We all know that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship, but there's nothing stopping us from cultivating the best possible pairing.

Relationships are complex and sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between a healthy and an unhealthy one. 

We get caught up in bad habits and love makes it easy to turn a blind eye to the issues in our relationships.

As a result, we forget some of our core values along the way - values that we aspired to when we imagined what romantic love would feel and look like when we were younger. 

It’s important to be reminded of these values so that we can start moving towards them again. It is equally valuable to be reminded of them when we’re in a good space with our partners so that we do not take our partners or our relationships for granted.

Dorianne Weill (Dr D) has created a list of 10 signs that you’re in a good partnership.

These serve as a reminder of the core values that enable our relationships to thrive. 

1. RESPECT:

In healthy partnerships there’s a respect for the individuality of the other person. 

2. BALANCE OF INDEPENDENCE AND CLOSENESS:

A relationship is like two concentric circles that overlap. In a healthy relationship, parts of the two circles overlap but there’s always a part on either side of the circle that does not overlap.

This is a metaphor for the balance between independence and togetherness. It’s important to have closeness but not intrusion and space but not distance. In healthy partnerships couples are able to find this balance. 

3. TRUST:

Trust is the foundation of all good relationships. Mutual trust enables you both to have the freedom to be comfortable with who you are and to do the things that make you happy.

It gives you a sense of safety and well-being. There is no room for secrets in healthy relationships. 

4. MUTUAL SUPPORT:

Supportive relationships are key to long term sustainability. Partners need to respect and nurture each other’s ambitions and passions. It is a wonderful feeling to know that your partner supports you in everything you do and wants you to be the best version of yourself. 

5. WILLINGNESS TO BE EMOTIONALLY VULNERABLE: 

There is a sharing of emotion in healthy couples - they can laugh together and they can cry together. Partners need to feel safe enough to be emotionally open and vulnerable without feeling weak. You can only truly know someone if they let you in and show you who they are.

6. WILLINGNESS TO COMMUNICATE:

Good communication leads to problem solving. Many people tend to sweep issues under the carpet to avoid confrontation.

But all the small and big issues that haven’t been confronted compound over time until there is some kind of major confrontation or blow out. Good partnerships involve continuous authentic communication and a mutual desire to solve problems.

7. WILLINGNESS TO COMPROMISE:

There will be times when you do not agree with your partner and you cannot see eye to eye. If you are able to meet somewhere in the middle and accept your partner’s differences, issues tend to be resolved much faster. 

8. TASK NEGOTIATION:

It is essential that couples are able to divide and negotiate tasks. Healthy couples are able to discuss who does what.

There can be a fluidity to roles within a relationship, but it’s important that there is an open discussion about expectations. Both partners should agree on how the relationship works on a practical level. 9. POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT AND RECOGNITION:

In good relationships, each partner gives and receives positive reinforcement and recognition. People want to be seen and be appreciated, especially within their most intimate relationships. Even if it’s as simple an acknowledgement as, ‘thank you’ or ‘I really appreciate everything you do’.              

10. THE ABILITY TO BE JOYFUL TOGETHER:

What is the point of a relationship without joy? A healthy partnership should have a fair dose of laughing, light-heartedness and fun.