Many people wouldn’t know a healthy relationship if it was facebooked, tweeted, and put all over TMZ.

It’s not their fault they don’t know. They’ve just never seen one. Let’s be honest…home wany examples of a healthy relationship are displayed out in the public to see?  Very very few. (I was going to put none..but there has to be something out there….I hope.) For many, the only healthy relationship you saw were the parents of your friends that you swore never fought. So that’s what you saw as the healthy relationship meter top. Then, if you’re like this author, your healthy relationship bottom was your own household.

If your relationship isn’t healthy…work on making it healthy, or get out.  If your relationship is abusive…get help please!

So for all of those lost individuals who really have no idea what a healthy relationship is, here is a list of the characteristics of a healthy relationship.
The 40 healthy relationship signs below are meant to open your eyes to what healthy relationships are all about.  It’s not all smiles and kissy-face; but it’s real.

1. You can be your true selves with each other.
2. You feel comfortable sharing your deepest thoughts, fears, and emotions with each other.
3. You rarely lie to each other, but you also refrain from being brutally honest.
4. You give each other space and/or “Me time.”
5. You make it through rough times as a couple without splitting up.
6. You agree (or genuinely agree to disagree) on financial matters.
7. You treat each other the way you would like to be treated, not necessarily the way you feel you’re being treated at the moment.
8. You and your mate completely deal with your problems, refusing to leave them unresolved until resentments form.
9. You forgive each other for mistakes.
10. You don’t tell each other what you should or shouldn’t think/feel.
11. You both listen without interrupting.
12. You respect each others’ privacy.
13. You speak each others’ Love Language, even if it’s different from your own.
14. You willingly make sacrifices for each other.
15. You share mutual interests and activities.
16. You respect each others’ individuality and make the most of your differences.
17. You act as each others’ backbone, providing loving support without guilt.
18. You share spiritual beliefs or a spiritual connection.
19. You show sensitivity to each others’ needs.
20. You discuss and negotiate instead of fighting.
21. Each partner takes responsibility for their own thoughts and feelings.
22. There is mutual trust and dedication.
23. You have a strong friendship.
24. In addition to loving each other, you genuinely like each other.
25. You don’t judge or force your opinions on each other.
26. You take quality time to nurture your relationship.
27. Both partners maintains his/her own set of boundaries and respects the boundaries of the other.
28. You are both attentive to the needs of yourself and the other.
29. You enjoy physical contact (hugs, kisses, cuddling, sex) together.
30. You show appreciation for each other.
31. Hardship, uncertainty, and disagreements are accepted as a part of life.
32. You communicate openly and meaningfully with each other.
33. There is equal power between you and your mate.
34. You keep your expectations of each other in check.
35. You genuinely apologize to one another when feelings are hurt.
36. You and your mate speak up assertively instead of expecting the other to read minds.
37. You both eliminate passive aggressive behavior (ignoring, silent treatment, eye rolling, stomping, hanging up the phone) as much as possible.
38. You have a strong sense of interdependence (mutual responsibility) to each other rather than dependence or co-dependence.
39. You avoid going to bed mad.
40. You CAN live without each other, but you choose each other over every alternative choice.

All of these things take work. Each relationship is most likely a combination of both healthy and unhealthy characteristics. Relationships need to be maintained and healthy relationships take work. This applies to all relationships; work relationships, friendships, family, and romantic relationships.

The operative sentence here I will repeat: Relationships need to be maintained and healthy relationships take work.

A healthy relationship is worth it…work at it!