9 Actual Signs You're In A Genuinely Healthy Relationship, According To Experts

Happy, healthy relationships aren't easy to come by.

Last updated on Feb 14, 2024

happy couple together cottonbro studio / Pexels

You and your partner have a fight. But instead of hashing things out with yelling, you have a mindset change. You find yourself not needing to be around them 24/7. You don’t share all your secrets with each other.

While these examples may sound like the onset of a failing relationship, they’re actually signs of a healthy one. And there are other indicators that your relationship is strong.

Here are 9 signs you're in a genuinely healthy relationship, according to experts

1. You actually listen to each other, even if you disagree

Listening and being heard are much more useful relationship skills than simply never arguing. According to Cyndi Darnell, a sex therapist and couples counselor, “You cannot be in agreement with your partner on everything 100% of the time.”


Instead of spending your energy trying to get on the exact same page about everything, focus on listening to what your partner has to say. After all, good communication is the cornerstone of any happy relationship.



Adds Darnell, “Fifty percent of successful communication is listening. If everyone is speaking and no one is listening, things go downhill fast.”


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2. You've never threatened to leave each other

When you start threatening your partner with a breakup, even if you don’t follow through, your relationship can start to deteriorate. Nobody wants to constantly be walking on eggshells worrying that their partner will leave them.

According to relationship expert and educator Bethany Ricciardi, “Every healthy relationship has a strong foundation, and with that, you do not threaten abandonment. Even if it’s an empty threat, words are very powerful; if you want a healthy relationship, you should only plant seeds of positivity.”

3. You make sacrifices and don’t count favors

Keeping score never ends well for couples. As Ricciardi says, “Being someone’s partner means laughing for them when they aren’t able and picking them up when they can’t stand on their own. You start to perform selfless acts in a healthy relationship because caring for your partner has become a priority.”


If you genuinely want to do something to help your partner (which, to be clear, you should), there’s no reason to hold it over their head later. If you do, it's a bad sign for your relationship.



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4. You're okay with spending time apart

While there are many couples who end up being codependent, wanting to spend every moment together, there are others in healthy relationships who see time apart as completely necessary.


“You recognize your partner is a complete person and always was — long before you came into their life,” Darnell states.

Darnell says couples should think of themselves as complements, not vital organs. A little bit of fresh air can go a long way — and it certainly doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with where you are.

5. You can tolerate and work through conflict

Conflicts are inevitable in any relationship. But solving conflicts and arguments isn't actually about being right or sweeping the issue under the rug.

Explains Sara Stanizai, a licensed marriage and family therapist, “It’s not about ‘never fighting,’ but about using common conflicts to learn about each other, compromise, and become closer. Think about it: You learn more about your partner on your bad days than you do on your best behavior.”


Couples who work through disagreements often grow closer in the process. Not only that, but “Not being afraid to have healthy conflict is a sign of a close relationship,” Stanizai adds.

signs you're in a genuinely healthy relationshipPhoto:  Jep Gambardella / Pexels

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6. You both actually enjoy being in a relationship

There are couples out there who view their relationship as an obligation, a chore in which they must exert effort to keep it afloat. But one of the biggest signs you're in a genuinely healthy relationship is when you truly enjoy having a romantic partner — and not for the sake of just having one.

“If you catch yourself loving the relationship lifestyle and the partner you’re enjoying it with, chances are you’re in a healthy relationship,” Ricciardi affirms.

So, pay attention to what you talk about with friends or loved ones when you bring up your relationship. Do you usually refer to your relationship in a positive light? That’s certainly a good indicator.

7. You don’t need to know all of each other’s secrets

Open and honest communication is a must in relationships, but that doesn't mean your partner needs to know every single detail about your life or your past. It means you have an identity separate from your relationship — and that's a good thing!


“Any information that’s relevant and affects your partner directly should ideally be disclosed, but certain things that are personal may remain that way,” suggests Darnell.

So, while it's completely normal to share things that affect your relationship, you should never feel pressured into disclosing certain details you're uncomfortable with.



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8. You feel comfortable being vulnerable

People who can be themselves around their partners, flaws and all, often have a healthy connection.

“Instead of trying to curate a ‘perfect' image of themselves, which is not sustainable, they gradually let their true colors show. Those 'true colors' can be embarrassing, unflattering, or otherwise not ideal,” Stanizai says.

But despite a partner's "true colors" not being "ideal," that doesn't matter to partners in a healthy relationship. In fact, accessing that more vulnerable side of yourself around your partner is likely a sign you feel genuinely comfortable around them.


9. You can rely on each other without being codependent

It’s great to be independent, and it’s also great to have a partner who has your back. Adds Stanizai, “If you’re able to let them in — maybe to help with a problem outside the relationship, for example — it shows you can trust them.”

signs you're in a genuinely healthy relationshipPhoto: Juan Vargas / Pexels

But by the same token, being able to make decisions without first consulting your partner is usually a sign of healthy independence (rather than codependence). Striking a balance between the two is, obviously, the ultimate goal.


When you can rely on each other without being reliant or flexible, consider it one of the most important signs you're in a genuinely healthy relationship.

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Ashley Papa is a writer, author, and digital editor for Fox News. Her bylines have appeared in MSN, Yahoo News, AOL, Insider, SheKnows, The New York post, Reader's Digest, and Thrive Global, among many local news outlets.