We all desire to have a relationship that is filled with happiness, joy, and — most importantly — love. Healthy relationships are characterized by respect, sharing and trust. They are based on the belief that both partners are equal, that the power and control in the relationship are equally shared.
Unfortunately, for many of us, we’ve been exposed to so many unhealthy relationships in our lives that we don’t know what a truly healthy relationship even looks and feels like. So here are 50 characteristics of a healthy relationship:
1. Each partner does not attempt to “fix” or control the other.
2. You and your partner are playful with each other.
3. You think your partner has good ideas.
4. You’d like to become more like your partner, at least in some ways.
5. Even when you disagree, you can acknowledge your partner makes sensible points.
6. You think about each other when you’re not physically together.
7. You see your partner as trustworthy.
8. In relationship-relevant areas such as warmth and attractiveness, you view your partner a little bit more positively than they view themselves or than most other people view them.
9. You enjoy the ways your partner has changed and grown since you met.
10. Your partner is enthusiastic when something goes right for you.
11. When you reunite at the end of the day, you say something positive before you say something negative.
12. You reminisce about positive experiences you’ve had together in the past.
13. You can name one of your partner’s favorite books.
14. You know your partner’s aspirations in life.
15. You can recall something you did together that was new and challenging for both of you.
16. You kiss every day.
17. You’re comfortable telling your partner about things that make you feel vulnerable such as worries about getting laid off.
18. You have your own “love language” (pet names or special signs you give each other).
19. You know your partner’s most embarrassing moment from childhood.
20. You know your partner’s proudest moment from childhood.
21. You never, or very rarely, express contempt for your partner by rolling your eyes, swearing at them, or calling them crazy.
22. You can list some positive personality qualities your partner inherited from their parents.
23. If you have children together, you can list some positive personality qualities your partner has passed on to your children.
24. You enjoy supporting your partner’s exploration of personal goals and dreams, even when this involves you staying home.
25. Conflict is faced directly.
26. There is a balance of giving and receiving.
27. Each person can enjoy being alone and privacy is respected.
28. There is a balance of closeness and separation.
29. Each partner takes responsibility for their own behavior.
30. There is a willingness to take risks and be vulnerable.
31. Other meaningful relationships and interests exist.
32. Each person is open to constructive feedback.
34. Personal growth is encouraged.
35. Humility is present: both people are able to let go of being “right”.
36. Acceptance of self and other exists.
37. Each is trustful of the other.
38. Each partner is able to forgive.
39. Kindness and compassion are practiced.
40. Feelings and needs are expressed.
41. Mutual respect for one another and self.
42. Sensitivity to one another’s needs.
43. The ability to negotiate differences rather than fighting.
44. Each person taking responsibility for their own thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
45. Uncertainty, ambivalence, and disagreements are accepted as a part of living
46. Open and meaningful communication.
47. Trust for each other.
48. Continued working on friendship, liking and loving each other.
49. Attentiveness to the needs and desires of self and the other.
50. Sharing of common interests and activities.