What is a Healthy Relationship? Best Practices & All It Involves

What is a healthy relationship

You probably desire a healthy love relationship if you have or want one, right? But what exactly is a healthy relationship?

Well, that is debatable.

This is because everyone’s requirements are varied. In other words, healthy relationships don’t look the same for everyone. Communication, sex, affection, space, common hobbies or values, and other aspects of your life may change over time.

As a result, a relationship that works in your twenties may not be the same as the one you want in your thirties.

Relationships that do not conform to traditional ideas of love can nonetheless be healthy. People who practice polyamory or ethical nonmonogamy, for example, may have a different definition of a healthy relationship than those who practice monogamy.

In a nutshell, “healthy relationship” is a broad phrase because what makes a relationship thrive is determined by the individuals’ requirements.

However, a few essential indicators stand out in thriving relationships or marriages.

What it appears to be

“Adaptability is something that most healthy relationships have in common,” says Lindsey Antin, a therapist in Berkeley, California. “They adjust to shifting circumstances and the reality that we’re all going through different stages of life.”

Here are some more characteristics of a healthy relationship.

Open Communication

In a healthy relationship, partners talk about what’s going on in their lives, including their accomplishments, disappointments, and everything in between.

You should feel at ease discussing any issues that arise, ranging from minor irritations like work or friend stress to more significant concerns like mental health symptoms or financial concerns.

Even if they disagree, they listen without passing judgment and then convey their point of view.

Communication is two-way. It’s critical that you have the impression that they will express their own problems or thoughts when they arise.

Nonmonogamous couples may value emotional check-ins and frequent communication about what’s going on with their other partners even more.


Honesty and integrity are essential components of trust. You don’t keep secrets from your partner. You don’t have to worry about them pursuing other people when you’re apart.

However, trust extends beyond believing someone would not deceive you or lie to you.

It also implies that you feel safe and secure around them, knowing they will not physically or mentally harm you. You know they have your best interests at heart, but you also know they respect you enough to let you make your own decisions.

A Sense of Self as a Distinct Individual

Interdependence is the greatest way to characterize healthy relationships. Interdependence means that you rely on each other for mutual assistance while maintaining your individuality.

To put it another way, your relationship is well-balanced. You know they love and approve of you, but your self-esteem is not dependent on them. You don’t rely on each other to meet all of your needs despite the fact that you’re always there for each other.

Outside of the relationship, you have acquaintances and contacts and spend time following your interests and hobbies.


Curiosity is a vital feature of a healthy, long-term relationship.

This indicates that you’re curious about their views, aspirations, and day-to-day activities. You want to see them blossom into their full potential. You’re not preoccupied with who they were or who you think they should be.

Antin says,

“You have flexible mindsets regarding each other.”

Curiosity also implies that you’re open to considering or discussing changes to your relationship structure if some features of your current relationship become unsatisfactory. It also necessitates reality. You see them for who they are, not an idealized image of them, and you care for that person.

Time Apart

Most people in healthy relationships prioritize spending time together, while the amount of time spent together varies depending on personal needs, work, and other commitments like living arrangements.

However, you understand the importance of personal space and time alone. Perhaps you’ll spend your time alone relaxing, pursuing a hobby, or visiting friends or relatives.

Whatever you do, don’t feel obligated to spend every moment together or worry that spending time apart would harm your relationship.

Lightheartedness or Playfulness

When the mood strikes, scheduling time for pleasure and spontaneity is critical. It’s a positive sign if you can joke and laugh together.

One or both of you may sometimes be affected by life’s problems or distress. This can momentarily alter the tone of your relationship, making it difficult to relate to each other in the manner you used to.

However, even in difficult times, being able to share lighter moments that help relieve tension enhances your relationship.

Physical intimacy

Intimacy is frequently associated with sex, although not always. Sex is not something that everyone enjoys or desires. If you’re both on the same page about getting your needs fulfilled, your relationship can still be good without it.

