a few months or years, especially if they have children.
It’s also completely understandable. Busy schedules, work, and kids, it all takes its toll on intimacy.
The difference between partners in a mature relationship and those in one that isn’t mature is that they prioritize intimacy and emotional connection.
They cultivate a deep understanding of each other’s needs, desires, and vulnerabilities and actively work on nurturing a strong emotional bond.
10) Healthy boundaries
In any adult relationship, there need to be healthy boundaries, and partners respect each other’s personal space, individual interests, and social connections.
Emotional well-being and a healthy dynamic also come from setting healthy boundaries.
Here are some other examples:
- Financial boundaries ensure transparency, fairness, and shared responsibility
- Time boundaries allow for a balance between personal time, quality time as a couple, and time with friends or family
- Emotional boundaries to avoid becoming overly dependent on the other for emotional well-being
- Personal space boundaries are important for self-reflection, relaxation, and pursuing personal interests
This brings me to the last sign.
11) Quality time and shared experiences
Although personal space is incredibly important for a healthy relationship, even more so are shared experiences and quality time spent together.
Partners need to make an active effort to create shared experiences, and engage in activities they both enjoy. That way, they’ll maintain a strong sense of companionship and have fun together.
How many of these signs did you recognize in your relationship? Hopefully, almost all of them.
If not, don’t worry, there are many ways you can grow together as a couple. You just need to put in the work.
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