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How to know if you are in a Healthy Relationship? 5 Signs of an unhealthy Relationship

Updated on October 20, 2015
Anamika S profile image

Anamika S. Jain has been a social media consultant for six years. She has written more than 200 articles on relationships and dating.

Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships

We maintain many relationships in our life. Some of them are as Parents, friends, co-workers, wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, son, daughter and so on.

A relationship could be healthy or unhealthy. No one wants to be in an unhealthy relationship. What constitutes a healthy relationship? What exactly does ‘healthy’ signify? What makes a relationship unhealthy? How to know if you are in a healthy relationship? In simple terms, a healthy relationship is where there is room for learning from each other and positive growth. It is one which enriches us, makes us happy and helps us to be better. Unhealthy relationships rarely promote any of these feelings. A relationship is unhealthy when there is mean, disrespectful, controlling, or abusive behavior. It can make one uncomfortable, sad, trapped, and stagnant.

I am giving below some basic ingredients of a healthy relationship so that you can judge for yourself if you are in a right relationship. Though this Hub will be focusing on romantic relationships, many of the qualities listed below apply to other kinds of relationships as well.

Signs of a Happy and Healthy Romantic Relationship
Signs of a Happy and Healthy Romantic Relationship

5 Signs of an unhealthy relationship

It is quite natural in love relationships to look at the world with rose color glasses at the earlier stages. Most couples only realize after the honeymoon stage that all is not well.

What makes a relationship right? How to identify an unhealthy relationship? What are the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship? Given below are some signs or factors one should look into to know if you are in a healthy love relationship.

  1. Mutual Respect: In a Healthy Relationship, the couples accept and like each other for what they are. They are proud of each other and value each others ideas, feelings and opinions. The couples may not agree on everything, but they respect each others point of views, good or bad. They understand each other and value each others space and privacy. A relationship is unhealthy when either one or both the partners use insults, unkind words or anything else which can destroy the self-esteem of an individual.
  2. Trust and Honesty: Trust and honesty goes hand in hand. In a healthy relationship, the couples trust each other. They are honest with each other and do not become suspicious or lose control. The couples rely on each other for support and feel safe sharing their thoughts and feelings with each other. The couples do not do anything that makes their significant other doubt their loyalty and devotion to him/her. Though a bit of jealousy is perfectly normal in any relationship, when jealousy makes one to be out of control and insecure, the relationship turns to be unhealthy.
  3. Freedom to be yourself: Just because you are a couple does not mean that you need to have the same likes, dislikes and interests. In a healthy relationship, the couples have the freedom to be themselves without the fear of being criticized. They treat each other fairly and as equals. There is give-and-take in the relationship and a fair balance is maintained. In a healthy relationship, the couples do not indulge in verbal, emotional or physical abuse. They are not dependent on each other and have other friends and interests too. In case of an unhealthy relationship, one may notice a power struggle by either one or both persons to get his or her way all the time.
  4. Good communication: In a Healthy relationship, the couples maintain good communication with each other. They feel safe sharing their thoughts and feelings with each other. They communicate openly and honestly about everything. They are not scared to admit mistakes or say sorry. They listen to each other without interrupting or judging. In case, a person needs some time to think before he/she talks about it, the partner would give him/her the space required. Problems and disagreements in relationship don’t make the couple think of breaking up. In case of misunderstandings and problems, they sort them out together without delay.
  5. You feel Happy and Loved: In a Healthy Relationship, the couples feel good about themselves and their world. They are together because they want to be together and not because they are required to be together for some reason. The couples share a spontaneous warmth and affection for each other. They love each other and are concerned about the well being, safety and happiness of each other. They work together to make each other happy and support each other. They not only enjoy their time together but also enjoy their time apart. They feel secure in the relationship and do not live in the constant fear of losing their loved one as they are sure of their feelings for each other.

There is no such thing as a perfect relationship or perfect girlfriend/boyfriend. Even in healthy relationships there may be some unhealthy moments or things which may need improvements. The couples have to work together in changing the unhealthy behaviors for building a good relationship. But sometimes despite of best efforts from couples, some relationships are unhealthy and beyond repair. If you are in an abusive or toxic relationship, it's not healthy to stay in that relationship. You need to get out of the relationship if your relationship involves in verbal, emotional or physical abuse. It may be tempting to misinterpret abuse as a sign of possessiveness or love, but the earlier you face the truth the better for you.

Have I left anything? Feel free to add them through comments.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships

© 2012 Anamika S Jain


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