If you don’t want to have sex, physical closeness could consist of kissing, embracing, cuddling, and sleeping together. Physical connection and bonding are crucial in any form of intimacy you share.

Your physical relationship is most likely healthy if you both like sex and:

  • feel at ease initiating and discussing sex
  • can cope well with rejection
  • can talk about your desires

Feel free to express your desire for more or less sex.

Respecting sexual limits is also a part of healthy intimacy. This includes the following:

  • When partners say no to sex or certain sex behaviours, don’t put pressure on them.
  • Revealing details about other partners
  • Explaining the dangers of sexual activity


A team can be formed from a solid friendship. Even when you don’t agree on something or have aims that aren’t identical, you work together and encourage one another.

In other words, you’ve got each other’s backs. You know you can go to them if you’re having trouble. And you’re always willing to help when they need it.

Dispute Resolution

Even in a healthy relationship, you and your partner will sometimes have arguments and feel disappointed or angry. That is very typical. It doesn’t necessarily imply that your relationship is unhealthy.

It’s how you deal with disagreement that counts. You’re on the right route if you can discuss your differences gently, honestly, and respectfully.

Partners who approach disputes without condemnation or contempt are more likely to reach an agreement or solution.

Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

Below are things that should be on your to-do list in your bid to maintain a healthy relationship.


Drawing a line is the same as having boundaries. Things you’re fine with are on one side, and things you’re not fine with, don’t feel ready for, or make you uncomfortable are on the other. Everyone’s line will seem different.

Therefore, it’s critical that you understand where yours should be drawn. Setting limits is a good method to teach your partner about your requirements and to let them know when something isn’t working. You have the right to prioritize your needs over those of others, especially if their needs make you uncomfortable.

Step 1: What are your personal limits?

Consider these categories and what they imply for your relationship.

Physically: Are you comfortable with public shows of affection? Do you find attachment to be a source of discomfort? Do you enjoy being tickled by your lover or despise it? Oftentimes, do you require a lot of time alone?

Emotionally: Can you immediately convey how you’re feeling, or do you need time to process it? Do you require your partner’s assistance in the event of an emergency? When do you think you’ll be ready to say I love you?

Sexually: Do you need to spend some time getting to know your partner before becoming physical, or are you fine being intimate right away? What kind of sexual activities are you comfortable with? Get more information on sexual limits and abuse.

Digitally: Are you sharing your relationship status on social media? Is it acceptable for your boyfriend to use your phone? Do you wish to share your passwords with others?

Materially: Do you enjoy sharing your belongings? Are you willing to pay for your partner’s expenses or vice versa?

Spiritually: Do you prefer to follow your faith with a partner or by yourself? Is it necessary for your partner to share your beliefs, or can they disagree as long as yours are respected? Are you putting off having sex until you marry?

Step 2: Communicate your boundaries to your partner.

You don’t have to sit down with your partner and write a list of everything that makes you uncomfortable, but you must be upfront and honest.

Some of these issues may arise early in a relationship, such as if you are a virgin who refuses to have sex until you are ready.

Some of these issues may not surface for a time, such as your partner’s desire to exchange passwords after 6 months of dating.

When your demands differ from your partner’s, talk about it; you don’t have to explain yourself. It may be uncomfortable, but having difficult conversations is important to maintaining a successful relationship. It creates trust when your partner listens to you and respects you.

Step 3: Recognize when the line has been crossed

Even after talking with your partner, limits can be breached; here is where trusting yourself comes in. You could be sad, nervous, or angry, or you could be unsure of what you’re feeling. Always go with your gut instinct. Something is probably not correct if it doesn’t feel right to you.

Step 4: Making a response

Have an open and honest dialogue with your partner if he or she has violated a boundary without knowing where your line is set. It could be as simple as expressing something like, “Hey, I really don’t like it when you .” This makes me feel really uneasy. Do you think you’ll be able to …. instead next time?” It may take some back-and-forth before you reach an agreement that fits both of your requirements, but it will strengthen your connection.

