It’s one thing to be in a relationship (pretty much anyone can do that). It’s another thing entirely to be in one that’s healthy. You know—one that, at the end of the day, makes you a better person because of all of the good that it brings into your life.
So, how can you know, with absolute certainty, that your own relationship falls into that category? We feel that if you’re able to check most of these things off of your list, then you have the kind of love connection that you truly be proud of—and smile about.
1. You’re happy most of the time.
It’s pretty unrealistic to expect to be happy all of the time. That’s because some days are better and easier than others thank to school/work demands, family and friend needs and even your personal mood(s). But if you can honestly say that there are more days in your relationship when you feel happy to be around your guy, that’s awesome. It really is.
2. You’re not changing who you are to be with him.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of women who are in toxic relationships without even really realizing it. It’s not because their guy beats on them or is verbally abusive. It’s because he always wants her to be someone other than her true self. He may try and get her to dress differently or change her hair or even alter parts of her personality. Bottom line, a healthy relationship will help you to improve, on your terms—not change what makes you such a special and unique individual.
3. He makes you feel better about yourself.
Wanna become a doctor? Thinking about writing a book? A good boyfriend will make you feel like you can do these things and more. Like when it comes to you and what you can achieve, the sky truly is the limit because, through his eyes, you’ll see even more how amazing you really are.
4. You’re not experiencing any kind of abuse.
We hope it goes without saying that any time a man raises his hand to you, that should be the last time he sees you. But please remember that abuse isn’t only physical. He needs to speak to you with kindness. He needs to make you feel safe emotionally. He also needs to not abandon or neglect you—especially in time of need.
5. Sex is not the focal point.
Sex is a part of many relationships, but you should never feel as if it is all that you two have going. Also, pay attention to if he’s affectionate outside of the bedroom. Does he hold your hand? Does he kiss your forehead? Does he hug you and tell you how much you mean to him? These are examples of how to be intimate without always being sexual. A healthy relationship is quite familiar with this concept.
6. You both communicate really well.
A lot of marriages end due to a problem in this one area. Connecting with someone is about communicating well. Do you listen to him? Does he listen to you? Do you both feel like your views and opinions matter to one another? If so, congrats! You’re way ahead of the bar in the relationship department!
7. You’re not in a constant break-up pattern.
“Break Up to Make Up” is an old-school song but it shouldn’t be a part of your lifestyle. When couples break up, it’s a sign that something is wrong. Figure out what that is before getting back together again.
8. He makes you a priority.
So, what does it mean for a man to make you a priority? Basically he doesn’t fit you in when he “has time”. Because you are so important to him, you can rest assure that he is always going to make time for you.
9. Arguments are far and few between.
Every couple argues from time to time. It’s simply because we’re all individuals with our own perspective on things. What you need to pay close attention to is how often you argue and how you do it. If you can’t go one week without some sort of disagreement, yeah, that’s not good. And if one or both of you “likes” to fight below the belt, that is a surefire sign of the relationship being unhealthy.
10. He’s available whenever you need him.
OK, when it comes to this particular point, here’s what you need to remember about being a healthy girlfriend: You will respect his time. In order to be successful, he’s going to have to go to school/work and in order to be his own person, he’s going to need to spend time with his own family and friends. But when the relationship, as a whole, is healthy, you can always rely on him for support and encouragement. No doubt about it.
11. He’s not one way with you and another way online.
If the two of you have decided to keep your relationship “off of the radar” when it comes to social media, trust us, we get it. But this doesn’t mean that your guy should be acting like he doesn’t have a special person in his life. In short, if your status says “in a relationship” and his says “single” or he’s doing a ton of flirting with other gals and the entire world can see it…really, what’s up with that?!?
12. He openly expresses his feelings.
No one has to be rich in order to be thoughtful. A healthy relationship looks for ways to show the person they’re with how much they care. Whether it’s a diamond bracelet (rich) or a Hallmark card and balloons (thoughtful).
13. Your family and friends like him.
Although you’re the one who’s dating him and so you get the deciding vote, do pay close attention to how your family and friends feel about him and the relationship in general. They love you and so they’re going to want what’s best for you. For this reason, they might catch some things that you wouldn’t.
14. You don’t feel pressured in any way.
Not much good comes from pressure when it comes to applying it to a relationship. So, if he’s trying to make you do things that you don’t want to do or aren’t ready for, that’s called manipulation. And yes, that’s unhealthy.
15. He supports your goals and ambitions.
A healthy relationship consists of two cheerleaders. How often does your boyfriend make you feel like he believes in what you want to achieve in life? Yeah, that’s definitely something to think about!