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You’ve been dating someone for a few months and LBH: you’re head over heels. It’s so easy to get caught up with the excitement of new romance — the late night texting, the exciting date nights — that we forget that a real relationship goes beyond goose bumps and attraction. Love feels awesome, but it’s even more awesome when we understand what it means to be in an emotionally healthy relationship.
So what makes a healthy relationship? Here are six signs to be aware of.
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You gotta have trust. It’s the glue that keeps every successful relationship together. Without trust, you have nothing but bad vibes, including defensiveness and jealousy. You need to be able to trust your partner to keep his word and integrity within the relationship, and vice versa. So, for example, if you’re partnered with the hot jock in science class, your guy should trust that you’re being 100% legit (because you are, right?).
Truth and honesty go hand-in-hand. Honesty means being truthful to your partner at all times. So if you ask bae where he was Saturday night and he says he was studying instead of where he really was (at his friend’s house, watching basketball), the integrity of your relationship diminishes. Honesty also means being authentic. You shouldn’t pretend to be someone else, including liking things that you actually don’t, because of your partner. Be YOU always, bb.
Respect means loving your partner for who they are, and them loving you for who you are. No one is perfect. It’s usually our imperfections that make us interesting and lovable — especially to our sweethearts. A respectful partner should respect you for your fears, eccentricities and whatever makes you feel uncomfortable, and should never make fun of you EVER.
Solid communication is the foundation onto which a successful relationship is built. Asking questions when you’re uncertain, not making assumptions, and always expressing how you’re feeling are examples of good communication between partners. It’s important to feel comfortable enough to communicate exactly how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking to your boyfriend or girlfriend. Another sign you have a keeper? Your bae asks you how your day is, and is someone who is more than willing to listen to you vent because communication = listening too.
You might want to spend 24/7 with your sweetie, but it’s actually healthier to have some space. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your own life — in fact, it’s necessary that you do. Keep having your regular squad nights, spend quality time with your family, and stay active with your hobbies. Maintaining your own independence not only makes your date nights with bae more interesting (you’ll have more stuff to talk about!) but also your relationship becomes stronger and more balanced since you are coming together as two whole people.
Having someone by your side when you’re having a bad day (or a bad month because it happens) is a true sign of a healthy relationship. You should be able to rely on your partner to always have your back no matter what. Having emotional support is having someone to lift you up through the trying times whether you ask for their support or not. When the going gets tough and your partner sticks by your side instead of running away, then you know you’ve got yourself a keeper.