9 signs you have a happy relationship, even if it lacks emotional depth

by Alexandra Plesa | April 7, 2024, 10:32 pm

When it comes to romance, people generally seek connections that are profound and intense.

But while having an emotional bond with your partner is considered the hallmark of a successful partnership, sometimes you’re just not in the mood for all the hoopla.

Maybe you’re not ready for a full-blown commitment or are still recovering from a bad break-up and crave something breezy.  

When that’s the case, you can still very much enjoy yourself with a significant other who shares your desire for basic companionship.

Here are 9 signs you have a happy relationship, even if it lacks emotional depth.

Wanting to keep things superficial doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.

1) You respect each other

The cornerstone of every happy relationship is mutual respect.

As long as you and your significant other respect each other’s time and limits, you’re already ahead of the curve.

You don’t call each other names, act abusive, or belittle each other.

Even better, you value your partner’s feelings and opinions, even if you don’t know what’s going on underneath the surface.

All in all, you’re doing something right.

2) You have fun

“But if you don’t connect emotionally, why spend time together?” an outsider might ask.

The answer is fairly simple: because you have fun.

You genuinely enjoy spending time with your significant other, whether you go on a date, hang out with friends, or stay in.

You make each other laugh, have inside jokes, can either paint the town red or spend chill, quality time together.  

Long story short, you love being around them, and you wouldn’t want it any other way.

3) You have chemistry

Another reason to hold on to a relationship, even if it lacks emotional depth?

The sex is out of this world.

Intimacy is a significant facet of a romantic relationship, and for some couples, an extraordinary physical connection is a compelling enough reason to keep things going.

A fulfilling and passionate sex life can significantly boost your mood and overall life satisfaction, so it’s nothing to scoff at.

If you’re going through a particularly stressful time, for instance, having someone who can help you unwind and get out of your head can be a godsend, even if emotional depth is not the primary focus.

Or, perhaps your partner is helping you discover a whole new side of yourself.

You’re being more adventurous than usual and exploring your sexuality – and you’re helping them do the same.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

4) Your banter is next level

You and your significant other might not know each other on a deep level, but your banter is off the hook:

  • You poke fun at each other in an affectionate manner
  • You keep up with each other’s clever remarks, responding in kind
  • You share a sense of humor
  • You can also engage in conversations and debates that are intellectually stimulating

It may be because I watch a lot of romantic comedies, but I always thought of playful banter as an obvious sign that two people function well together.

If that describes you and your significant other, your relationship is going well.

5) You share interests

I’m not looking for a serious relationship at the moment, but I would like to find someone I don’t mind hanging out with now and then without wanting to gauge out one of my eyes afterward.

So, I’m giving dating apps another try.

And the main thing I’m looking for? At least one common interest.

I don’t know when all the guys my age started climbing mountains and running marathons, but it’s a problem.

As a homebody who barely moves, I can only listen to someone talk about the wonder of the great outdoors for so long before I start daydreaming about Jensen Ackles.

Common interests give you something to build upon.

It may be as superficial as a love of ‘80s action movies, an obsession for the same pop star, or a passion for puzzles.

You need something to talk about.

If you and your boo have that covered, I’m jealous – and you’re doing pretty great.

6) You trust each other

You can have a happy relationship without emotional depth, but it’s difficult to have one without trust.

I don’t mean the trust that your partner will be there through thick and thin, because you can’t expect that from a superficial bond.

But you need to trust that your significant other doesn’t cross established boundaries, adheres to agreements, and doesn’t engage in behavior that makes you uncomfortable.

For instance, if you decide to be exclusive, they must keep that promise.

Without trust, your relationship will become fraught with insecurity and stress.

That sounds like the opposite of happy.

7) You’re kind

In a happy relationship, both partners are kind to each other.

This kindness can manifest in various ways:

  • Empathy – a kind partner seeks to understand and share in the other’s feelings and experiences
  • Generosity – acts of giving without expecting something in return (a surprise gift, an act of service, or just making your partner’s life easier in some way)
  • Affection – demonstrating physical affection (hugs, kisses, holding hands) is a way to show kindness to your partner
  • Acts of thoughtfulness – leaving a sweet note or preparing a favorite meal to brighten your partner’s mood after a bad day
  • Communication – keeping in touch and caring about what’s going on in each other’s lives, even if you don’t see each other for long stretches of time

If your current relationship is purely physical, you’ll probably think these acts of kindness are too much.

However, remember that you and your partner are the only ones who decide what goes and what doesn’t as far as your partnership is concerned.

There’s no relationship police to question your decisions.  

8) You’re supportive

A good relationship is one where each partner supports the other in pursuing their goals.

Your boo may have been reluctant to share their deepest desires, but you likely know what they’re working to accomplish, at least in the short run.

Maybe they’re after a promotion, doing the #75hard challenge to get into better shape, or attempting to crush their nemesis in an online game.

Whatever it may be, being there with a pat on the back or a word of encouragement will go a long way toward maintaining a happy bond.

And vice versa.

9) You’re on the same page

Even if your relationship lacks emotional depth, it can be a happy one as long as you’re both on the same page.

When one of you secretly wants more, the relationship will start to feel one-sided, and you would be better off calling it quits to avoid hurt feelings.

That said, if you both agree that keeping things superficial is what you’re content with, your relationship can easily be considered a success.

Bottom line

A superficial relationship lets you revel in the present moment without dealing with drama or heartbreak.

And who knows?

With time, it might deepen and become something more.

Even if it doesn’t, not every partner is endgame, and that’s perfectly okay.

What matters is that you have a blast in each other’s company in the then and now. 

Enjoy it while it lasts.  

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