Healthy dating: How to know you’re in a Healthy Dating Relationship

What does healthy dating actually look like? These signs can help you to identify a healthy relationship.

When you start a new romantic relationship, life can be exciting and full of the unknown.

You wonder if you will “click” with this new person who has come into your life. In truth, you might be more focused on your feelings than anything else.

But when you look past the butterflies-in-the-stomach feelings and the surface small talk, you hope that over time, there will be something more.

Dating couple standing outside in front of a sunset

If you are already wondering, “Am I in a healthy dating relationship”? You’ve come to the right place!

Below are 6 signs of a Healthy Relationship that you should be aware of. After all, you want the best relationship you can possibly have, and you shouldn’t settle for less!

#1. You’re free to disagree

This may sound strange, but a healthy relationship doesn’t mean you’re exactly alike or that you agree on everything.

What it does mean is that you have freedom to respectfully express your opinions, your values, your thoughts, without fear of judgement.

What you don’t want to do is become someone who instantly takes on the identity of someone else just to please them. You should feel free to be you.

#2. You’re free to make your own choices

In addition to being able to express your opinions, you should feel free to make your own decisions while dating.

This doesn’t mean that you disregard him; it just means that you had a life before him and not every moment of your day should be consumed by him.

For example, does your dating partner respect you when you make plans without him?

Does he mind if you spend time with other friends and family?

Group of friends hanging out together outdoors

Does he get upset when you don’t immediately text or call him back?

Does he become unreasonably jealous or angry of other people in your life?

These are red flags of controlling behavior that you want to be careful to avoid.

#3. You share the same values overall

You will never agree with someone on every issue under the sun. And as we said, that’s a healthy thing.

However, you should agree on the big issues. Listen carefully when you are having conversations about their thoughts on things like: money, religion, marriage and children…all the issues that will impact your relationship in the long run.

If you are not on the same page, those big disagreements will only become bigger over time.

#4. You make a good team

In every relationship, there is an expectation of give-and-take.

Men and women are very different and they are meant to complement (or enhance) the positive traits of one another. Our dating partners can also provide balance and honest feedback about the not-so-positive traits we might have!

Dating couple sitting side by side, talking in a city landscape.

In a healthy dating relationship, you should both be working toward the good of the other person. This means you don’t always strive to get your way; you look out for your partner. (And he does the same.)

Again, this doesn’t mean you sacrifice everything that’s important to you, just to make him happy. It means you’re both invested in the relationship, and putting in the same amount of effort to make your relationship strong and balanced.

#5. You have great communication

Open and honest communication is essential to be able to form a deeper bond with someone.

This doesn’t just mean that you “could talk forever”, either. In the early days of dating, communication can be easy because you simply have to talk to get to know each other.

As time goes on though, you want to have a partner who still enjoys talking and sharing with you. Hopefully, he will not only talk about himself but really be interested to hear what’s on your mind and heart.

The more you communicate (in person, not just through text), the more you will know what type of person you are dating: their personality, their habits and their true character.

#6. You have healthy boundaries

Boundaries, in a nutshell, are a dividing line between responsibilities and what behaviors are acceptable between two people.

Simply put, having healthy boundaries sets the stage for a healthy dating relationship.

For instance, you might choose to set physical boundaries while dating. If your partner is aware of your boundaries, but doesn’t respect them, they are crossing your boundary line. If you do nothing about this, you have set the stage for disrespect of your values, and it will likely continue.

Finding a partner who honors your boundaries is crucial to your mental health and well being. And the same goes for your partner.

Woman holding up hand to communicate "stop".

Growing a Healthy Dating Relationship

If you identified with the 6 signs of a healthy dating relationship above, that’s good news! You may be on your way to a partnership that will truly last.

Remember that relationships take time, and lots of nurturing in order to know if a healthy long-term commitment is worthwhile. Both partners must be willing to sacrifice, put their egos aside, and do what is best for the other person.

And if things change in a negative direction over time, just know that you should never feel pressured to commit to someone who is not healthy for you.

You can learn from this relationship, and take these valuable lessons into future dating relationships: with more wisdom and confidence than before!

Also read:

Is my relationship toxic? Here’s how to know

8 things every healthy relationship needs

Or: Contact the Pregnancy Resource Center of Mountain Grove

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