Healthy Relationships - The 15 Key Characteristics

Healthy Relationships - The 15 Key Characteristics
Don't let rotten attitudes, mindsets, or people pollute your life. Guthrie Chamberlain

Do you ever wonder what a healthy relationship looks like or what it is supposed to look like? Many people have no concept of what a healthy relationship is. I learned a long time ago that if we didn't grow up with parents who had good ways of interacting with one another, there was almost nowhere else to turn to learn about healthy relationships. This leaves how happy and healthy individuals interact as a mystery that many of us never get to experience. So, I hope the following post provides some broad thoughts on what a healthy friendship and romantic relationship should look like.

How a Relationship Develops

What draws us to individuals is frequently magical chemistry brought on by shared likes and dislikes, history, and energy similarity. There usually is a nice long honeymoon period that lasts until the first dispute, at which point the navigation process begins, and both sides quickly learn how the other handles conflict.

Relationships, it is true, may be messy, frustrating, and challenging, but we require a sense of connection and belonging in our lives to be balanced. Life is more spacious when surrounded by friends and loves than when it is not. However, to move through, we must have a working system.

A healthy relationship contributes to the general well-being of both persons and is characterized by open communication, respect, honesty, and boundaries. Healthy relationships involve effort and compromise on both sides. People respect one another's independence, are free to make their own judgments without fear of retribution or revenge and make decisions together. There is no stalking or refusal to let the other person go if or when a relationship ends.

A healthy relationship involves more than just shared interests and deep feelings for each other. It takes two people who fully understand and care for each other, as well as for themselves. Respect for oneself and others is an essential feature of healthy partnerships.

Because everyone has distinct needs, healthy relationships do not look the same for everyone. Your specific communication, sex, affection, space, shared hobbies, or values, for example, may alter during your life.

As a result, a relationship that works in your twenties may not be the same as the partnership you want in your thirties.

In short, the phrase "healthy relationship" is broad because what makes a relationship thrive is determined by the needs of the people involved.

However, a few essential indicators of thriving relationships stand out.

The Key Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship

Open Communication

People in healthy relationships typically discuss what is going on in their lives, including their accomplishments, failures, and everything in between. You express yourself frankly and truthfully, and there are no off-limits topics. Both parties feel heard. You have open and courteous conversations that help you understand one another and form genuine bonds.

You should feel comfortable discussing any issues that arise, from minor ones such as work or friend stress to more significant problems such as mental health symptoms or financial concerns.

Even if they disagree, they listen without judgment and then give their point of view.

When you have problems or concerns, you express them to each other, not to outsiders. You never criticize or grumble about each other behind each other's backs.

Even in a healthy relationship, you will have disputes and feel disappointed or angry with one other on occasion. That's quite typical, and this does not imply that your relationship is unhealthy.

What is important is how you handle disagreement. You're on the right track if you can discuss your differences calmly, honestly, and with respect.

When people approach disagreement without judgment or contempt, they are more likely to reach a compromise or solution.


In a healthy relationship, you must be willing to communicate everything, no matter how unpleasant. If you want your relationship to last, you can't hide behind lies and deception. It won't be easy to feel safe if you don't believe the individual when they tell you something or keep something from you. Honesty fosters trust and belief in one another and works in tandem with open communication.


You must be willing to trust the other person with not only your feelings but also your flaws. It would help if you learned to trust on an emotional, physical, and spiritual level.

Great relationships are built on trust, which takes time to develop and is difficult to reestablish once lost. Even if trust is broken, you can find a way to repair it if you're ready to work on it.

Relationships of all kinds will fail in the absence of trust. When you feel safe, comfortable, open, and close to each other, you know you trust each other.

You know they won't hurt you physically or mentally if you feel safe and comfortable with them. You know they have your best interests in mind, but they also respect you enough to let you make your own decisions.


Interdependence is the most significant way to characterize healthy partnerships. Interdependence implies that you rely on each other for mutual support while maintaining your identity as a distinct individual.

You are aware that you have their acceptance and love, but your self-esteem is not dependent on them. You're there for each other, but you don't rely on each other to meet all of your needs.

You maintain friendships and contacts outside of the relationship and devote time to your interests and hobbies.


Curiosity is a vital trait of a healthy, long-term relationship.

Curiosity indicates that you are interested in their ideas, ambitions, and daily lives. You want to see them develop into their best selves, and you're not preoccupied with who they used to be or who you believe they should be.

Physical Intimacy (Romantic Relationships)

Intimacy is frequently associated with sex, although not always. Not everyone likes or desires sex, and your relationship can still be good without it as long as you and your partner are on the same page about meeting your needs.

If you don't want to have sex, physical closeness could include kissing, embracing, cuddling, and sleeping together. Physical connection and bonding are crucial regardless of the type of intimacy you share.

If you and your partner like sex, your physical connection is probably healthy when you:

  • feel at ease initiating and discussing sex

  • can deal with rejection positively

  • can talk about wants

  • feel free to express your desire for more or less sex

Respecting sexual boundaries is also part of healthy intimacy. This involves:

  • not pressing partners about sex or specific sex acts when they say no

  • not as well as not disclosing details about other relationships

  • discussing sexual risk factors


Both of you are aware that neither of you is flawless, and you accept each other for who you are. We focus too much on what we think or hope people will be. While it's necessary to realize how individuals might grow or learn, clinging to who you expect someone to become will undoubtedly lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction.


It's crucial to remember that you're two distinct individuals with distinct wants, including some that you may not share. You will not always agree on everything, and you may not always want the same things. It is essential to consider these differences and not push each other's boundaries, including emotional, physical, and other forms of boundaries. Boundaries are an integral component of every healthy relationship.


