It’s no secret that maintaining a healthy and happy relationship can take some concentrated effort and dedication. That said, having a stable partnership can be a really amazing thing. If you’re wondering how to know your relationship is solid, then you’re not alone. Being in a relationship that meets the needs of both partners can feel so satisfying on an emotional, physical, and even psychological level. So, how do you know if you and your bae are on the right track, or if there are some areas that might need work? Well, according to NYC-based relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter, the characteristics that define a solid relationship are surprisingly straightforward.
Although the specific ways every relationship functions are different, notes Winter, the healthy attributes of most relationships usually fall into a few general categories. "Safety, security, and peace of mind are the hallmarks of any healthy relationship," Winter tells Elite Daily. "But, the ways in which these characteristics express themselves can differ vastly from relationship to relationship, as each couple has their own love model." Although no relationship is absolutely perfect, if the following things are true, then chances are you and your SO have built a solid foundation for your love to grow.
1You can be your most authentic selves around each other.
One of the most important aspects of a strong relationship is actually pretty simple: Both you and bae feel like you can be yourselves around each other. "You don’t need to pretend to be a different person in order to please your mate," says Winter. "Your partner has seen your best moments and moments you wish you could delete. At the end of the day, you feel safe being the real you."
2You resolve conflicts in a healthy way.
"All couples argue and have differences of opinion," explains Winter. "You and your partner are able to weather the storm and come out on the other side. This is essential for having a healthy relationship and maintaining a future together."
Even though fighting with your partner isn’t fun, having disagreements doesn’t always mean there’s something wrong with your relationship. As long as you both have strategies in place to help you work through periods of tension, then that’s definitely a good thing.
3You communicate well.
Fostering healthy communication habits isn’t always easy, but according to Winter, this is an absolutely vital aspect of a solid relationship. "The two of you have found your own communication style," says Winter. "You know how to read your partner and they know how to read you."
If the communication element of your relationship could use some improvement, Winter recommends starting an ongoing dialogue about it. "Begin by speaking honestly with each other," urges Winter. "Only when you know how the other person thinks and feels are you able to interact with them in a healthy way."
4You completely trust each other.
Another defining characteristic of a relationship that’s on good footing is trust. If you and your SO know you can always count on one another to stay loyal, this also suggests things are going well. "You’re not wondering where your partner is at night, if you’re being played or if they’ll be there in the morning," says Winter. "There’s a sense of trust that permeates [your] entire relationship. This is what creates mental peace, and the ability to focus on the other parts of your life."
In the end, only you and your partner can decide for certain whether you’re both satisfied with your unique "love model." Ultimately, it’s important to recognize that everyone’s needs aren’t necessarily the same. So, as long as you are both able to "demonstrate the major markers of security and ease" in a way that works for your partnership, then chances are things between you and bae are moving in a healthy direction.
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