How many of these 10 pillars do you have? How many are you missing?
To change your perspective, start by paying more attention to the facets of your relationship that are stable, consistent, and comfortable. These peaceful, drama-free, status-quo elements are easy to forget, but they are sources of strength.
Here are 10 pillars of healthy relationships that research shows are the key to a satisfying and lasting bond. Many of these are probably present in your own relationship; you just need to pause and take note.
1. You can be yourself.
You and your partner accept each other for who you are; you don’t try to change yourself. You can just be yourself and show your true identity without worrying about whether your partner will judge you. This is helpful because research shows that partners who accept each other tend to be more satisfied with their relationships.
2. You are best friends.
In many ways, your romantic partner is your best friend, and you are his. This is good news because research suggests that romantic partners who emphasize friendship tend to be more committed and experience more sexual gratification. Flinging connections that emphasize friendship focus on emotional support, intimacy, affection, and maintaining a strong bond. They also focus on meeting needs related to caregiving, safety, and companionship.
3. You feel comfortable and close.
Getting close to someone isn’t always easy. But in your relationship, you’ve been through it and are comfortable enough to share your feelings, lean on each other, and be emotionally intimate. While vulnerability can be difficult at times, you’ve learned to trust your partner and realize that she brings you closer. You no longer put up emotional walls and constantly worry about your partner leaving, which provides a sense of stability.
4. You are more alike than different.
You and your partner have a lot in common, and key areas of similarity can help make your relationship more satisfying, new research suggests. Sure, the differences stand out, but beyond those few contrasts, you are similar in many ways. For example, your partner may enjoy superhero movies while you enjoy romantic comedies. While this sounds like a major contrast, you’re both people who enjoy cooking a meal together and then crashing on the couch to watch TV shows while you debate each other’s life choices, mock awkward dialogue, and try to guess the next twist. In the end, you have a lot more in common than you do differently.
5. You feel like a team.
Words are important. When you speak, do you often use words like “we” or “our”? If someone asks you, “What’s your favorite show?” do you say, “We started watching Desperate Housewives”? This use of “we” indicates a strong sense of cognitive proximity, or shared identity, in your relationship. Research suggests that interconnected couples like this tend to be more satisfied and committed.
6. Make each other a better person.
Your partner doesn’t spare any effort and encourages you to refine and improve who you are. Here, your partner doesn’t take charge and tell you how to change but rather supports your personal growth choices. You both squat new and interesting experiences that contribute to a sense of personal growth. According to relationship researchers, your relationship evolves as you develop and grow as a person.
7. You share power.
While partners may each have their own area of expertise (for example, one does lawn care while the other does interior design), partners often share decision-making, power, and influence in the relationship. Know that when both partners have a say, relationships are stronger, more fulfilling, and more likely to last. Know that when both partners have a say, relationships are stronger, more satisfied, and more likely to last. And, not surprisingly, the elements of a couple are happier when they feel the division of labor in their relationship is fair.
8. You are fundamentally good for your partner.
What do people look for in their partners? It’s surprisingly simple: reliable, warm, kind, fair, trustworthy, and intelligent. While these traits may not be flashy or immediately come to mind when you’re making your relationship wish list, they are the foundation of a strong connection. Research suggests that when partners have pleasant, emotionally stable personalities, they tend to be more satisfied with their relationship.
9. You trust each other.
We need to be able to rely on our partner, to create a sense of trust.Net
expression of feeling, entrust our partner with the password to our phone, and free access to our bank account, which translates into our belief that our partner always has our best interests in mind and will be there for us when we need it. Analysis suggests that this is a positive cycle: trust encourages greater commitment, which encourages greater trust.
10. You don’t have serious problems.
There are problems, then there are problems. It is always advisable and sometimes easy to forget about all the major problems and red flags that we don’t have to deal with. “Dark side” issues like disrespect, deception, jealousy, and emotional or physical abuse are relationship killers. Sometimes light can emerge from the absence of darkness.
Take a few moments to think about how each of these elements applies to your own relationship. You may want to give yourself some sort of score to say your relationship is healthy.
Now do your math, how many of these 10 pillars do you have? How many are you missing? But that’s not really the point. Chances are, your relationship has elements of all 10 pillars. The key is to notice them better and, if necessary, to cultivate them. Our advice: to strengthen these pillars, simply savor everything that works in your relationship.