It’s hard to judge a relationship from the outside.
You could talk to me for half an hour about your relationship and I still might find it difficult to conclude whether it’s ultimately a positive or negative connection.
But when you’re inside a relationship you have much clearer insights into what you’re experiencing and whether it’s an experience you want to continue taking part in.
Here are the top signs that show you’re in a supportive and healthy relationship.
1) You communicate honestly
The first of the key signs that show you’re in a supportive and healthy relationship is that you communicate honestly.
You may not tell each other every last thing, but when you do speak you’re telling the truth.
This is less common in relationships than it should be, which is part of what makes it so important.
If you’re communicating, you’re growing as a couple and you have a healthy relationship.
Even during the down times, keeping an open line of communication means there is always hope for the two of you.
2) You trust each other
The next key ingredient of every supportive and healthy relationship is trust.
This word gets tossed around a lot and it’s become a bit of a cliche.
But real trust does matter and it’s not just about trusting your partner with driving your car sometimes or things like that.
It’s trust that goes deeper such as trusting your partner not to cheat, trusting your partner to open up to you about his or her issues, trusting your partner to keep you in the loop about big changes in their life or career.
Trust goes so far and there’s not really any substitute.
If your relationship has this basic strong level of trust then it’s definitely supportive and healthy, but if it’s lacking then there’s work to do.
3) You open up about problems
The next of the signs that show you’re in a supportive and healthy relationship ties into the previous point.
You open up about problems and don’t feel ashamed or nervous about doing so.
Far too many relationships lack the kind of trust and communication to do this.
One person is very afraid they’ll be judged or that their partner will lose attraction for them if they admit they’re going through something.
So they hide that they’re going through depression…
Or they downplay financial issues they’re having…
And so on.
If you and your partner are able to open up about problems you’re having individually and as a couple it’s a definite sign that you’re in a healthy relationship.
4) You’re fine while on your own
The next of the key signs that show you’re in a supportive and healthy relationship is that being alone from time to time doesn’t bother you.
In other words, you’re able to function just fine when you’re on your own for a few days or even a few weeks.
At the same time, it’s important to note:
You do miss your partner and enjoy their company when they’re around and you do not feel a sense of relief when they have to leave town or go away for a while.
If this is happening it’s a sign that it may not be the relationship for you.
5) You allow each other to have a separate social life
On a related note about being OK to be alone, a healthy relationship is one in which you are both fine letting each other have a separate social life.
In other words, you’re not stingy about your partner’s time.
No matter how much you love them, you accept and value the fact that they want their own life too.
Of course, there’s always a balance here.
Many promising relationships have been stifled by possessiveness or too much detachment.
You want to hit that sweet spot in the middle:
Loving spending time together and valuing your closeness, but not being obsessive or needy about it.
6) You respect each other’s friends and families
The next of the key signs that show you’re in a supportive and healthy relationship is that you respect each other’s friends.
Saying that you like each other’s friends and families and enjoy their company is going a bit far.
You might, and if so all the better.
But there’s no guarantee of that.
What’s more within the realm of likelihood is that whether or not your partner’s friends are your cup of tea, you do respect them.
This mutual respect for those close to your partner is a definite necessity, and lack of it can lead to big conflicts and a breakup.
7) You’re both financially responsible
Finances in a relationship can be a really tricky issue.
They aren’t always going to be split evenly down the middle, and every couple has their own arrangement.
Whether married or only in a long-term relationship, couples have to make their own mutually agreed-upon decisions about how to manage their money.
But having financial responsibility in the most basic, general sense is a necessity.
This means reviewing major purchases with your partner first, even if it’s your money…
This means practicing basic financial prudence when doing things like browsing in a mall or shopping online…
This also means being transparent about the state of your finances and any debt or other problems you might have, particularly if they existed prior to you entering the relationship.
Financial honesty is a definite must in any healthy and supportive relationship.
8) You’re physically attracted
This may sound obvious, but physical attraction is a must in any healthy relationship.
All too often it’s lacking or more one-sided.
This can eventually turn into a very big problem.
That’s why it’s key to be honest with yourself and your partner about how you’re feeling in terms of attraction.
This can admittedly be a very awkward and hard thing to do.
But it’s necessary to ensure that those attracted vibes are flowing well in both directions.
9) You aren’t afraid of a future together…
One of the most important signs that show you’re in a supportive and healthy relationship is that the future with this person doesn’t scare you.
In fact, it excites you and seems almost natural.
You are taking things one day at a time, but if the future comes up you’re fine talking it over.
You don’t get all shaky and scared
10)…But you aren’t dependent on it either
None of us can predict the future.
Dreaming of a future with your partner is a sign of a healthy relationship, but depending on a future with them or being anxious about it is not healthy.
There’s a fine line there, but it’s important.
Hoping and looking forward to a future together is one thing.
Basing your well-being and emotional stability on a future together is something else entirely.
What’s worse is that banking on a future together more often than not actually creates a needy energy that drives your partner away.
Real love and intimacy
Real love and intimacy start with you and radiate outward.
Starting by treating yourself with respect and love, you also treat your partner in that way and vice versa.
It’s a circle of consideration and intimacy that forms a solid foundation for any long-term relationship.