Aug 12 / Simcha

How Do I Know Mine is a Healthy Relationship?

Montreal psychotherapist Rhonda Rabow discusses what is reasonable to expect from a healthy relationship and what is asking too much.  What behaviors, she asks, are red lights to be paid attention to before a long-term commitment is made, and what behaviors are part of the workings of real relationships and can be forgiven?


To answer these questions, she explores 12 characteristics of a healthy relationship:

  1. You feel safe with your partner. You know it is okay to make mistakes and still feel accepted and forgiven; you are not concerned your mistakes will be used against you in a future argument.
  2. You see your partner as a good friend. You like him/her as a person and feel encouraged and supported by him/her.
  3. You are able to disagree with one other, yet still feel heard and understood.
  4. You feel you are being treated with respect and are valued.
  5. You feel your partner is committed to doing whatever it takes to make the relationship work.
  6. There are never threats to leave, abandon or reject one another.
  7. There is a willingness to look at the other person’s point of view.
  8. There is an atmosphere of cooperation, trust and caring.
  9. You have deep, loving feelings for your partner most of the time.
  10. You have fun together, and laugh a lot together.
  11. You bring out the best in each other.
  12. You can ask for what you want without feeling guilty or selfish.

And one more for a baker’s dozen:

13.  You like to look at and touch your partner.


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See also:   Harville’s 10 Characteristics of a Conscious Relationship