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5 ways to ensure a healthy relationship

A look at some core characteristics that every healthy relationship will have

A bond, on its own, is not necessarily healthy.
A bond, on its own, is not necessarily healthy. (Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash)

Everyone wants to be in a healthy relationship. It is, after all, something everyone deserves to have. But do we actually know what a healthy relationship looks like? A bond, on its own, is not necessarily healthy. It involves two people willing to work hard at keeping it that way. If one party can't partake in the required work that is needed then the relationship will fall apart. 

Here are 5 characteristics that show what a healthy bond should look and feel like.


Respecting one another has to exist at all times. Respecting your partner is displayed in various ways. Do you respect their individuality and autonomy? Can you acknowledge the way they feel? Can you offer support without judgement? When there is conflict, do you talk to each other with respect? If both partners can offer mutual respect then that paves the way for a relationship that can flourish.

Effective communication

The truth is if you don't have effective communication the relationship will eventually break down. This ensures that the bond works like a well-oiled machine. Both partners need to be able to communicate how they feel and hear each other out. If one partner is holding back then it won’t work. In relationships, you need to be able to be there for your partner and their emotions. Healthy communication involves listening, empathy and not attacking one another.

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Trust is like a safety net. When there is trust, you feel secure. When there isn’t, you feel like you're free falling with no net to catch you and on the way down, all your insecurities will bleed onto the relationship. In a strong partnership, both of you have to be able to truly commit to trusting each other. You also have to display trustworthy behaviour so that the trust may remain intact. Remember, if this breaks everything else follows and unhealthy patterns begin.


All healthy relationships need compromise. Do not compromise yourself. However, you are going to have to pick up the slack and meet one another halfway when you don’t see eye to eye. You have to be able to do whatever it takes to prioritise your relationship and do the needful. When both parties can do that then there is room for a nurturing relationship.

Love and intimacy

The main characteristic of all is love. The glue that holds it all together and ensures people don’t give up on each other. Love brings a genuine attachment and should be displayed at all times in your relationship. Compliments, affection, and quality time are all key components. Physical intimacy is also extremely important. It brings about a deeper connection and makes room for vulnerability. If these components are always cared for, then a bond will always be healthy.

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If you find that you are with someone that can nourish the relationship with the elements required then ensure you put in the work as well. However, if they can’t, learn to walk away. A relationship can only be healthy when two people are on the same diet.

Shahzeen Shivdasani is a relationship expert & the author of Love, Lust and Lemons

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