Throughout our lives, we experience all different types of relationships — happy and unhappy, healthy and unhealthy.
When relationships end, men and women alike tend to ask themselves all kinds of questions about what went wrong and what they could have done differently. But there are so many reasons things don’t work out romantically with a certain individual, it can be hard to know what to look for the next time around.
I know that, for me, I haven’t always been able to figure out an exact reason why some of my own relationships just didn’t last. And instead of obsessing on finding an answer, I firmly believe that the key to understanding how to have a happy, healthy relationship lies in focusing on the future.
Learning which signs to look for early on that indicate you’re in a healthy relationship is more beneficial than dwelling on the past.
You can’t change the past, but you can change your approach to relationships in the future. Instead of thinking about the should have’s, could have’s, or would have’s, think about the little changes you can make moving forward that will strengthen and enhance what will be next. This serves a better purpose, and makes for happier couples, than overthinking things you can never go back and change.
Shifting your mindset and approach in even small ways can make a world of difference in your love life. In fact, some of the best relationship advice is so simple, you’ll ask yourself why you never thought of it before now!
Here are 15 signs of a healthy relationship to look for in your current love life — or the next time what you think may be true love comes along.
1. You both see possibilities where others might see challenges.
People are going to doubt your relationship and give you reasons as to why the relationship is bound to fail. Every couple goes through ups and downs and has to overcome challenges
Instead of thinking about that, why not think about the possibilities of the relationship working out and what there is to gain from that? That’s what people in happy relationships learn to do.
2. You both know you have nothing to be envious or jealous about.
You and your partner are not in a competition to see who’s better at what. Don’t play that game. You’ll lose every time. Instead, embrace each other’s strength and assist with their areas of growth.
3. You don’t feel constrained by tradition.
Celebrate traditions as defined by you both, but leave some room available to create your own traditions together.
4. You both know the past is neither the present nor the future.
Don’t allow your past to creep up and make your present and future difficult. Deal with the past and let it rest where it belongs … in the past. It’s a key strategy that happy couples have mastered.
5. You both notice and see the love around you.
Things happen in life that makes us lose focus on the love and joy that surrounds us. Take a few moments each day to recognize that love and joy.
6. You both realize that doing nothing is not an option.
If you do nothing instead of addressing things, the relationship will not work. Communicate with each other.
7. You both go for what you need in life.
This applies to the long-term, as well as to today and tomorrow. We all want instant gratification at some point in our lives, but we need to focus more on what we need for the long-term rather than immediate.
8. You both remember and appreciate the little things.
Everyone can remember the big things like getting engaged or the holidays. It’s the small things like your partner getting you a puzzle book that you love on a random Sunday morning. Those are the times you should remember and unfortunately are not cherished enough.
9. You both know that love is not a fairy tale.
It’s just not the reality of life. Life has ups and downs that we have to deal with and at times, it’ll be very overwhelming and feel almost impossible to deal with. Remember, the fairy tales are just fiction stories.
10. You both stay aware of your emotions and maintain a sense of control.
Don’t act based solely on emotion. You may say or do something you will regret later on. Make sure you think things through and maintain your composure.
11. You both know that nobody is a mind reader.
You can’t read your partner’s mind, and your partner can’t read yours. Happy, healthy couples know that communication is key.
12. You’re both careful not to rush into anything.
You have time. Don’t rush something you’re not 100 percent sure about.
13. You both recognize the friendship in your relationship.
Be your partner’s best friend and maintain that friendship. It keeps the fire burning within the relationship.
14. You both emphasize quality over quantity.
Quality time means putting phones and other electronics or distractions away and being present with your partner. Talk about different things such as life goals, work, possible career moves, and so forth.
There is no quality in watching television for an entire evening while on your cell phone and social media.
15. You’re both willing to oust people who try to interfere with your relationship.
Discuss this with your partner before anything even happens so there is a plan of attack set in place for when it happens. It’s inevitable. It may be your parents, your partner’s parents, an ex, and so forth. Make sure to discuss this early on in the relationship so there’s a common understanding of how to deal with it.
There is a consistent theme throughout these little secrets listed above: communication.
Communication is the key to making a relationship work and making it last.
The things listed above are so simple, but they do require time. Make the time and you won’t regret it. Your relationship will be great if you take these quick little secrets into consideration.
Stop focusing on why it didn’t work out with someone in the past.
Focus on the now and your future. You can have great relationships if you put your mind to it and remain mindful and open. I guarantee it!