1. You aren’t trying to change your partner.
Do you feel like you love your partner except for one area you’d change? If so, this may not be the right relationship for you. No one can effectively change anyone else and trying to do so can lead to bitterness or controlling behavior. When you are in a strong relationship, you are able to accept your partner completely.
2. You make each other better.
At the same time, it’s important to recognize that being in a relationship does change you. The question is, are these changes good or bad? If you find that being with your partner makes you drink more, exercise less and neglect the things that are important to you, you might not be a great match.
Though, if your partner exposes you to new things and helps you grow, and you do the same for him/her, you can expect this relationship to be enriching and satisfying for you both.
3. You enjoy doing activities together.
Having common interests makes your shared lives more satisfying. If you find yourself yawning through her football game or his antique car shows, you may find that the relationship will get less satisfying over time. Yet when you have many activities you enjoy together like hiking, watching movies and playing games, you will build shared pleasurable memories and strengthen your bond.
4. You do things on your own, too.
One hundred percent togetherness is not good for anyone. When you are in a relationship, you need to maintain your own space, interests and friends. This allows you to nurture your independence and the interests and relationships that you don’t share. No one can depend on any one person for 100 percent of his/her happiness. It puts too much pressure on the relationship.
5. When you fight, it’s for the relationship and not against each other.
When you argue, do you attempt to understand your partner or do you attack? Is there name-calling? Do you express your personal perception of the situation or are you intentionally hurtful? Every couple fights sometimes, but the ones that are in healthy relationships always stay respectful and work to find common ground, forgive and move on.
6. You can disagree without it being an issue.
He likes sushi, she thinks raw fish is only suitable for bait. If it’s a healthy relationship, this is no problem. He’ll go with his friends and she’ll do something with hers that night. When you and your partner disagree on something, you should be able to understand that differing opinions are not attacks. There should be no efforts to get the other to change his/her mind and no attempts to belittle each other. If you can do this, you are in a healthy relationship.
7. You’re excited to share a future together.
Do you imagine buying a home, investing for retirement or doing extensive travel together? This is a sign that you are both committed and happy. If you or your partner are still ambivalent about settling down, there’s a chance that one or both of you are just marking time.
8. You’re a good team.
Do you work as well together in a game of cards as you do in a home improvement project? That kind of rapport is needed for a healthy relationship. When the two of you are able to create and go through with plans together, your relationship allows you to achieve more than either of you would on your own. If you are not able to work together without conflict, however, it can lead to chronic strains that harm the relationship.
No couple is perfect. Every couple will have to work together for a happy relationship. However, when you have the ingredients of a strong relationship, you can count on being in one that lasts and makes each of you happier than you would be on your own.