If your relationship has these 10 things, it’s in really great shape

by Isabel Cabrera | May 30, 2024, 4:31 pm

When it comes to love and relationships, we all seek that perfect mix of romance, companionship, and mutual understanding. 

Now let’s get it straight from the start — there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. How could there be, when we’re all flawed people? There will always be disagreements, misunderstandings, and off days.

What matters isn’t perfection, but how you both navigate through these imperfections.

Are you wondering if your relationship is strong and healthy? In this article, we’ll explore 10 signs that indicate it is.

If you’ve got most or all of these going for you, then your relationship is probably in really great shape. Let’s check them out! 

1) A rock solid friendship

Let’s start with the basics, the foundation of any truly great relationship: friendship. 

I know, you might be thinking, “But we’re more than just friends!” Absolutely, and that’s the beauty of it.

Consider your partner for a moment and ask yourself these questions: 

Would you be friends with them even if you weren’t romantically involved? 

Are they your go-to person when you’ve had an amazing day and can’t wait to share your joy? 

…Or when you’ve had the worst day ever and need a shoulder to lean on?

One of my biggest blessings is that I can wholeheartedly say that my husband is my best friend. And he says the same about me.

We laugh together, we cry together, we share inside jokes, and there’s an ease and comfort in our conversations that only comes with a deep bond of friendship.

If you see your partner as your best friend, it’s a strong sign that your relationship is in great shape. 

You’re not just lovers, but true companions, and that makes your bond incredibly special and resilient. This blend of friendship and love, to me, is what makes a relationship stand the test of time. 

2) Trust

Obviously, you can’t have a strong and healthy relationship without trust. It really is a safety net that can get you through the tough times. 

What does trust look like in a relationship? Here are a few examples: 

  • You feel safe to share your feelings and thoughts with your partner, without the fear of being judged or ridiculed.
  • You’re confident that your partner will keep their promises and commitments to you.
  • You feel secure about your partner’s actions when you’re not around.
  • You believe in your partner’s honesty, even when they tell you something that’s hard to hear.

Are you nodding your head along as you read this list? Fantastic – that means your relationship is in great shape!

3) Open and honest communication

One way to build trust is to keep communication lines open. Relationship experts say this over and over – communication is key to a healthy relationship

Yet, so many couples have problems with it. Some may avoid difficult topics, hoping they’d go away. Others might become defensive or dismissive during discussions or arguments. 

And let’s not forget the tendency to expect our partners to read our minds and do what we want!

I’ve always believed that there is no problem that a good heart-to-heart can’t solve. 

As long as you and your partner are committed to talking it out – definitely no mind games – you’re all set! 

4) Shared values and vision

I once had a boyfriend who was the perfect match for me. We were compatible in every way – the same sense of humor, same interests, and so on. 

Except for one thing: I wanted a future with kids in it, and he didn’t. Unfortunately, this was a non-negotiable matter for both of us.

So, as much as it broke both our hearts, we had to part ways. 

My point is, a relationship will go the distance if both partners share the same values and vision. You have to make sure your individual dreams and plans could intertwine and grow together.

After all, if you’re going to share the rest of your life with one person, you better be on the same page when it comes to the big stuff. 

5) Mutual respect and admiration

Alright, time for a little quiz. Do you and your partner…

  • Appreciate each other’s qualities, even the ones that are different from your own?
  • Acknowledge and value each other’s thoughts, opinions, and feelings, whether you agree with them or not?
  • Recognize and honor each other’s boundaries?
  • Celebrate each other’s successes?
  • Treat each other kindly, even in the heat of a disagreement?

Yes? Then, give yourselves a pat on the back (or a kiss and a hug)! You know what it means to give each other mutual respect and admiration, an essential ingredient in keeping love alive

You see, relationships are about teamwork. When you understand that you’re on the same team, that means you’re going strong! 

That said, even if you’re a team, you should also give each other this next thing… 

6) Space and independence

If you and your partner can enjoy time apart without insecurity or jealousy, pursuing your individual hobbies, interests, or simply enjoying some ‘me time’, that’s fantastic!

It shows you trust each other and respect each other’s need for personal space. This balance of togetherness and independence is a great sign your relationship is thriving.

After all, the best relationships are those where each partner is complete on their own. Because that means they’ll go into a relationship fully by choice, not to boost their self-worth or to feel less lonely.

And that’s always a sign of a healthy relationship!

7) Laughter and joy

Do you and your SO crack each other up? Do silly things together? 

Keep laughing together, and you’ll last longer. At least, that’s what the research says. 

Laughter and having a sense of humor might not solve all your problems, but they sure help in keeping things on an even keel. 

And they boost intimacy. Inside jokes, for example, are like a shortcut to closeness. 

Personally, I think that those times when we laugh together with our partner are coins we put in the good memories bank. 

Then, when the tough times come – like maybe a bad argument – they act as a reminder that we’ve got more good memories than bad. 

So, while you may be going through a rough patch, you’ll still see your relationship as satisfying overall. 

8) Support during tough times

When the tough times do come, how do you deal? Are you there for each other? Do you help each other find hope and strength during the dark days

Every relationship enjoys its sunny days, but it’s how you weather the storms together that truly counts. 

Life can throw curveballs – job losses, health issues, family troubles – and these are the times when your relationship is truly tested.

If you can lean on each other during the tough times, your relationship is truly something special.

9) Physical affection

Physical affection is a powerful way of expressing love and deepening your connection with your partner. 

And I’m not talking just about those intimate moments in the bedroom. It’s also about those sweet little gestures like holding hands, hugging, a gentle touch on the arm, or a quick peck on the cheek.

Interestingly, research suggests that regular physical affection can actually boost relationship satisfaction. 

A study from the Kinsey Institute found that non-sexual, affectionate touch—like cuddling or caressing—can strengthen relationship satisfaction, particularly in long-term relationships.

So, if this resonates with you, then you’ve likely already discovered the power of touch in building healthy, happy relationships

Related stories from The Expert Editor: 10 signs you’re in a relationship with a true gentleman 

10) Kindness and appreciation

For the final sign of a great relationship, I’d like to delve into something close to my heart – the consistent presence of kindness and appreciation. 

It might seem simple, even mundane, but believe me when I say it’s the little acts of kindness and words of appreciation that truly make a relationship shine.

I remember one particularly stressful week when I was swamped with work. My husband could see I was overwhelmed, so he took over cooking dinner for the week, made sure I took breaks, and constantly reassured me that I was doing a great job.

In turn, I always try to voice my appreciation for these little acts of kindness – a thank you for the meals, a quick message to let him know I love him, or just a hug at the end of the day.

When kindness and appreciation are constantly present in your relationship, you’re onto something beautiful. It shows that you not only love each other but more importantly, it shows you don’t take each other for granted. 

That’s an undeniable sign of a relationship that’s in really great shape!

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