Sadie Holloway is a workshop facilitator who teaches interpersonal communication skills to help people strengthen their relationships.
Are you in a strong, healthy relationship? Here are 15 signs that what you have with your boyfriend could be true love.
Celebrate Each Others' Strengths and Make the Relationship Last
1. You talk about the tough stuff, even when you’d rather not. Whether the topic is money, or sex and intimacy, you know that nothing good comes from avoiding these issues. You don’t bail at the first sign that you need to discuss something difficult. You find a way to create safety so that you can each talk honestly about how you feel. This isn’t just the sign of a strong couple, it’s also a sign that you are both mature, self-aware adults. You know that avoiding difficult conversations is not healthy for your relationship. The most solid, stable relationships thrive on good communication.
2. You show a genuine interest in each others' hobbies and passions. That doesn’t mean that you have to participate in activities you don’t normally engage in, but rather, you allow time and space in your relationship for each of you to follow your dreams. You make an effort to find gifts for each other related to the things you're each passionate about. You are willing to find a compromise if your schedules clash sometimes because one of you is working on a pet project. You'll go to his favorite sci-fi convention because you love when he's a little bit nerdy. And he'll go to a poetry reading with you because he knows, and loves, that you are a hopeless romantic.
3. You get along with your boyfriend as well as you get along with your best friend. You don't take your boyfriend for granted just like you don't take your best friend for granted. An even better sign that your relationship is really solid is that your boyfriend is your best friend, and you are his best friend. How sweet is that?
4. You make each other feel attractive, intelligent, and worthy of true love and happiness.
5. You don't need to spend much money to have fun together. You can still have a blast just hanging out on a cheap date night.
6. You lose track of time when you're with your boyfriend. If the adage “Time flies when you're having fun” frequently applies to spending time with your boyfriend, that’s a good sign that you have a strong, healthy connection.
7. Another good indicator of a solid union is that neither of you sees the point in staying mad at each other after a disagreement. You try to work it out and resolve the issue before the end of the day, if possible. You stay focused on the issues at hand and you communicate respectfully. You don’t put each other down in order to win a fight.
8. You know all about each others’ relationship history. You don’t need to know the intimate details about what went on in each relationship, but you are not afraid to talk about how many people you have dated. And you are up front about whether or not those people are still in your lives in some way. Feeling secure enough to not get jealous about past lovers is the sign you are in steady, stable relationship.
9. One of the loveliest ways to know if a couple is truly connected to one another is the sound of them laughing together. If you can goof off and make each other burst into an uncontrollable giggle fit, you'll always have plenty of fun memories to look back on when life's daily stresses start to get in the way.
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10. You know how to say sorry after an argument. This is one of the most important ways to know if what you have with your partner will last. If you can’t be humble and admit when you are wrong, that's a sign that you aren't ready for a serious relationship.
"But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls."
— Khalil Gibran
11. You get along well with his family and friends.
12. You take pleasure in finding simple ways to say ‘I love you!’ When you are in a healthy relationship you know that saying 'I love you' can be carried out in both words and actions.
13. Your friends often tell you that you look like a happy, healthy couple. They enjoy being around the both of you because you have positive chemistry that is joyful and contagious. If your friends often turn to you for relationship tips, that shows that you're doing something right!
14. You know that you each have your own baggage. You’ve both made mistakes in the past but you find ways to learn from those mistakes and forgive yourself and each other.
15. You are grateful that you found each other. You give thanks and show appreciation for your happy, healthy relationship. You know that no matter what comes your way, good or bad, having someone to share it all with is one of life’s sweetest rewards.
Having Strong Relationships in Other Areas of Your Life
Even if only half of these things above are true for you, you’re still showing signs that you have a strong relationship. And you have good potential to continue building a healthy, satisfying bond with the one you love.
Here's one more sign that you are in a strong, healthy relationship: You have strong, healthy relationships in other areas of your life: at work, with family members, out in the community. How you feel in one relationship often spills over into other parts of your life, naturally strengthening many of your other relationships. So look around. Do you see life-affirming relationships in all corners of your life? Then that's one of the best ways to tell if what you and your boyfriend have a good chance of success!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Sadie Holloway