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10 Qualities to Look for in a Healthy Relationship

Two penguins in a very healthy relationship holding hands on a rock.

What are some keys to a healthy relationship? If you look closely at successful relationships you’ll realize many of them have certain things in common. Here’s a list of a few things to strive for in your relationship, so you know what to look for:


An individual’s ability to empathize with you is crucial in a relationship. Empathy is an important relationship skill that both parties should develop. Empathy is the ability to view the world from your partner’s eyes. Being able to put yourself in your partner’s shoes is essential to building a long term relationship based on mutual understanding. Empathy means being a team, a “we” rather than an isolated “I”.


Your partner should be able to “get” you. They should know your tastes, your likes, your dislikes, your moods, your innate personality — they should know that “real” you, and love you for being exactly who you are. Acceptance is a key relationship skill. Both you and your partner should accept one another for exactly the people that you are, faults and all. Your partner should love you because of everything that comprises who you are. Don’t accept any less.


Physical chemistry is important. While it may not be the most important thing on this list, healthy relationships require attraction as a force. You and your partner ought to be attracted to one another, physically and emotionally, and that attraction should lead to a healthy level of chemistry that can be sustained over time.


Your partner should be steadfast with you in promises and obligations. With you, your partner should be able to keep his or her word. Steadfastness leads to trust, which is absolutely essential in healthy, long-term relationships. If your partner isn’t steadfast with you, then you have little reason to grow trust with this person. Do not become intimately involved with someone who cannot keep their word.


It is important that you and your partner support each others’ goals in life. Relationships take constant work and require that you and your partner have a willingness to work together and grow together. Your partner should support and help you reach the goals you want in your life.


Your partner should be generous with you, not in the financial sense, but in the emotional sense. Most importantly, your partner ought to be generous with time, when it comes to you. An essential aspect of relationships is the ability to “give”. If you notice that your partner takes and takes without giving, perhaps it’s time to find a new partner. Generosity is the essence of healthy relationships.


Your partner and you do not need to have the exact same priorities in life, but it certainly helps if your priorities are aligned. If you want to move to India one day to teach yoga at a spiritual retreat and your partner wants to move to Los Angeles to jumpstart a career in the entertainment industry, your priorities are definitely not aligned. Sometimes, for a relationship to thrive, priorities can be adjusted or redefined, which is fine, but both parties should be equally flexible in this.


Trust is the single most important factor when it comes to when a relationship is a success or a failure. You must be able to trust your partner, and your partner must be able to trust you. And both of you should give the other person reason to trust. With trust, you have the ability to be vulnerable — an important factor in long-term, successful partnerships. If you can’t be vulnerable with your partner, it’s time to move on.


Good relationships have great communication structures. Bad relationships almost always have terrible communication between partners. You and your partner should speak the same language, emotionally speaking, in the sense that you should be able to communicate your desires successfully. Neither party should be timid about asserting themselves when appropriate, and neither party should feel shy about communicating feelings at any point. Do you and your partner have successful communication?


Commitment is the most important quality to look for when deciding a successful match. If you are searching for love and a long-term relationship, you and your partner must be able and willing to commit to one another, understanding all the sacrifices and adjustments that are necessary when transitioning from single life to life as a couple. The key to commitment is love. If you love someone, commitment should be no less than nature.

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