Healthy relationships have elements in common. There are common themes related to intimacy (sharing, connectedness, bonding), a sense of self for each person, fun, boundaries, and a constructive way to solve issues. Below is a list of 20 characteristics of a healthy relationship. See how your relationship measures up. What are areas to be addressed or improved?
1. Each person in the relationship has a separate identity--each can give and receive without losing separateness.
2. Each is able to talk openly about matters of significance.
3. Each assumes personal responsibility for his or her level of happiness and doesn't blame the other for unhappiness.
4. The couple are able to play together.
5. The couple are able to fight constructively.
6. Each makes some attempt to keep romance in the relationship.
7. Each considers the other an equal.
8. Each actively demonstrates concern for the other.
9. Each person is growing, changing, and open to new experiences.
10. Each person is able to find meaning outside of the relationship.
11. Each avoids manipulating the other.
12. Each recognizes the need for solitude and space.
13. Each avoids assuming an attitude of ownership toward the other.
14. Each shows flexibility in role behavior.
15. Neither expects the other to do for them what they are able to do for themselves. 16. Each discloses inner feelings and thoughts to the other.
17. Each allows the other a sense of privacy.
18. Each has a desire to give to the other.
19. Each encourages the other to become all he or she is capable of becoming.
20. Each has a commitment to the other.
Source: Corey, G. & Gorey, M.S. (1990). I Never Knew I Had a Choice (4th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks Cole.