What makes a healthy relationship?

We all crave to have close and meaningful connections. If we learned anything from COVID-19 is how important it is to have connection with others. We saw how devastating it was for so many people to be restricted from seeing their loved ones or interacting with other people in their communities. There is absolutely nothing more valuable and rewarding than having a close meaningful connection with someone. 

But what does it mean to have a healthy and fulfilling relationship? With so many people giving you input and your own experience maybe telling you what a relationship looks like, it can be hard to decipher what constitutes a healthy relationship. So let’s take a look at what a healthy relationship looks like. 

Effective communication is the key to any healthy relationship. It’s the art of really listening to your partner, understanding their perspective, and expressing your own thoughts and feelings with honesty and vulnerability. Through communication, bonds are strengthened, misunderstandings are clarified, and intimacy is nurtured.

Trust and honesty make up the next important aspect of lasting relationships. Trust is earned through consistent honesty, reliability, and integrity. When trust flourishes, so does the sense of security and intimacy between partners, fostering a deep connection that can withstand any disagreement or major life transitions.

Respect is the silent form of love, spoken through actions, words, and gestures. It's about honoring each other's individuality, boundaries, and autonomy, while cherishing the unique qualities that make your partner who they are. In a healthy relationship, mutual respect supports growth, understanding, and acceptance.

Having equality in a relationship creates balance and harmony. When one partner has power over the other it creates resentment and distrust in the relationship. When you have equality with each other, decisions are made together and each voice is valued and heard. Having boundaries within the relationship will also help to create harmony. Healthy partnerships honor each other's need for autonomy, allowing room for personal growth, self-discovery, and individual pursuits. By fostering independence alongside each other, couples create a dynamic and enriching bond that thrives on mutual respect and admiration.

Support and empathy are the nurturing forces that sustain relationships through life's challenges and wins. It's about being there for your partner, offering a listening ear, a comforting embrace, and unwavering encouragement. Through empathy, conflict resolution is easier to manage. Disagreements are seen as opportunities for growth and understanding, rather than sources of discord. By approaching conflicts with empathy, respect, and a willingness to compromise, couples can strengthen their connection and deepen their bond. While there will inevitably be some differences, working together and supporting each other's goals and unifying goals and values, provides purpose and meaning in the relationship.  

A healthy relationship is made up of love, trust, respect, and understanding, where partners support, cherish, and uplift each other through their life together. By embracing these key ingredients, couples, friends, groups, and children can cultivate a love that is enduring, enriching, and truly transformative.