Right smack-dab in the middle of every healthy lifestyle is a healthy relationship with yourself. But after mastering the art of self-care and honoring your own physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being, you might feel ready to take on the challenge of entering into a new relationship. But how do you know if you’re in the right one?
There’s no shortage of information when it comes to dating red flags’ or signs you’re with the wrong person. But if you’re interested in being a well-suited half of a healthy, whole relationship, there are certain green flags to look out for, too.
Envision Your Ideal Partner
It’s important to have a vision in your mind of the person best suited for you. Ideally, you’ll have this mental list prepared before you venture out into the dating world, but it’s also a great tool if you’re already in a relationship. Think of it as a worksheet that you can refer back to when you need a reminder. With a clear image of your ideal match, it will be easier to recognize him when you see him or her. And easier to recognize when it’s NOT!
We can first establish that great communication, safety, mutual trust, honesty, and support are all a given within any healthy relationship. Here are 8 more signs you’re on the right track in your relationship:
1. Disagreements bring you closer.
Pay close attention to your fighting style. Are you fighting to determine what is right, or fighting to be right? Even the healthiest relationships come with their fair share of disagreements. Are you willing to vocalize the part you played in the argument? Is your partner? Every argument offers new information about yourself and your partner that should bring you closer together not create a wedge between the two of you. You both forgive, and you also forget.
2. You have a life outside of the relationship.
Healthy relationships allow time and space for each person to maintain their own identity. Abundant self-esteem comes from within, and through loving support from friends and family. Cultivating a healthy network of relationships and interests separate from your relationship frees your partner from any pressure to satisfy every emotional and spiritual need you have. If your partner doesn’t like hiking, it’s no problem because you have friends you can call. It takes a village of healthy relationships to cultivate a happy heart!
3. You have no desire to change your partner.
It’s tempting to hold on to a relationship because of the potential we see in our partner. Unfortunately, people rarely if ever change. You’ll have to spend some time assessing whether or not you’re unhappy with quirks or actual character flaws. Just think â if the person you’re with stayed exactly as they are for the next 10 years, would you be happy in the relationship? Change is difficult, and the motivation to do so must come from within.
4. You appreciate your partner’s flaws.
The flaws we find in other people can benefit our own shortcomings, if we let them. In the best-case scenario, your partner is strong in the areas you show weakness. If you’re a little reserved during social events, maybe your partner is a social butterfly that helps make mingling a little less frightening. Or maybe you’re very logical by nature, but your partner has his or her head in the clouds always dreaming of his or her next, big adventure. Flaws can be helpful with a healthy perspective.
5. You and your partner appreciate teachable moments.
Helpful critique is beneficial for you and for the relationship. If you have a more efficient way to do something, do you feel free to express your ideas? You should also be receptive to new ways of approaching certain aspects of your day-to-day life. It feels great to be in a relationship that offers new insight and fresh ideas. Healthy relationships make you feel empowered to ask your partner for help, to accept influence, and to offer loving correction when the situation calls for it.
6. Your relationship is fun.
When the party’s over, somebody’s gotta clean up. But what happens if your entire relationship feels like one, long, chore? Romantic relationships are optional. Why be in one that’s never any fun?
7. Talks about the future aren’t anxiety-inducing.
If you’ve been in a committed relationship for any reasonable amount of time, discussions about the future shouldn’t come with negative consequences. If you bring up the topic of marriage, does your partner head for the hills? Is your partner interested in children, but you’re still not sure? Healthy relationships allow you to feel free to focus on what you want to say, and not how your partner will respond. Love and marriage should be something you’re both on the same page about and discussed relatively early on. But, if it’s the first date, you might want to at least finish dinner before asking, Where is this going?
8. It just feels right.
If all else fails, just go with your gut. If the bad seems to always outweigh the good, it is most likely time to assess if this is a relationship that can be salvaged, or if it’s best to go your separate ways. Just think about all the wonderful things that have already happened in your lifetime. You didn’t need anyone to convince you they were great, did you? Healthy relationships work similarly. When you know you know.