A healthy relationship is built on mutual respect, trust, communication and understanding. It's not toxic, it doesn't cause pain, and it won't have you venting on social media to complete strangers when something goes wrong.
"A healthy relationship is one in which both individuals feel valued, supported, and respected," explained marriage and family counsellor Sidonnie Beckford. "It's characterised by positive communication, trust, emotional intimacy, and a sense of partnership."
She said in a healthy relationship there are a few things that are constant â€” mutual respect, where both partners treat each other with kindness and consideration, valuing each other's opinions, boundaries, and individuality; effective communication, where there is open and honest communication as a cornerstone; and trust and honesty, where both partners can rely on each other's words and actions.
These are the rules Beckford said to consider for maintaining a healthy relationship.
1) Respect each other: Treat your partner with kindness, consideration and respect at all times.
2) Open communication: Foster open and honest communication, addressing concerns and feelings openly and respectfully.
3) Trust and honesty: Build and maintain trust through honesty and transparency in your actions and words.
4) Boundaries: Establish and respect personal boundaries, ensuring both partners feel safe and comfortable.
5) Equality: Ensure that power and decision-making are shared fairly, and both partners have an equal say in the relationship.
6) Quality time: Spend meaningful time together, engaging in activities that strengthen your connection.
7) Independence: Encourage each other's individuality and personal growth, allowing space for hobbies and friendships.
8) Support: Be there for each other during both challenging times and achievements, offering emotional and practical support.
9) Compromise: Practise give-and-take, finding middle ground in disagreements and making joint decisions.
10) Conflict resolution: Handle conflicts constructively, using active listening and empathy to find resolutions.
"These rules can serve as general guidelines, but open communication with your partner is key to understanding and meeting each other's needs," Beckford said. "A healthy relationship takes effort, communication, and continuous work from both partners."