Every relationship is unique, but there are “green flags” that consistently show up in healthy relationships. You might have a totally different idea of what’s “good” for your own relationship, but start with these signs that you’re headed in the right direction.
1. You show interest in each other’s interests.
It’s unlikely your partner and you share hobbies and interests that are exactly the same. If your partner makes the effort to show that they care about what you care about, you should do the same. Even if you really don’t care about knitting or camping, you care about them.
2. Your arguments are solution-oriented.
Every couple fights, but HOW do you fight? If a typical argument is “us versus the problem” instead of “me versus you”, that’s a good thing. It’s okay to show frustration, but arguments should involve you together against a mutual issue.
3. They remember the little things.
Remember that time you mentioned how much you like that really obscure candy? You might, but if they do it means they’re actively paying attention to you. Extra points if they surprise you with it out of the blue.
4. They pick up the slack without you asking.
Even if you have lists of who does what and when, your partner should step in when you can’t hold up your end all the time. If you come home exhausted and they’re already doing the dishes (even though it was your turn), then that’s a partner that really cares.
5. They know how to say “no”.
A healthy established relationship involves taking turns and making compromises. If you want to go to a certain dinner spot, they should not feel pressured to always do what you want. Likewise, it’s okay for you to turn down their suggestions that you just don’t like.
6. You take care of each other.
You’re both human, and unfortunately humans get sick. Even more unfortunate is that getting sick often involves sweat, vomit, and all sorts of gross stuff. A good partner will be there to clean you up, get you what you need, and not tell you how grossed out they are. Return the favor… even if sympathy vomiting is something you’re familiar with.
7. You share a sense of humor.
If they’re all knock-knock jokes and you’re all about morbidity, you’ll probably come to a lot of awkward moments. Humor is essential, and it doesn’t have to always mesh, but there has to be compatibility.
8. You look forward to seeing them.
Are you excited for when they come home everyday, or even when they come back into the room? You should look forward to being with your partner in everyday situations.
9. You’re also okay with being apart.
A confident relationship includes the understanding that partners don’t always have to be together to be… together. A lack of anxiety about separation, potential cheating, questioning where they’re going and where they are at all times are all very good signs you’ve established your trust.
10. They cook dinner when you normally do.
If cooking is normally your thing, it’s nice to have a break sometimes. You both have to eat, so why shouldn’t they cook from time to time? Even if their “cooking” is just heating up a frozen pizza, it’s the effort that counts.n.
11. You both have your own friends.
It’s good to have a mutual group of friends. It’s also good to each have your own friends, even if you don’t hang out with one another’s. Hang out with your friends and let them hang out with theirs.
12. They’re nice to service workers.
Going above a 15% tip, thanking the cashier, and understanding it’s not up to the worker to solve every problem means your partner is considerate and can put themselves in another set of shoes.
13. You’re okay doing nothing with them.
It’s always exciting to have plans, but sometimes sitting on the couch or just taking a drive is enough. As long as you’re together, you should be able to find some fun in everything.
14. You’re confident around them.
A closet of shapewear makes you feel better when you dress up to go out, but you shouldn’t have to put up a fence around your partner. Everyone has problem spots, and your partner should already love you for exactly what you are.
15. You’re proud to be together.
Mentioning you’re with your partner in a conversation should be a point of pride and never embarrassment. They should do the same.
16. You’re also proud of them.
Loving your partner means you should also be proud of them. No matter what they’re doing or if you agree 100%, find pride in their spirit and efforts.
17. They understand that you’re not the same as them.
This is part of being proud of your partner. You don’t have the same ambitions, careers, or backgrounds. That’s what makes your relationship unique.
18. Compliments between you and them are personal.
It’s easy to say you love them or that you think they’re attractive, but a healthy relationship involves taking note of specific things. Saying you love the way they yawn or that you think that one shirt looks really good on them shows you pay attention.
19. They don’t push you to do things you don’t like.
Whether it’s your dislike of a certain food or fear of a certain activity, your partner should never push you to be uncomfortable. Forcing your partner to do anything is never good.
20. They push you to be better.
They don’t make you eat sushi, but they should be encouraging you to go for that promotion. It’s okay to be uncomfortable when it’s a big step into better things. Supporting and understanding your partner’s hesitation is how you help them, not by just telling them to do it already.
21. You’re physically compatible.
From showing affection in public to private bedroom matters, understanding boundaries and preferences is important. You might not be comfortable with public kissing or they might not like a certain position. Communicate openly and work together.
22. They know how to take charge.
Can’t decide where to go for dinner? Your partner being able to step in and make a decision is a great trait. These little decisions mean they’re likely to be able to step in when it comes to big things down the line.
23. They nurture animals and children.
Whether they’re a huge dog person or they really dislike animals in general, a good person is always understanding and kind. The same goes for kids – not wanting kids of their own does not mean they can be cruel to children. Knowing how to protect and care for the innocent shows compassion.
24. You share dislikes.
It’s a little thing, but really liking that one movie or restaurant can bring you together just a bit more. Don’t dwell on negativity, but it’s okay to totally hate that song from high school too.
25. You’re attracted to one another.
There’s way more to a healthy relationship than physical attraction, but it is essential. Understanding that bodies and abilities change should strengthen your attraction over time.
26. You don’t compare your relationship to others.
There’s plenty of couples with different lifestyles, attributes, and even problems. Be content in your own space and learn how to improve it for yourselves, never for anyone else.
27. Your pets like them.
Can’t decide where to go for dinner? Your partner being able to step in and make a decision is a great trait. These little decisions mean they’re likely to be able to step in when it comes to big things down
28. They’re the first person you want to talk to.
If something great, or even something really bad, happens, your partner should be high on the list of people you want to tell. Your partner being that somebody to be excited with or to help you through stress is part of a strong foundation.
29. They don’t expect payback for doing nice things.
Bringing you lunch at work or grabbing a bottle of wine on their way home should be because they just enjoy being nice, not because they are expecting you to do something in return.
30. You have examples in mind that didn’t make this list.
Every relationship is completely unique, so the “good” for you is just that… yours. If you can think of all sorts of positive things that make you comfortable and confident with your partner, it’s likely for a good reason.