A healthy relationship doesn’t mean it’s straightforward, it takes work, effort, and sacrifice. But in a healthy relationship, habits are different from those in toxic relationships.
Here are the 5 characteristics that differentiate them:
1. Honesty is essential for a healthy relationship.
It was the hardest part for me. As a fairly independent person, I had been making my own money for years, struggling to get used to the fact that I suddenly had to share where every penny was going or tell my partner where I was going.
While I was playing Secret Squirrel, my partner would talk to me about where the money was going, the savings, and the cleaning project. If he left he would say where he was going and about what time he would be home. He didn’t say it because he felt the need, but because he considered it a mark of respect. I took note.
It took me a long time to realize that I shouldn’t see it from a teenage-like perspective and worry about someone invading my space. We can always be independent and open when our relationship is healthy.
2. Silence is deadly. Communication should be daily.
Do you always ignore your partner when you are mad at them? Don’t make this mistake, it destroys many relationships.
Those who have healthy, lasting relationships understand that effective communication is everything.
We must be willing to talk about what is bothering us. But talking calmly about what is bothering us is essential to solving problems. Our partner cannot know what we are feeling and what to do unless we create a space where everyone can safely share their feelings.
3. It is important to have space.
When we are in a functional and healthy relationship, we understand that each of us should have our own goals and passions. We must have time to explore our own interests.
Fill your life with passions and explore what you love, your relationship will be even more enriched.
Most importantly, those in healthy relationships understand that it all comes down to respect and love. Respect and love for oneself, for the partner, and for the relationship.
4. We cannot erase the past. But we can learn to face it.
Many people will tell us that we have to release the past or leave the past behind. But we will never forget or release the past, and why should we? It is because of him that we are here today.
Everything we encountered, good or bad, was a learning experience made to facilitate our evolution. Healthy people have not suddenly forgotten or “released” their wounds, they have transformed them. They learned to honor their past and all that it entailed as necessary steps to achieve their personal growth.
5. Compromise is essential: it’s not always 50/50.
Sometimes it’s 80/20 and that’s normal. What is not normal is if there is constantly the same imbalance. We all experience certain things that leave us empty or that make us unable to be fully present in a relationship.
Instead of complaining and having a fit, we understand that sometimes we need to give a little more while our partner is preoccupied with something else. It can be work or personal issues that require his attention. If we talk about it openly and honestly, then it’s okay to give a little more because our partner’s attention is diverted elsewhere.
What is not normal is that this imbalance is part of our daily life. A person cannot be the backbone of the relationship; the very definition of relationship involves the participation of another in a common goal.