5 Signs of a Successful Relationship
Red flags are a hot topic when it comes to gauging the quality of our relationships. We all want to know what to look out for and when to jump ship. Although being able to recognize warning signs in a relationship is a valuable life skill, it should be balanced by the ability to recognize a good thing when you have it. These are 5 signs that you are in a good relationship. If you don’t see these things happening in your relationship now, these are great goal markers for you to work toward as a couple.
To be able to acknowledge that even when we are in disagreement you are still choosing this person makes a huge difference in your relationship
Feeling safe emotionally, physically, financially, and mentally
There are many factors to determine if you are in a healthy relationship and feeling safe in these areas would be the first place to start. When you don’t have security in one or more of these areas, it makes you uncomfortable to share things with your partner for fear of it being used against you. You might not feel safe to say or do certain things, fearing the outcome. In a successful relationship, you should be able to interact with your partner freely without worrying about risking your stability in these essential areas of life.
Argue with Love
Argue from the space of “you are not my enemy. We are just trying to solve this problem together”. Your conflict resolution skills can be measured by how you engage in conflict and how long it takes you to recover from it. The idea to “argue with love” is keeping in mind that you are speaking to someone you love and want to continue a strong and healthy relationship with, even in moments of high emotion. This thought should motivate you to communicate with your partner with respect and love and take the time to truly hear their thoughts on the matter at hand.
Once the active part of an argument ends you are in the recovery phase. This is the time it takes for you to re-stabilize after a conflict and it may last 2 minutes or 5 days. It depends on how you handled the argument and how you choose to move forward. You can shorten this phase by making an active effort to decompress and reconnect.
Enjoy their company and support their growth
Oftentimes, people like their partner as they are in the moment but struggle with who they’re going to be in the future. Remember that the situational aspects of your partner (i.e. their job, physical appearance or opinions) when you meet them may change over time. It’s best to come from a place of curiosity about who they are now, who they will be in the future and how you might contribute to their growth as a person.
The couple who spends every waking minute together is not necessarily the healthiest. In fact, spending time apart is as important as the time you spend together. The activities that you do in the absence of your partner benefit your relationship by allowing you to have new experiences. Those experiences give you something new to talk about as a couple and the space you need to miss each other. This is also one way to continuously put some spice in your relationship. Interdependence is the balance between being so independent that you don’t need your partner and so dependent that you don’t know who you are without your partner.
Recognize the Positive in your Relationship
Our brains are wired to notice the negative more than the positive. It’s important to actively seek and acknowledge things that we and our partners do well in the relationship. Doing so verbally to our partners will boost the affection and bond in the relationship which can encourage more positive aspects to occur. It will also make the harder times you go through a little easier as you should be able to see that the good heavily outweighs the negative that feels so looming in the face of an argument.
Eboni Harris is a relationship therapist in Houston, Texas, and host of Room for Relations: Sex and Relationship Podcast. She is also co-founder of Melanin and Mental Health™. She does individual and couples therapy in Texas and specializes in helping couples improve communication skills and intimacy.
Follow Eboni across social media @eboniharrisma
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