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What does a healthy relationship look like?

Psychologist and sex therapist Peter Kanaris explains: “It’s a bit like a stock market chart. “If you look at the chart, it’s up and down, but will your market chart go up over time?” After being hit, is the bounce back?

If you have more good times than bad moments (e.g. just a fight), you may be fine.

In fact, Dr. John Gottman’s research shows that there is actually a “magic ratio” of 5 to 1. For every negative moment (for example, a harmful comment), there should be at least five positive interactions. These positive moments can be big (think: a romantic vacation), or they may only be a kiss or an inner joke that you two share.

Of course, it takes time to figure out whether your relationship is good or bad. 

“I encourage people to spend a year,” Kanaris said. “I’ve been through all four seasons. Meet your partner not only at the party but also after the party. On sunny and rainy days as well as snowy days. Have the opportunity to spend your life together. ”

Each relationship is a little different, which means that the definition of “health” may vary from husband to wife. That is, over time, you’ll notice signs that psychologists, couples therapists, and researchers see as an important part of a healthy relationship. These include:

You actually like each other

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But the truth is that in unhealthy relationships, people who like each other may be turned away if repeated unresolved conflicts lead to a build-up of hurt and resentment.

“In healthy relationships, couples have a great deal of love, respect and admiration for each other,” said Kimberly Panganiban, a licensed marriage and family therapist. In other words, a couple in love will treat each other sincerely.

This means that you are not only a lover but also a friend who enjoys being with each other.

“You have to enjoy life together,” says psychotherapist Nicholas Hardy. “Life is too short to enjoy the time you spend with it.”

2. You spend time nurturing your relationships.

All relationships need to work.

“We think marriage (and long-term relationships) is going to be something we turn to when everything else sucks,” said Nick Bognar, a licensed marriage and family therapist. “It’s hard work, it’s hard, it’s frustrating, but I’m going home, my partner is going to make me feel better, and I’m going to have sex, and the whole mechanism is going to work for me without much input.”

But in fact, he continued, the mechanism collapsed without active attention and maintenance. “This relationship needs to be treated like a passionate job. You need to take the time, show up, be reliable, feed it, and devote your heart and mind to it. ”

This can involve date nights, or it can be as simple as spending time alone talking about your day without disturbing you (including your phone). With the rise of technology, it can be easy for one or two people to spend time on a device. When life is busy with work, children, etc., partners may begin to take each other for granted.

Healthy relationships can also include couples’ treatments if you think you need them, or if you face difficult challenges or adaptations together. “Even good relationships can improve,” Hardy said. That doesn’t mean you’re broken. This means that you are working hard to prevent the situation from getting worse and to be a better partner.

Bognar adds: “People who nurture their responsibilities have the best relationships. “People who just want to show up and serve them often feel depressed and lonely.”

3. You feel safe, but you push each other

You should remain separate from your relationship. You should still feel like you. But your relationship should be interdependent, which means that you can both be interdependent and work towards a common future.

‘It’s important because if you’re just comfortable and never challenged, the relationship will stall, ‘ Mr. Hardy said. You need a common goal to work together.

But he says the balance must be maintained. “If you’re always challenged and never feel like you can’t do it, you probably don’t feel accepted or feel like you have to live up to your idealized image.”

You trust each other

“The most important thing is whether I feel like my partner is supporting me,” Kanaris said. “

In other words, do you trust your partner to be there for you, even if you’re in trouble? Do you believe your partner has the ability to make small (or large) sacrifices for you and your relationship? Do you trust them to put you or your family first when necessary? Do you believe they will be loyal and stand up for you?

If you don’t have that confidence in each other, it’s hard to get along with each other. And if you’re not vulnerable, it’s going to have an impact on your relationships and intimacy.

5. You communicate your needs clearly with each other

This involves being honest about your feelings and emotions as well as your physical relationships.

“I’ve treated so many couples, and if they’re talking about paying off their mortgage or taking Timmy to school on time, they’re communicating very well,” Kanaris said. “But intimate communication is a different world.”

But, he says, clear communication is essential to help you improve relationships and keep both parties happy. He continued: “It may not happen right away, but it needs to develop over time in a healthy relationship. ”

When you argue, you will compete fairly

“The couple I never wanted to see in the office were the ones who never quarrelled,” Bogner said. “The couple” for 20 years without quarrels, they bragged to all their friends, they created a legend of their perfect relationship. ”

“Actually, they’re doing a fine ballet to avoid every point where they might conflict with each other. The result of this particular labour is deep and enduring resentment. He said. Such couples are always in a heated argument about small things that can lead to ugly breakups.

The truth is, disagreements are a healthy part of your relationship – as long as you both compete fairly and have “good arguments.”

“A good argument starts with the premise: ‘We’re on the same team,'” Bogner said. You know you’re arguing about a problem. It’s not me to you. It’s me and you, and the problems you have to solve.

“A good argument involves active listening, which is done on the assumption that even if I don’t agree with my partner, their point of view makes sense.” If it doesn’t make sense to me, then I need to ask questions until I understand. Bogner said. In other words, even if you disagree, you must verify your partner and make them feel seen, heard, and understood.

Also, according to Hardy, a fair fight in a healthy relationship means that “you have the ability to get feedback without feeling defensive or act as if you’re always right, and your partner is always right.” ”

He continued: “Keeping an open mind gives you space to disagree and maintain your view that you may have a blind spot in your argument. It also gives you both room to deal with and resolve problems in your relationship, and you can find a compromise.

It’s also a good indication of the health of the relationship, and if you both feel that you’re arguing, you can both back off or even pause the argument until both sides calm down.

7. When you make a mistake or get hurt, you apologize

Inevitably, at some point, one or both of you will do or say something that will cause another kind of pain.

But in healthy relationships, Kanaris says, the person who caused the injury will be responsible for the behaviour and apologize without any excuses.

” (They have to) be willing to take responsibility for doing the wrong thing without saying, ‘Oh, you’ll never get over it – get out of trouble,’ or ‘this time?'” We’re back in the first square,” he said.

He says it takes a while to recover, so in a healthy relationship, after apologizing, both of you have to be patient “so that the sores don’t come off.” You can’t ask them to “overcome it” immediately.

Also, you must try to avoid repeating the actions you want to apologize for. ” (Your partner) has to be honest and try to do better,” Canaris continued. “Apologizing is not just a verbal service. You should see them backed up by behavioural differences. ”

8. You are willing to compromise

In a true partnership, neither of you will stick to it.

Compromises include meetings in the middle. Sometimes that means doing something you really don’t want to do to support your important other people’s ambitions and goals. Sometimes, this just means taking into account your partner’s views, thoughts, and feelings when deciding so that you don’t hurt each other.

“I often urge people to be leaders in their relationships in compromise,” Bogner said.

“People are worried that their partner will move around, or give in a little bit, but in my experience, partners will respond gratefully.” If you can rewrite Surrender as a “generous move,” you’ll be happier, and your partner will be happier. ”

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