I certainly am no love expert, but through my personal experience I´ve learned what I consider “signs” of a healthy and functional love relationship. No human relationship is perfect, and in particular, the romantic ones can create confusion or too much complication between the parties. However, from my point of view there are some “signs” that characterize a functional healthy relationship. I would like to name the 5 most important:
- Close and open communication: In a healthy relationship, each individual can express him/herself openly. Both of them listen and talk to each other on a regular basis, showing interest on the counterpart’s life. Disagreement is allowed, and good communication would be the best way to clarify any issues or worries. In an eventual conflict, both partners are also willing to find solutions together.
- Physical affection and moral support: Physical affection plays an important role in a relationship. It makes you feel loved and trustworthy. Some people are more affectionate than others, so the degree of physical affection may vary. At the same time, each partner should understand the right to say no from advances from the “other side”. Besides, being supportive in a relationship is fundamental. Ideally, each person looks to the best interest of each other, knows what the other´s likes or dislikes and offers encouragement and understanding.
- Respect: In a healthy and functional relation mutual respect is a cornerstone. Everyone is valued by who he or she is. Ideas and opinions are appreciated, as well as any contradiction or difference is tolerated, accepted and respected. Dialogue is encouraged, and judgment or any form of violence is unacceptable under any circumstance.
- “Own” space and independence: Even though being apart of a relationship unit is good, each individual deserves his/her own space and independence. A couple is composed by two human beings, not by an unhealthy symbiosis attachment. Keeping your own space and independence should not be interpreted as “being apart” but instead, as a way to value each others’ time, uniqueness and to reinforce trust.
- Similar expectations: When couple’s expectations are unrealistic or disproportionatantly one sided, problems can arise. Expectations should be in line with reality, otherwise partners would damage their relationship. “Periodic checkups” and forgiveness are a good solution when expectations seem to differ.