In Practice

Putting social psychology to work for you

50 Characteristics of Healthy Relationships

A list of 50 positive signs you're in a healthy relationship.

If you can say yes to most of these, it's very likely you're in a healthy relationship.

50 Positive Characteristics of Healthy Relationships.

1. You can name your partner’s best friend and state a positive quality that person has.

2. You and your partner are playful with each other.

3. You think your partner has good ideas.

4. You’d like to become more like your partner in some ways.

5. Even when you disagree, you can acknowledge your partner makes sensible points.

6. You think about each other when you’re not physically together.

7. You see your partner as trustworthy.

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8. In relationship-relevant areas (such as warmth and attractiveness), you view your partner a little bit more positively than s/he views themselves or how most other people view your partner.

9. You enjoy the ways your partner has changed and grown since you met.

10. Your partner is enthusiastic when something “goes right” for you.

11. (If applicable) When you reunite at the end of the day, you say something positive before you say something negative.

12. You reminisce about positive experiences you had together in the past (e.g., fun vacations).

13. You can name one of your partner’s favorite books.

14. You know what your partner’s aspirations in life are.

15. You can recall something you did together that was new and challenging for both of you.

16. You kiss everyday.

17. You’re comfortable telling your partner about things that make you feel vulnerable (such as if you’re worried about getting laid off).

18. You have your own “love language” e.g., pet names or special signs you give each other (such as the Obamas’ fist bump).

19. You know what your partner’s most embarrassing moment from childhood was.

20. You know what your partner’s proudest moment from childhood was.

21. You never or very rarely express contempt for your partner - roll your eyes, cuss at them, call them crazy etc.

22. You can list some positive personality qualities your partner inherited from their parents.

23. (If you have children together) You can list some positive personality qualties your partner has passed on to your children.

24. You enjoy supporting your partner’s exploration of their personal goals and dreams, even when this involves you staying home.

25. You have a sense of security. You’re confident your partner wouldn’t cheat or do something to jeopardize your combined financial security.

26. When you argue, you have a sense that your partner cares about your feelings and opinions.

27. Your partner lets you into their inner emotional world. They make their thoughts and feelings accessible to you.

28. You frequently express appreciation for each other.

29. You frequently express admiration for each other.

30. You feel a sense of being teammates with your partner.

31. You know your partner’s favorite song.

32. You have a sense that your individual strengths complement each other. 

33. (If applicable) When you say goodbye in the mornings, it’s mindful and affectionate.

34. If you’ve told your partner about any trauma you’ve experienced, they’ve reacted kindly.

35. You don’t flat out refuse to talk about topics that are important to your partner.

36. You respect your partner’s other relationships (with family, friends etc) and view them as important.

37. You have fun together.

38. You see your partner’s flaws and weaknesses in specific ways rather than general ways (e.g., you get annoyed about them forgetting to pick up the towels but you don’t generally see them as unreliable or inconsiderate).

39. You’re receptive to being influenced by your partner - you’ll try their suggestions.

40. You're physically affectionate with each other.

41. You enjoy spending time together.

42. You feel a zing when you think about how you first met.

43. You can name your partner's favorite relative.

44. You can name your partner's most beloved childhood pet.

45. You can articulate what your partner sees as the recipe for happiness.

46. When you feel stressed or upset, you turn toward your partner for comfort rather than turning away from your partner and trying to deal with it yourself. 

47. You have a sense that it's easy to get your partner's attention if you've got something important to say.

48. You like exploring your partner's body.

49. You can name your partner's favorite food.

50. If you could only take one person to a deserted island, you'd take your partner. 


Read More about Healthy Relationships

8 Questions to Help You Appreciate Your Relationship

10 Ways Relationships Help Individuals Grow


Dr Alice Boyes.

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photo credits: all by Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc

Alice Boyes, Ph.D. translates principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and social psychology into tips people can use in their everyday lives.


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