This could be abuse if a boundary has been breached despite the fact that you have been explicit about your boundaries. When you refuse to have sex and your partner uses physical force to push you to do something you don’t want to do, they’ve crossed a boundary. It can also be subtle, such as when your partner guilts you into doing something, begs you until you give in, or threatens to end your relationship unless you do what they want.


Open and honest communication benefits every relationship because it allows you to convey who you are and what you require from those around you.

Miscommunication is common but can lead to issues, misunderstandings, and resentment. These pointers will assist you in having an open and honest conversation with your partner.

Speaking: Be honest and transparent about how you’re feeling; inform them if you don’t understand something; use “I statement” so the other person doesn’t think you’re blaming or attacking them (“I feel that….); Even if you fear the other person would not appreciate hearing how you genuinely feel, remain honest; When you make a mistake or offend someone, apologize; when discussing anything unpleasant, say something nice as well.

Listening: When the other person is speaking, pay attention without distractions (put your phone away); listen to what they are saying rather than just thinking about how to respond; wait for them to finish speaking before you say anything; use acknowledging statements like “interesting” to let them know you hear what they are saying; To avoid uncertainty and misunderstanding, also ask questions if and when you don’t understand something; don’t leave them hanging (if you need to think about what they said before answering, tell them); be prepared to hear something you don’t like and think about it well before responding.

Make eye contact, turn to face them, offer them your entire attention, and lean forward while they speak.

Digital Communication: Don’t have a crucial discussion via text or the internet. When speaking online, stay focused on the topic rather than being distracted by other things or having several conversations; if you are unable to react, inform the other person so they are not left hanging.

When talking about anything significant, discuss when you’re feeling calm or take some time to cool down if you’ve had a quarrel. Talk to someone about your concerns before they turn into difficulties. Make sure you’re speaking in private so you can be honest about how you feel.


Building trust might take time. While it’s difficult to trust someone, especially if you’ve had your trust betrayed in the past, you can’t blame your current partner for something that happened to someone else. Here are some suggestions for fostering trust:

Be dependable: Would your partner be there for you if you needed someone to listen to you because you were having a hard day or if you needed a ride home from school? Would you be there if they needed you?

Respect Boundaries: Does your partner respect your boundaries when you tell them something makes you uncomfortable? Does it work in both directions?

Be truthful: Does your partner express their feelings to you rather than giving you the silent treatment? Do you express your feelings to your partner and try to work things out with them? Would you inform your partner if you made a mistake? Do you think your lover would tell you?

Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk: Do what you say and speak what you mean, rather than merely talk the talk.

Consent is a verbal or nonverbal agreement between two persons that they are both plainly and joyfully willing to engage in sexual behaviour. It is not implied by silence or a lack of protest. Some people, such as those who are inebriated, sleeping, or unconscious, and those with intellectual limitations, are unable to give permission. Consent entails active communication and the understanding that one person has the right to withdraw consent at any time. This indicates that a person can agree to one activity (kissing) but not to another (sex). Consent, like sex, should be about respecting one another’s right to make their own body decisions.

It’s all about communication when it comes to obtaining consent. You can discuss limits before engaging in sexual activity, but you should also check in on a regular basis with a simple “Is this okay?” to ensure that everyone engaged is happy with what is going on.

What Are the Qualities of a Healthy Relationship?

Some important qualities of a healthy relationship include;

  • Mutual respect
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Compromise
  • Individuality
  • Good communication
  • Anger control
  • Fighting fair

What Are 3 Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship?

Three warning signs of an unhealthy relationship include;

  • Physical Abuse
  • Humiliation
  • Control

What Is a Toxic Relationship?

A toxic relationship is defined as one in which the toxic partner engages in activities that are emotionally and, more often than not, physically harmful to their partner. Some prominent include insecurity, self-centeredness, power, and control.


Healthy relationships are incredibly underappreciated. You should realize that being in a successful and healthy relationship positively affects your mental and general well-being, which is why you can see the difference between people in healthy and dysfunctional relationships.

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