Love Life Makeover

9 Signs of A Healthy Relationship

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YourTango Experts offer insight into what makes healthy relationships tick.

There are endless traits and behaviors that are emblematic of a healthy, fulfilling relationship. Most of us know what they are (even if we forget to practice them!), such as listening to one another, laughing together, using humor (especially during arguments), having regular sex, going on dates and so on. We've targeted 9 habits that couples with truly awesome relationships have in common.

Check them out and see where you shine and where you could use some work (remember: no one is perfect):

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1. You look out for the other person.
When both parties look out for one another, the results are profound, primarily because it creates a basis of trust that is the relationship's bedrock. When you know someone has your back, it gives you tremendous security and frees you from chronic thoughts of doubt and uncertainty that can otherwise plague relationships. This strong sense of trust and dedication to your partner's well-being is the greatest gift we can give to our partners.

2. You take the high road.
Let's face it. Sometimes you want to get back at your partner because he or she has hurt you. Even in the best relationships, hurt and disappointment are inevitable. The magic is in how couples manage such things. Relationships where each individual has the maturity and ability to take the long-term view and strive to treat the other well are much better off than those where partners act on each emotional impulse or every perceived infraction. 3 Things That Destroy Love

Taking the high road takes great strength and thoughtfulness. It often feels more rewarding in the moment to give in to melancholy, vindictiveness, anger or a host of other negative expressions. Taking the high road means actively putting your best foot forward—even when you would rather pout or wallow or exact revenge (even in small petty ways).
Andrea Miller, YourTango CEO and Founder

3. You know that some conflict is normal and expected.
Contrary to what some may think, a healthy relationship doesn't mean you're happy 100 percent of the time. You will argue from time to time—occasional conflict is actually healthy! It's the natural by-product of two different human beings living in close relationship with one another. Instead of just avoiding arguments, healthy couples know how to handle them when they inevitably do come up. Research shows that this knowledge has everything to do with how long-lasting your relationship will be. Damaging patterns such as one partner "pursuing" while the other is "distancing" have been shown to have a negative impact on the future of the relationship (as evidenced in a 1994 study of long-term marriages by Levenson, Carstensen, & Gottman).

4. You know how to pick your battles.
Just because conflict is normal doesn't mean you have to go out of your way to have it. Before you say anything, decide if the possible negative effect of a comment is worth saying it in the first place. A good rule of thumb: you've tried, but you just can't let it go. This can be a sign that an unresolved issue has the potential to turn into lasting resentment, and should be openly discussed. Love & Anger: How To Fight Right

More from YourTango: It Really Is You: How You Sabotage Your Relationship

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