Everyone wants a healthy relationship, but the sad truth is that a staggering amount of them aren’t. Somewhere between 30 and 60% of folks in marriages will cheat at some point. Six out of 10 people in relationships aren’t happy in their relationship and searches for signs of a toxic relationship have been steadily increasing since tracking began over 10 years ago. So if you want to make sure that your relationship is heading in the right direction, this article is for you.

The truth of the matter is, too many people are in unhealthy relationships. So that’s why I want to put together some signs of a healthy relationship so you can spot the ones that work and let go of the ones that don’t. I compiled these signs from my own experience working with a number of individuals and couples and throuples in their relationships and from my therapist friends that I know and trust. So let’s dive in.

You and your boyfriend show up for each other

This is especially true when times are tough. Whether it’s something small and simple like stepping out to return your call or texting you back, quickly or physically being there when you’re sick, that is a marker of a healthy relationship. Now, this doesn’t mean that you’re always with each other all the time, that you can’t have any other commitments, that you have to obsessively check your phone to make sure that you respond right away. But it does mean in general, you show up when in counts.

You trust your partner

That seems simple, but you might be surprised at how many people I talk to that just don’t trust their partner. They want to trust their partner. Sometimes they even say they trust their partner, but then they give caveats and explanations and exceptions. You either trust them or you don’t. It’s something that you sort of like know in your gut. And trusting your partner is a sign of a healthy relationship.

You can share your feelings and experiences freely.

If you can’t talk about what’s going on then it’s never going to get any better. Now, conflict is a part of any relationship and it’s how you address that conflict that differentiates healthy from unhealthy relationships. If you want to communicate your feelings better, your experiences better, I put together a playlist on some videos that will help you figure out what you’re feeling and figure out how to share those feelings in an effective way. You can watch them here.

You each have independence and autonomy.

Unchecked jealousy and possessiveness is sometimes portrayed as romantic in our culture, but those are not romantic traits. That’s actually really toxic. Now, of course as you’re in a relationship with someone you very well might want to spend a lot of time with them, that totally makes sense, but also you can and you do have outside interests and activities.

For instance, my boyfriend Peter, is part of a running group. He has a lot of running friends that he spends a lot of time with without me and likewise I spend a lot of time making YouTube videos or connecting with friends that I’ve met online. You know, we have our separate lives and then we come back together and share what we’ve been up to, share these experiences and that makes us each more attractive, more sexy, more desirable to each other because we’re not just like this one cyborg of a unit.

You try to see things from his perspective and he’s going to see things from your perspective

You’re not always going to agree on everything, but if you can at least be trying to always understand each other, you’re going to be in a good place. This will provide a solid foundation for you to avoid unhelpful behaviors, avoid toxic patterns, navigate conflicts more gracefully and just all around to be happier and healthier.

You help each other be the best versions of yourselves

You aren’t trying to change each other into someone that they’re not. Instead you see him and he sees you for who you really are. You support them in their goals, in their lives and you build your life together rather than trying to make him into this idea of a perfect boyfriend for you.

If you’re still not sure if you’re in a healthy relationship or maybe you’re realizing there are some areas where you would like to improve, I am here for you.

Head on over to briangerald.com to let me know what’s going on, and I can share with you some resources that I’m putting together and find ways that we can get you some customized, personalized support tailored to what you’re going through so that you can have a happy, healthy trust filled relationship.