When doubting the direction things are going in your relationship, a great place to start is a list of the signs that show you what’s already working well and what could use a little improvement. Take a look at the checklist, alone or with your partner, and you might be able to make some changes for the better even if you’re pretty happy and satisfied.
The healthy relationship checklist helps you visualize the most important aspects of couplehood, and it can open your eyes to destructive behaviors that you or your partner might need to change.
Do you feel like you can discuss any topic with your significant other, without being afraid of a negative reaction? Improving communication can take your relationship to the next level. Work on listening and on expressing your needs to your partner. He should do the same, because when there plenty of taboo subjects and communication feels like hard work, there’s a big problem.
Being compatible in the way you solve an argument is very important. Conflict resolution is on the healthy relationship checklist, because the way you handle differences of opinion is a barometer for your entire relationship. Whether you talk things out or just take a break and come back with cooler heads, it’s important that neither of you feels frustrated or hurt after an argument.
Once you’ve improved communication, your partner should know how to be supportive emotionally, and what behaviors have a negative effect on you. If you feel belittled or humiliated by him regularly, and he won’t stop once you explain how it makes you feel, that’s a sign of an unhealthy relationship.
See also: Jealousy Does More Harm Than Good In a Relationship
Healthy Sex Life
As long as your libidos are mostly matched, and you’re both satisfied with your sex life, you can relax when it comes to sex on the healthy relationship checklist. Most couples experience dry spells, but when they’re longer than a few months without a good reason, from childbirth to medical issues, you need to address it and fix it.
Honesty That Isn’t Hurtful
You can’t have trust without honesty, but that doesn’t mean that both of you need to hear the whole truth every single time. Couples who have more negative interactions than positive are more likely to end the relationship. Focus on the good things you have to say to your partner, and sneak in a white lie once in a while to spare his feelings.
Fair Economic Partnership
It doesn’t matter who brings in the most or all the money. You need equality to make it last, and that’s why the healthy relationship checklist includes a true partnership when it comes to economic matters. That simply means that you should make financial decisions together. If one of you is a spender and the other a saver, compromise can be difficult, but each of you should get a full vote in these matters.
Helping Each Other Become People
Trying to change your significant other in a fundamental way never works, but it can create a lot of tension and conflict. Support each other whether the goal is a promotion or just losing a few pounds. By gently pushing each other in the right direction, your relationship can become the most positive aspect of your life.
This is a fundamental bond between every happy couple, so it belongs on the healthy relationship checklist. If you truly respect each other, you value your partner’s opinions and you’re truly supportive, not dismissive. Stay open in a non-judgmental way to keep your relationship on the right track.
Forgiving and Forgetting
Bringing up old issues in new arguments is a recipe for disaster. Counseling can help you put sore subjects to rest, so neither of you keeps pushing them out when there’s a heated discussion. Dwelling on old mistakes will keep you stuck in a cycle of misery.
More: 10 Signs You’re in a Relationship Rut
Mutual Long Term Plans
Are you on the same page when it comes to children? How about your retirement plans? A very important item on the healthy relationship checklist helps you look forward. If you have the same expectations and desires from your future, your relationship is stronger in the present.