A solid relationship can be thought of as a team, and you collaborate and support one another.

Everyone in a relationship has three basic needs: companionship, tenderness, and emotional support. People in healthy relationships are focused on addressing these and any other particular requirements that the other person may have. They are willing to learn how to do so better.

To make your relationships work, you and the other person must both do their part. You make decisions together and take into account each other's worries, wants, and preferences.


It would help if you were dedicated to the relationship. When you consider the health and future of the relationship rather than simply your own, you are more likely to take productive steps and behave accordingly. It's not only about meeting your basic needs, and it's about keeping the relationship fresh so that it can last. That is the essence of a healthy relationship.


Laughter and fun invigorate healthy relationships. It's a positive sign if you can joke and laugh together.

Life challenges or distress may affect one or both of you at times. This can momentarily alter the tone of your relationship and make it difficult to relate to each other in the manner you are used to.

While no one can expect someone to be happy all of the time, excellent relationships improve our spirits and make us feel loved and appreciated.

Thoughtfulness and Kindness

In long-lasting, healthy relationships, people value one another and take care of their words, deeds, and behaviors. You strive to anticipate their needs. Consider what they require assistance with and make an effort to be there for them. You show each other respect, regard, and compassion. You are pleasant and considerate in your communication. You're both quite kind to one another. When we choose to invest in the needs of others, we have a huge impact.

Healthy relationships are built on thoughtfulness, consideration, and kindness.


Another essential characteristic of a healthy relationship is gratitude. We all have moments when we take our relationships for granted. Suppose you can remind yourself and your companion daily how fortunate you are and how valuable they are. In that case, you will increase the happiness and length of your relationship. People who stay together appreciate and complement each other.

Recognize what your companion is doing and express your appreciation for it.

Affection (Romantic Relationships)

We often forget to show love and affection to our mates after a while in a relationship. However, affection is a critical aspect of a healthy relationship, and it's the kind of thing that makes relationships amazing.

Affection can be as basic as unintentionally caressing, holding, or kissing your lover. It could be a warm embrace, a kind touch, a kind word, or any other simple gesture that shows your lover how much you care.

To be the most affectionate, you must first understand how your partner best receives love and then do more of that.

The more you know about your partner's interests, the more affectionate you may be. The love languages quiz might assist you in determining how you and your spouse can most successfully express your love for each other.


Every person has attributes, habits, and behaviors that irritate you. To make a relationship last, you must accept the other person unconditionally, flaws and all.

Because we're all flawed people who make errors, it's natural to feel wounded at times during a relationship. The trick is to forgive fast, let go of grudges, and begin again every day. Yes, it is easier said than done, but forgiveness is critical to the relationship's long-term health.

You must let go of past transgressions and be willing to seek forgiveness.

When there is baggage in a relationship, it suffers. When resentment, disappointment, and irritation go unaddressed, they erode trust and drain our spirit. Forgiveness necessitates bravery, vulnerability, and practice.

Of course, forgiving does not imply being a softie or tolerating mistreatment. In a healthy relationship, you must first commit to accepting them entirely. Then you speak out and explain what's troubling you.

You know you have a great relationship when you can communicate how you feel and then let it go. You are capable of forgiving flaws and inadequacies. You help one another, and you move on after learning from your experiences.

We Teach People How to Treat Us

The idea that "we educate people how to treat us" is essential for navigating all relationships. Some people feel mistreated, victimized, criticized, and belittled by various people in their lives. They believe they are being passed over for promotions and continually being borrowed from, with money that isn't returned or books that aren't returned. They feel exploited and insulted. It's a difficult situation to be in a relationship with that type of person. Still, you must examine yourself and this relationship to determine where you have effectively taught or trained them that it is OK to step on your toes, invade your boundaries, or not treat you with respect.

It's critical to be conscious of what you're allowing in your relationships with friends, partners, family, bosses, and coworkers.

Suppose your "Family-Culture" of origin normalized dysfunctional, criticizing, shaming, and blaming communication and connecting. In that case, chances are the true self will be destroyed, allowing the "hurt kid" to run the show. Unhealthy behaviors will wreak havoc on your adult relationships, eroding the foundations of marriages, friendships, professional ties, and families. If you are in a relationship where you feel taken advantage of, belittled, or invaded, you must accept responsibility for training them to treat you in this manner through your actions or inactions.

Before you can have a good relationship, you must first uncover your "Family Culture" and heal the wounded child within.

You are not the helpless victim. Reclaim your authority. Assert your boundaries and reclaim your sense of empowerment and self-loyalty. Tell individuals what is and is not acceptable. In a kind and loving manner, inform others that it is not permitted to treat you in this manner. If others are doing this and you aren't calling them out on it, you should look into your inability to stand up and tell them how you feel.

Choosing to Have Healthy Relationships

Tell the truth about your relationship history. What was the pattern in your previous relationships? Did you choose, or were you chosen? Did you want to be wanted so strongly that a person who was intense, jealous, and dramatic made you feel even more loved? Were you frightened of being alone and willing to go to any length to escape it? Were you ashamed of your error and afraid to disappoint your family or admit you made the same mistake again? Were you feeling empowered as a result of another person's brokenness? Being required might be stressful for a short time. We all need to attach but being the only one who understands an abusive person is a dangerous sort of attachment.

Learn to love and be loved by beginning with intimate friendships (only those with whom you would never have a romantic interest). Establish appropriate limits in all aspects of your life. Learn to say no and to request what you need. Learn to live in joy and without drama, except for the type that life can hurl at you but that you did not cause. While you're working on this, resist the need to get back out there until you've gotten to know yourself well.