10 signs you’re in a strong relationship – even if it doesn’t feel like it

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Every relationship has its fair share of ups and downs, but sometimes it’s hard to gauge if what you’re experiencing is a normal part of the journey or a sign of something deeper.

Perhaps you look at your partnership and wonder if the challenges you face are typical or if they hint at a lack of strength and stability.

So, how can you really tell if you’re in a robust relationship, even when it doesn’t feel like it?

Drawing on my own experiences and those of numerous couples I’ve interacted with, I’ve created a list of 10 signs that indicate you’re in a strong relationship—even if it doesn’t feel like it.

If these signs strike a chord, it might be time to reevaluate your perspective and appreciate the hidden strengths in your relationship.

1) Communication is frequent and honest

In every relationship, communication serves as the backbone that holds everything together.

Frequent communication doesn’t necessarily mean endless hours of deep talks. It could be as simple as discussing how your day went, sharing your plans, or expressing your thoughts and emotions.

What matters is the willingness to create a space for understanding and empathy.

2) You respect each other’s individuality

A robust relationship is built on mutual respect, and part of that respect lies in acknowledging each other’s individuality.

Respecting each other’s individuality means understanding that you are two separate people with unique identities. It’s about giving each other the freedom to be yourselves, to grow and evolve as individuals while still growing together as a couple.

It still means you value each other’s personal space, hobbies, and interests without feeling threatened or neglected.

3) You feel safe expressing your feelings

One of the most telling signs of a strong relationship is the ability to express your feelings openly, without fear of ridicule or dismissal.

If you’re comfortable sharing your deepest thoughts and emotions with your partner, and they reciprocate, it’s a sign that your relationship has a solid foundation.

Let me share a personal example.

In my own relationship, there was a time when I was going through a particularly tough phase at work. Stress was weighing heavily on me, and I wasn’t sure how to communicate my feelings without seeming weak.

One day, I finally broke down and shared everything with my partner. Instead of dismissing my worries or telling me to ‘toughen up’, they listened patiently, offered comfort, and helped me brainstorm solutions.

That was the moment I realized the strength of our relationship. Even though things were tough, I felt safe expressing my vulnerabilities.

And that’s key: in a strong relationship, you’re not just allowed to have feelings; you’re encouraged to express them.

4) You can argue without fear

Contrary to popular belief, arguing isn’t necessarily a sign of a weak relationship.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Couples who share their points of view, even when they disagree, are happier in the long run. These are the couples who can have arguments without fearing the end of their relationship.

They understand that disagreements are natural and that they are opportunities for growth and understanding each other better.

Remember, it’s not about who wins the argument, but how you argue. It’s about being able to disagree respectfully, listen to each other’s points of view, and then find a middle ground or agree to disagree.

5) You trust each other implicitly

Trust is more than just believing your partner won’t cheat or lie; it’s about knowing they have your best interests at heart and will be there for you no matter what.

I’ve experienced this firsthand in my own relationship.

Several years ago, I was offered a fantastic job opportunity that required me to move to a different city. It was a tough decision, but my partner was incredibly supportive. We discussed the pros and cons, and ultimately, I decided to take the job.

It was a difficult time being away from each other and adjusting to a long-distance relationship. But throughout it all, we trusted each other completely. We knew we were both committed to making it work, despite the distance.

That trust made our connection even stronger and helped us navigate the challenges together.

6) You appreciate each other

Appreciation means recognizing the little things your partner does and expressing gratitude for them. If you find you are regularly thanking each other for small acts of kindness, then you’re cultivating an environment of positivity and respect.

It’s the little things that count—a lovingly prepared meal, a comforting hug after a long day, or even taking out the trash. Appreciation for these small gestures fosters warmth and deepens connection.

7) You can be yourselves

If you can be your authentic selves, quirks and all, without fear of judgment, then you are in a strong relationship. It means you are comfortable enough to let your guard down and reveal your true selves to each other.

Being able to be yourself in a relationship signifies a level of acceptance and love that’s essential for long-term happiness. So if you can laugh at each other’s corny jokes, share your embarrassing stories, and still feel loved and accepted, then your relationship is truly strong.

8) You’re a team

A strong relationship functions like a well-oiled machine because you’re a team who’s willing to face each challenge hand in hand.

Being in a team means facing challenges together, celebrating victories together, and always having each other’s backs. This sense of unity is what makes relationships resilient in the face of adversity.

It’s to feel like you and your partner are working together toward common goals, supporting each other, and making decisions together.

9) You’re friends first

If at the core of your romance is a deep-seated friendship, you’re in one of the strongest relationships there are.

Being friends first means you enjoy each other’s company beyond the romantic aspect. You share interests, have fun together, and genuinely like each other.

10) You’re hopeful about the future

Finally, if you’re optimistic about your future together—planning vacations, imagining your dream home, or discussing long-term goals—you’re in a strong relationship.

This shared vision and excitement for what’s to come is an indicator of the strength and potential longevity of your partnership.

Final thoughts

Remember, every relationship has its ups and downs. But if these signs resonate with you, then know that you’re in a strong relationship—even if it doesn’t always feel like it.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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