Relationships are challenging. People and relationships evolve over time. It can be a bit like hitting a moving target or trying to understand something that’s constantly in flux. While relationships can be hard to manage, a good relationship is worth the effort.
A good relationship can have amazing benefits, but an unhealthy relationship can be worse than being alone.
How can you tell if your relationship is a good one? There isn’t a foolproof method for scoring a relationship, but healthy relationships have several common features.
Look for these healthy signs:
- Balance. You’re both committed to sharing the load and receiving the benefits. If one partner carries the lion’s share of the load or receives the majority of the benefits you have yourself an uhealthy relationship.
- Openness. Relationships run at the speed of trust, and the ability to be open is the test for your level of trust. Both parties should feel free to share their feelings and concerns honestly and openly. It’s no fun to be in a relationship where you feel you must keep your pain and concerns to yourself. How open can you be with your partner?
- A common long-term outlook. For a relationship to thrive over the long-haul, it’s important that there be a common objective. Do you both want the same things 10 years or more from now? This is a very important question to ask.
- Fun. Good relationships are fun. Do you regularly have fun with your partner? Do you have fun in your relationship or do you depend on your friends for fun and entertainment? We always tell couples, those who play together stay together.
- Respect. Mutual respect is imperative in any healthy relationship. Without respect, one person will be mistreated or minimized. Do you respect each other enough that both of you feel valued and important? Remember, God is not just your Father, but your Father-in-Law. So treat His son or daughter with respect!
- Able to settle conflicts without abuse or resentment. Conflicts arise in any relationship. Settling conflicts fairly and respectfully is part of any healthy relationship. It’s just as important to be able to let go of any resentment that resulted from the conflict. Holding on to anger is poison to the future of the relationship. How do you solve issues in your relationship? Do these types of conversations make your relationship stronger or more fragile?
- Acceptance. Do you accept each other as you are? Some partners enter into a relationship with the objective of changing the other person to better suit their own preferences. Acceptance is the fuel for intimacy, and without intimacy no relationship will last.
- Commitment. Relationships are work. If one or both parties aren’t committed to making things work, the relationship is unlikely to survive. Commitment starts with the letter “P” – PRIORITY! How much of a priority is the relationship to both of you? Is your spouse your top priority?
God is the author of relationships. He created them so that we could fulfill His plan for our lives. We were never meant to be an island unto ourself. So look at these eight signs and weigh your relationships against them. How do you measure up?