Have you ever wondered what it takes to have a healthy relationship? While every relationship is unique, there are specific traits that are necessary in order to have a supportive and fulfilling relationship with another. When we are in a relationship that is lacking these traits, it’s common to feel increased stress and conflict, difficulty navigating challenges within this relationship, and at times unhappiness.
Do you think your relationship is working well for you? Here are some healthy attributes of a supportive relationship that can help us feel most connected to one another.
- Open Communication: All relationships are built on communication, and how well you and that person can speak with one another is key. A healthy relationship has open, honest, and direct communication. It is one where both individuals feel they can say whatever they want and need to say to the other, in an assertive way. This would also look like the absence of lying, passive-aggressive comments, and minimizing your thoughts and feelings.
- Feeling Safe: A core building block of any healthy relationship is safety and security. It is essential that we feel safe physically, mentally, and emotionally within our relationships. Feeling safe can also mean there is an absence of worry or fear that you may say or do “the wrong thing” in the other’s eyes.
- Ongoing Dedication to Work/Resolve Problems: Relationships take work. An important part of any supportive relationship is the presence of dedication and desire from both people to work on the relationship. This can look like a willingness to own up to mistakes, say “I’m sorry” when needed, work together to overcome obstacles, and have the desire to resolve any conflict or problems that may arise.
- Prioritizing Time Together and Apart: A great sign of a relationship that is working well is one where the two individuals both prioritize time together and also spend time apart. Extremes within relationships such as “we never spend time together” or “we never do our own thing” can be very problematic for both individuals.
- Ability to Have Fun Together: While relationships can be a lot of work, a sign of a healthy and supportive relationship also has time to play and have fun. If you can laugh, share things with, and have fun with another person, that is key! Having these moments can also help us feel more connected, secure, and dedicated to the relationship.
While every relationship is different, these components are essential in order to feel as supported and fulfilled within our relationships are possible.
So, how do your relationships fare? If you do not have all of these traits within your relationship(s), is there something that you can focus on or improve in order to achieve a more fulfilling relationship with that person? Or, are you needing to explore your relationships further and get support with working on one or more of these traits within your own life? If so, or if you are unsure how to navigate relationships in your life, talking to a therapist or counselor may be helpful. Let’s connect and work on this together so that you can get the most out of your relationships. Reach out today to get started!