We all know how stressful a relationship can be. Maintaining its terms, ensuring that we know ourselves and what we're prioritizing at the same time. It's hell, a lot of the time.
That said, if you spend too much time complaining about your significant other without actually addressing the underlying motives behind it with them, it's a bad sign.
One of the most important ways of ensuring that you sustain your relationship and stay true to who you are is communication. But we all know that. That's what's pasted all over your high school's guidance counselor's office with dollar store posters.
But we get the message. In most cases, a healthy relationship needs communication or bust. A non-starter in all respects.
By communication, it's important to note that I don't just mean a 'u up' text twice a week, or a half-hearted good morning message without any heart behind it. No, by communication I mean calls, 'how are yous' and questions that you actually care about the answer to.
Gestures, in short, that show you care
And that caring will never be a chore for a healthy couple, because, well, you care! I know, it should go without saying, right? Well, so some people need to actually say it.
If nothing else, to be the voice of reason that gets people out of a relationship rut and ensures that they can recognize that they are worth more in this world. Deserve more than we settle for.
What're that classic angsty 'Perks of being a wallflower' quote? 'We accept the love we think we deserve'. Oh yes, Tumblr loves that one, and frankly, so do I.
So, we know that healthy relationships rely on honest, genuine communication. But what else? Well, one thing that goes hand in hand with communication is vulnerability. There's no use being in a long-distance relationship and just constantly catching up on the little things.
The insignificant details of seeing a puppy on the road or a cute baby at the store aren't helpful to the other person if you don't tell them your true struggles. Don't let cute selective details get in the way of the important stuff.
If you were crying in the bathroom at target because you saw a father's day card and it's still too soon, and you can't tell them that, well…
It's not a good sign for your relationship being healthy
Healthy relationships don't ever think that they're being burdens because the love and trust are simply so strong that you can't ever doubt it. Maybe it sounds too simple, but that's the reality.
People that think love is hard haven't probably been in love. Yes, it's all about compromise and giving and taking, but it's not a highway of sacrifice and self-deferral. Love is not pain, or it can be if you're not doing it right.
Healthy relationships aren't jealous or paranoid because you communicate boundaries and respect them. Even if you think her demands are irrational, you either agree to them, compromise, or break things off if you can't respect her.
Even if you are objectively correct in her being unreasonable, you are also in the wrong if you willingly fly in the face of her boundaries.
That's on you
Those games of power plays and insecurity are not things that let healthy relationships get bogged down.
Believe me. If you're having to decode your partners' every move, that's not a relationship that is healthy or based on trust. You may always sleep together, but if you don't know anything about them, you aren't comfortable sharing.
Above all, healthy relationships share their emotions, memories, and loves, not just their material possessions.
It means you have fewer arguments because you know each others' limits and that the other person's happiness is sometimes more important than 'being right'. Or proving it.
Intimacy is important but you can also be alone, and above all else, healthy relationships don't need to fix each other's flaws. In fact, those are the things they love most of all.