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5 Signs That You're in a Healthy Relationship

How many of these characterize your relationship?

Key points

  • Are you wasting time in a relationship that will never be fulfilling, or does your relationship have promise?
  • Communicating face to face is crucial.
  • It's also important to know what your partner most appreciates about you.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock
Source: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Clinical experience suggests that five simple questions can get at the heart of a good relationship.

1. Can you talk face to face—not just communicate by texting—and spend time daily doing so?

My couple clients completed a survey indicating that the average couple converses — with undivided attention, with both partners away from all screens — only 28 minutes a week. That's only four minutes a day.

2. Can you problem solve, resolve conflicts, and, consequently, not hold a grudge?

There will be conflict, but every time there's no resolution, it's like throwing dirt on a fire. The fire goes out. Similarly, over time the passion abates.

3. Are you stuck believing "this relationship would be great... if/only/but..."?

"My relationship would be great if he had a job ... if he didn't drink so much ... if he lost weight ... if my family liked him..." Are you expecting your partner to change or accepting them as they are, even if there are issues that bother you? If what you see is what you get, but you are dissatisfied, are you trusting that what bothers you will just magically resolve? Is the "if only/but" issue a deal-breaker? If you can accept it, that would be your choice. All adults can do is make choices and live with them.

4. Do you know what it is that your partner appreciates about you?

Do they know your essence? It is independent of the way you look or dress or your physique. It's reflective of internal qualities like empathy, compassion, sense of humor, consideration, politeness, and much more.

Interestingly, many couples balk when asked to identify their partners' essence. It doesn't bode well when a person has no clue what essence their partner possesses. It's suggestive that appearance and style and other superficial qualities may be the driving forces of the relationship, all of which fade and change over time. Nevertheless, a person is free to value such qualities and make that choice.

5. Are you treated in a consistent way?

It sounds simple, but many people stay in relationships that are only sometimes good some of the time. The relationship is on a variable interval schedule like a slot machine: Only occasionally do you get what is satisfying. As we know from learning paradigms, people tend to stay in such intermittently reinforcing situations, no matter how frustrating and unsatisfying they are in the long run.

Facebook image: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock