Healthy Relationships

Eight characteristics of healthy relationships

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Four wooden building blocks with letters L, O, V, E, and a small red love heart beside the blocks, symbolizing LOVE and connecting this to Healthy Relationships by Life Connections Ireland

respect

Everyone deserves to be in a healthy relationship

So what are the characteristics and signs of a healthy relationship?

1. Mutual Respect

Mutual Respect and Boundaries
The foundation of your relationship is based on mutual respect. Your partner respects and values you as a person and your beliefs. They respect your boundaries and they support you as you strive to achieve your dreams, wishes and wants.

One of our greatest ways of expressing love, is through respecting the other.

2. Open and Honest Communication

Open and Honest Communication
Talking with your partner, and sharing your thoughts, beliefs and opinions without hesitation, should be a given in healthy relationships. You will not agree on everything, but it is necessary to feel that you can express yourself feely and openly.

Connection in relationship is shaped by the depth and quality of the communication between the partners.

3. Safety

Safety in Relationships
Feeling safe with each other is essential in a healthy relationship. One should never feel afraid or be threatened by their partner. Relationships that are safe havens create a sense of security.

Can you say out loud to your partner? - "I feel safe with you and you are safe with me."

4. Equality

Equality, Give and Take
Each person respects the others feelings and opinions. Your partners needs do not dominate the relationship, and they do not exert power and control over you.

Relationships are about give and take, equality and balance.

5. Compromise

Compromise, bending but not breaking
Disagreements in relationships are normal, so compromise is crucial. We must both come to the table, to listen openly to each others feelings and thoughts and reach a final decision together.

Bending a little as we compromise, but not bending so much that we break.

6. Independence

Independence, be like the temple pillars
Healthy couples do not spend all their time with each other. One supports the other to have separate hobbies and interests. Maintaining relationships with family and friends is always encouraged.

As Kahil Gibran (1923) said: "Stand together, yet not too near together, for the pillars of the temple stand apart".

7. Support

Supportive Relationships
There will always be times where we need to be listened to with compassion by our partner. Life can be tough at times. A supportive reliable partner will be there for you when you need it.

However it is healthy that one does not look for all one's support needs to be met by their partner. Support can also come from friends, family and caring professionals.

8. Privacy

Invasion of privacy = Red flag
You have a right to your own privacy in healthy relationships. It is not necessary that you share your phone or email passwords, or social media login details with your other half.

A partner who insists on this is not trusting you, and these demands and invasion of your privacy and personal space, are signs of red flags in relationships.

If any of this content makes you feel uneasy about the health of your relationship, have a look at a post that we made on Instagram recently. It lists the names of Domestic Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence support services in Ireland. You will find that information by CLICKING HERE

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25/5/2021

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