Updated: Dec 2, 2019
Relationship health is not automatic, and it won't take care of itself. It relies upon more than attraction, and lucky circumstance just isn't enough to keep things in good shape.
But with end of year work pressures and social commitments all vying for our attention, it's all too easy to let relationship wellbeing fall quietly to the bottom of our festive priority list.
In an age of tech-based disconnect, can we really afford not to take care of our relationships?
Here are the 7 signs to look out for in your relationship - including the most important of all.
“take all the time you need…”
Allowing your relationship to develop at the pace you’re comfortable with is just one of the ways your partner can show you the respect you deserve. It can also be a significant sign of positive communication between you. This doesn't just apply to the dreamy early days! Pay attention to your conversations together and listen to your intuition - it can be a powerful informer of how you’re really feeling.
“have a good time with the girls tonight.”
Happy relationships are built on trust. You should be able to enjoy time away from one another without unreasonable telephone contact or fact checking your plans. A healthy relationship is built on genuine belief in the other person, without the need for checking up on you. It's definitely OK to miss you! But if you cannot be apart without arguments breaking out, then this needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
“I need to talk about my past”
We've all done things in the past we aren’t proud of. But it’s important to be open with our partner about the elements of our lives that might impact them in the future. If you and your partner are able to communicate supportively about where you’ve been in life, then this stands you in strong grounding going forwards. You might be surprised at how much less of a big deal it seems once it's out in the open, too.
“What can we do to make this better?”
You are inevitably going to face challenges together sometimes - what’s important is that you are able to work through these hurdles without feeling you are fighting the battle alone. If you and your partner are able to face the world as a team then this is a great sign. You cannot control what life will throw at you, but you certainly can take action to support your partner when the need arises.
“I think you’d be great at that!”
You deserve to explore where your dreams and ambitions could take you in life - it’s a big wide world out there! If your partner is encouraging you to be all you can be, then this is a great sign of healthy behaviour. Every relationship takes compromise which includes consideration of how your choices will affect the other person. But your dreams and goals are worth listening to.
“I really love who you are.”
There is no one on the planet the same as you, and that's something pretty remarkable in itself. Your partner should be able to see the best sides of who you are, even when you can’t see them for yourself. If you and your partner can cultivate the very best aspects of each other, then this is a sign of really healthy forward motion.
“I’ll be there for you.”
I’m not asking you to ‘friend-zone’ your partner or spouse here, don't worry. What I'm referring to here is the most important aspect of any relationship - the one many couples overlook all too easily.
Would you ignore a best friend's achievements? Or take out a bad day on a colleague?
We are often closer to our partner than we are to friends or workmates which implicates higher running levels of emotion. But we need to consider if we have been a good friend to our partner, even on the difficult days. It can be the divider between a great relationship and one of distance or unhappiness.
Reader, I won't tell you relationships are always an easy ride. But I will tell you that they can be one of the greatest joys in our life - and worth every little bit of the effort they require.
So the next time you close off from a partner, or are tempted to snap at them through frustration, perhaps take a moment and think;
“Am I being a good friend?”
It could make all the difference.
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