For Keeps?

It's the most important decision you'll ever make, impacting your health, happiness, longevity, resilience and professional achievement. So how do you know if he or she is the right one with whom to spend your life? Photo: Shutterstock

50 Characteristics of Healthy Relationships

What you know and like about your partner should tell you a lot.

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

1. You can name your partner’s best friend and identify a positive quality that the 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, at least 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.

8. In relationship-relevant areas such as warmth and attractiveness, you view your partner a little bit more positively than they view themselves or than most other people view them.

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. 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've had together in the past.

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

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

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

16. You kiss every day.

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

18. You have your own “love language” (pet names or special signs you give each other).

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

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

21. You never, or very rarely, express contempt for your partner by rolling your eyes, swearing at them, or calling them crazy.

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 qualities your partner has passed on to your children.

24. You enjoy supporting your partner’s exploration of 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 be unfaithful, or do something to jeopardize your combined financial security.

26. When you argue, you still 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. When you say goodbye in the morning, it’s mindful and affectionate.

34. If you’ve told your partner about 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 or friends, and view them as important.

37. You have fun together.

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

 

Dr Alice Boyes.
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photo credits: all by Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc

For Keeps?