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When we think of a happy and healthy relationship, several things likely come to mind. And while most would think of the happiest relationships as the ones that are the most intense, the thing is- most healthy relationship habits can be found in simple, everyday gestures.

Don’t get me wrong, grand romantic gestures can be nice, but just because your partner makes them doesn’t mean your relationship is healthy. Truly healthy relationships are the ones that stick by each other through thick and thin, even when the fun and excitement begins to wear thin. While passion and excitement are fun, and most definitely something to try to keep alive, show me a relationship where two people get up every day and choose to love each other, despite the hard times.

For couples looking to strengthen these aspects of their relationship, consider exploring resources like The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” by Gary Chapman, which offers insights into understanding and communicating in your partner’s love language.

Here are 7 healthy relationships that most people take for granted.

1. Respect.

Respect is fundamental to a happy and healthy relationship. Respect means treating your partner with respect, even when you disagree with them and even when all the pressure of the world is on your shoulders. It means fighting with respect. And it means considering your partner before you make moves that affect them.

2. Vulnerability.

Vulnerability is often taken for granted in relationships. In a world where trauma and heartache occur so often, it’s no wonder that vulnerability is not only hard to come by but rare. If you find someone you can be vulnerable with and that can be vulnerable with you, you’ve found someone with whom you can have a good relationship.

3. Trust.

Trust is built over time when two people learn they can depend on each other and lean on each other without worrying about what the other person will do. Trust is knowing you can send your partner off on their own and not worry if they will sleep with someone else. It’s fully surrendering to someone else and trusting they will be there no matter what.

4. Honesty.

Honesty is of the utmost importance in a relationship. If you don’t have honesty, you don’t have anything else. When I say honestly, I don’t just mean when it’s convenient. You have to be honest when it isn’t easy, too.

Another helpful book is Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” by Dr. Sue Johnson, which provides guidance on deepening connection and understanding between partners.

5. Forgiveness.

There will be times when you mess up or your partner messes up. When this happens, forgiveness is necessary. Otherwise, you will both be holding onto the past, and ultimately, that will hold you back.

6. Productive arguments.

You might be shaking your head, but hear me out. Arguments are going to happen. The difference between a healthy argument and a toxic one is that a healthy argument is two people fighting for their relationship, not fighting to be right.

7. Time apart.

If you spend every waking moment with your partner, that does not mean that you are going to be happy. True happiness comes from being with someone that will not hold you back from living your own life. When you mesh into one person, you lose sight of the person your partner fell in love with, to begin with.

Additionally, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert” by John Gottman and Nan Silver is a valuable resource for couples wishing to build a lasting and healthy relationship based on extensive research.