6 Green Flags of Healthy Relationships According to a Therapist
Are you looking for signs that you and your partner are on the right track? Whether you are starting a new relationship or have been together for years, it is important to know what a healthy relationship looks like. In this article, we are going to explore six green flags that are positive indicators that your relationship is on the right track. These green flags are based on patterns that I have observed in my clinical practice, so you can trust that they are tried and true. So, let's dive in and discover the signs of a healthy and fulfilling relationship!
What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?
When it comes to relationships, it is easy to get lost in the idea of finding "the one" or wondering if your current relationship is healthy, or even perfect. But what does a healthy relationship actually look like? The truth is, every relationship is unique and what works for one couple may not work for another. However, over the years, patterns have emerged that characterize healthy relationships, and as a therapist, I have observed them in my clinical practice. While no two relationships are the same, these patterns, or "green flags," are positive signs that a relationship is on the right track. By paying attention to these signs, couples can work towards building a strong and fulfilling partnership.
6 Common Green Flags in Healthy Relationships
Having a strong and fulfilling relationship with our partner is something we all strive for, but how do we know when we are on the right track? Green flags are positive indicators that your relationship is healthy. It is important to remember that struggling in a relationship is normal, and it's okay if you and your partner do not fit all of these signs. Relationships are like plants; they need care and attention to grow. If you find yourself lacking in some of these green flags, don't panic. Instead, work with your partner to build a healthier and stronger relationship.
1. There is validation
In a healthy relationship, validation is key. It is important to feel heard and understood when we share our struggles with our partner. Validation means that they won't dismiss our concerns or minimize our feelings. For example, if you tell your partner that you had a difficult conversation with your boss, they won't say something like, "Oh, don't worry about it, your boss is always like that." Instead, they will open up a dialogue with you, ask how you feel, and empathize with your experience. This is a sign of a healthy relationship, where your partner is willing to meet you where you are and validate your emotions, even if they do not always agree or react in the same way. In a healthy relationship, validation is always present, and your partner will strive to understand and support you no matter what.
2. There is freedom and communication
The second important sign of a healthy relationship is the sense of freedom and open communication that we experience with our partner. Being able to express our emotions, thoughts, opinions, and needs freely is crucial in a healthy relationship. We want to feel safe to share anything and everything with our partner, without the fear of being judged or rejected. This feeling of safety and acceptance is a unique and powerful aspect of a healthy relationship. When we feel that our partner will embrace whatever we are experiencing, we feel truly free to be ourselves and share our deepest feelings.
3. There is trust
The third green flag in a healthy relationship is trust. Trust is a multifaceted concept that can be broken down into four different sides. The first is "I trust you," which is a clear indicator that there is a strong level of trust between partners. The second is "you trust me," which is equally important in building trust in a relationship. The third is "I want to trust you," which means that there is a conscious decision to trust your partner. Lastly, the fourth side of trust is "you want me to trust you," which indicates that your partner is actively working to earn your trust. Making a mindful decision to trust your partner is a crucial sign of a healthy relationship. When you feel safe and secure with your partner, you do not have to worry about keeping an eye open while sleeping. Trust is a vital component of a healthy relationship, and it is essential to establish it early on.
4. There is space
The fourth indicator of a healthy relationship is personal space. While older generations may have believed that couples need to do everything together, this is not always the healthiest approach. Healthy relationships respect each person's individuality and autonomy, allowing them to be themselves, pursue their own hobbies and interests, and have different energies. This separation is what distinguishes a healthy relationship from a co-dependent one. In a co-dependent relationship, the couple does everything together, needs each other, and is dependent on each other emotionally, mentally, and practically. By respecting personal space, a couple can accept and embrace their imperfections and differences, and build a stronger relationship on that foundation.
5. There is growth
The fifth sign of a healthy relationship is the willingness to grow together. It is unrealistic to expect a perfect partner or a perfect relationship. Instead, accepting your partner's imperfections and acknowledging their past traumas, wounds, and unprocessed emotions is essential. When both partners are willing to grow together, heal together, and share their vulnerabilities and honesty, it creates a magical environment for personal growth and development. Finding someone who is willing to work with you to grow together is not an easy task, but accepting this as a priority can lead to a more fulfilling and healthy relationship.
6. There is authenticity and admiration
The sixth green flag of a healthy relationship is the ability to be yourself with your partner. When you are able to let your guard down, make mistakes, and show your silly side without fear of judgment, that is when you know you are in a great relationship. It is important to have fun together without playing power games or strategizing to make your partner like you more. When you are both free to be yourselves and things flow smoothly, it is a unique and wonderful feeling. Additionally, admiring your partner is another strong indicator of a healthy relationship. It is important to take the time to appreciate your partner's strengths and unique qualities without fear of being hurt or betrayed. Unfortunately, many couples forget to admire each other and take each other for granted over time. It is essential to remember that admiration is a crucial component of a thriving relationship.
If you are looking for a healthy and fulfilling relationship, it is important to pay attention to the green flags. These six signs of a healthy relationship include open communication, mutual respect, trust, personal space, willingness to grow together, and the ability to be yourself. By recognizing and cultivating these qualities in your relationship, you can build a strong foundation for a lasting and meaningful connection with your partner. So, take the time to assess your own relationship and strive to incorporate these green flags into your daily interactions with your partner. Who knows, maybe you will even discover new green flags along the way!
And remember, if you are currently struggling in your relationship and do not see all six green flags present, that's okay and normal. Relationships take work, and sometimes we need a little help along the way. If you ever need a listening ear or guidance in navigating your relationship, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to support you on your journey towards a healthy and fulfilling relationship. Take care.
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