Healthy romantic relationships make people feel good. When someone is in a solid partnership, he or she often feels an ongoing sense of contentment and peace. Many people know when things are "right".

But what about unhealthy relationships? 

Strong emotions often muddle the realization that a relationship may be unhealthy. This is often due to the fact the love and physical attraction a person feels for another overshadows any unhealthy aspects of the relationship. These factors make it difficult to recognize the pairing is not a good one because the blinders are on and/or turmoil overshadows the problems. The attributes most happy relationships enjoy tend to be absent.

Some signs a relationship is a wholesome one are when a couple shares mutual respect, trust, honesty, strong communication, enjoy spending time together and have an equal standing in the relationship.

Holding hands
Credit: Unsplash via Pixabay CC0 Public Domain CC0 Public Domain

1. Mutual Respect

Mutual respect is a pivotal characteristic of a healthy relationship. If one partner is continuously disrespectful to his or her significant other, this is a sign that things are not on a good footing. The belittling of a partner has no place in a healthy relationship - but treating one's love with respect and dignity does. For a couple to succeed, it's important the level of respect travels along a two-way street. If it is a one-way street, the relationship will end up being cluttered with a lot of resentment, which will probably eventually lead to other issues emerging between the couple.

2. Trust

A strong foundation of trust being present is a strong sign a relationship is a healthy one. Partners who have respect and honesty for one another usually do not have trust issues. However, if a person finds him or herself spying on his or her partner to check up on him or her or not really believing the words he or she says, this is a sign things are looking to be on shaky ground. [1] In this type of situation a person might want to consider it is time to reevaluate how he or she really feels about his or her partner. Also, he or she will want to evaluate if this is the kind of life he or she wants to be in for the long haul?  

In some cases, the lack of trust may be unfounded and related to baggage from previous relationships and, if this is the case, with some soul-searching and perhaps counseling the issue may be able to be resolved. If this is the case, for the relationship to stay on a healthy footing, the issues relating to mistrust have to be resolved. Without trust from both partners, ultimately, the small cracks in the relationship's foundation will spread and break the relationship wide open. If and when this happens, things are likely to shatter to pieces.

3. Honesty

Honesty is another one of the most important components in a relationship. Without honesty, it's hard to keep things standing on a healthy footing. An established relationship which is built upon harmful and/or harmless lies, or just plain old outward deceit, will eventually lead to harming the relationship because someone is bound to get hurt.

Occasionally, lies in a relationship can be extended for long periods of time without the unhealthy and visible signs emerging, but this doesn't mean problems are not present and simmering under the surface. At some point, the pot of lies will boil over the surface and someone will get burned. Partners in healthy relationships do not feel the need to lie to one another.

4. Strong Communication Levels

Communication is another fundamental component of a happy life together. Couples who can effectively communicate with one another without hurting each other are on usually on solid ground. This doesn't mean there won't be disagreements or fights, but what it does mean is that the two partners can sit down and talk about the issue(s) openly and honestly. Even if one partner doesn't like hearing what the other is saying, that's OK, because communication levels are strong. There is a mutual understanding and an ability to talk things out.

5. Enjoy Togetherness

Spending time together is valuable in all relationships, and couples who are enjoying a wholesome relationship together enjoy one another's company. Signs a relationship is unhealthy is if one mate constantly looks for ways to avoid his or her partner and not spend time together.

A good sign of a healthy relationship is that a person doesn't feel bad, scared or nervous when around his or her partner. Everyone needs some occasional "me" time, but if a partner is constantly seeking out time to be by his or herself, or anywhere else a partner isn't on a regular basis, this is not a good sign.

Couple looking over water
Credit: Andi_Graf via Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

6. Equal Standing in the Partnership

This goes along with mutual respect. If one partner excessively exhibits domination over the other and this is not agreeable, there is likely going to a degree of resentment. Couples who share equal standing in a relationship enjoy one another and the bond between them mostly grows stronger. In unequal relationships, it is difficult to strengthen a relationship bond. Plus, not having equal standing makes it more difficult for partners to each maintain their own identities, which is also an important attribute in a relationship.

"Marriage may be a large piece of the whole pie that identifies who you are. But above all, you’re still who you are as an individual beyond your various roles in life," states Psychology Today. [2]

Credit: Unsplash via Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

While there is a level of volatility in every relationship, even the good ones, in the healthy relationship there is a distinction in knowing the difference. The way you know you are in a healthy relationship is if you see and feel the above types of attributes in your daily life together. An unhealthy relationship typically does not possess these positive qualities.

There are many other signs that show a relationship is healthy. What attributes do you find to be most important in a good relationship?