Dating and confused? Here’s a few signs of a healthy relationship

Illustration of two people holding eachother
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I’m sure that by now we’re all aware of the recent revolution of the aesthetically pleasing infographics circulating around Instagram. Aside from social justice, I’ve noticed that these infographics also tend to give advice on mental health or relationships, ranging from “signs you have ADHD” to “signs you have toxic friends.” In fact, most of the relationship posts are about red flags in a relationship. But what about positive relationships? Read on for our take of signs of a healthy relationship, the green flags. 

You can be without them

Quality time is always important to have in any relationship. But if you have to spend every waking moment with your significant other, you might start to lose your own sense of individuality. Make sure you have time for your own life — your hobbies, schoolwork, job, time with your friends and family, as well as time for yourself.

You can be vulnerable with each other

Your relationship should always be a safe space to share your most internal feelings, thoughts or memories, and you should be able to share these things without feeling judged. Being emotionally vulnerable with your partner about how they make you feel — the good and the bad — is tantamount to building intimacy and security. 

You show interest in each other’s hobbies and interests

An important part of getting to know your partner and being a supportive partner yourself is to show interest in their hobbies and interests, even if you’re not particularly interested in the same things! You should let your partner talk about Star Wars or a new makeup trick they learned and engage in those conversations with them so they feel loved, heard and supported. Who knows, you might actually become interested in the same thing and you both will have a new hobby to share together!  

It’s not just one person pulling all the weight

You should not be the only person in the relationship who’s always initiating dates, conversations, compliments and more. Each person should put in the time and energy to maintain the relationship. If all this work falls on one person, the relationship becomes unbalanced and they might start to feel resentment. 

You can say no to them

Boundaries are important for any healthy relationship to thrive. Of course, you want to be there for your partner, but if most of the time it’s at your own expense — your mental and emotional health, for example — then maybe it’s time to establish some boundaries. It’s OK to say no to your partner. You have to remember that you cannot completely depend on your partner to fulfill all of your needs. 

Remember that this advice can apply to your platonic relationships, too! Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of all of the signs of a healthy relationship and no relationship is perfect. It’s always good to occasionally have a heart-to-heart with your partner or friend to make sure you both feel satisfied with the way you engage with each other. 

Contact Özge Terzioğlu at [email protected].