It's easy to list what you don't want in your relationship. We are all quick to make a mental note of all the things that have gone wrong and know fully well what to avoid. After all, it's human nature to recall the worst. But when we are asked what we do want, we end up being lost and unaware. More often than not, we end up ending potentially good relationships because we don't know what we want, and our preconceived notions and sour experiences cloud our lenses.
We speak to relationship experts -- psychotherapists Dr Meghna Singhal and Dr Minnu Bhonsle and counselling psychologist Divija Bhasin-- to list out some signs of a good potential relationship so that next time Cupid strikes, you know exactly what to look out for.
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1. Being able to talk about your feelings
Being able to be vulnerable with your partner, being in touch with one's own feelings, and having the space to express them is a healthy sign in a burgeoning relationship.
2. Being equally engaged in the relationship
It is a great sign if both of you are actively interested in nurturing the relationship. It shows that both partners are equally emotionally invested if they make plans together, return calls, are there for each other and are cued into each other's feelings and needs.
3. Being kind
When you both are kind to each other and care about each other's feelings and well-being, it's a green flag. But equally important, your prospective partner should also be kind to others--their mother, their friends, the waiter, and even their ex. It is quite telling of how they're likely to be going forward.
4. Taking responsibility
This means both of you take appropriate responsibility in the relationship, whether it be addressing problems or making the relationship work. For example, one partner says, "Hey, I've noticed that when we go out drinking with friends, I feel left alone. I feel really awkward since I don't even drink. I need you to stay by my side until I get to know your friends better!" To this, the other partner says, "I'm sorry you feel left out. I'll try my best to include you and be with you and check-in with you when we step out."
5. Giving each other space
This means that you and your partner are individuals in your own right. Your relationship should have the space to express your individuality, your choices, your needs, and your personality.
6. Facilitative communication
This means no toxic words or toxic silence. A willingness to engage in problem-solving through open and respectful communication, listening to each other's point of view and striving to reach a win-win solution are all signs of a good relationship.
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7. Being a friend in need
This means that both are willing to be that rock of support or soft place of solace during trying times when the partner is facing challenges, with both trusting that the other will be a reliable and dependable partner during such times.
8. Talk, touch, time
This means both make the time for each other, look forward to and enjoy the conversational space where both can be their natural selves. It is also about sharing joys, concerns and dreams and also proactively co-creating mutually fulfilling physical intimacy.
9. Emotional safety
This means both feeling safe being vulnerable, trusting that the vulnerability will not be exploited and that what is shared will not be judged or used against us. This is the only way that one can relax and be fully human in the relationship.
10. Exclusivity as a given
This means that exclusivity and fidelity are never under question, with both being able to trust and be trustworthy so that both can freely build a relationship on a rock-solid foundation.
11. Openly discussing finances
This involves being able to openly talk about money-related matters and discussing them in detail without having any qualms about earnings or spending. This includes being honest with each other about where money is being spent and invested by both parties and taking major and minor financial decisions together as a team.
12. Not being judgmental
This means communicating without hesitation when it comes to asking for more attention or expressing love. It involves not belittling each other's emotional and physical needs and desires but respecting them.
13. Having boundaries
This is one of the foundations of a healthy relationship. It involves creating, discussing and implementing boundaries without fighting over them. It also means understanding and respecting boundaries.
14.Supporting each others' growth
This means giving each other space to grow together and also as individuals. It involves supporting and respecting each other's growth without being judgmental or overly opinionated about it. It means acknowledging each other's successes and being there to support when your partner fails. It also involves providing honest feedback as and when necessary.
15. Feeling secure in the relationship
This involves building and having a level of trust to a degree where you both are feeling secure in terms of being on the same page as your partner when it comes to your relationship. It means being absolutely honest about the relationship and where you both stand at any given point in time.