Does your relationship pass the health test?
You Netflix and chill, you’ve met the best mate and are shopping for matching tattoos...but how can you tell if you’re in a relationship with a rosy future, or one that’s about to take a dark turn?
Relationships can be overloaded with emotions, hormones and expectations. If your mind’s clouded by doubt, or if other people start weighing in with their opinions, they become even more tricky to navigate!
Amazing partnerships aren’t just written in the stars - there are some common traits of healthy, positive and equal relationships that you can recognise and seek out in yourself and your boyfriend or girlfriend.
As this year’s contestants start getting to know each other, we asked former Love Islanders and reality stars to open up about what a healthy relationship means to them:
Based on our Love Islanders’ advice, here’s a check-list to help you to take the temperature of your own relationship:
- Do you have complete trust in each other?
- Do you share mutual interests?
- Do you enjoy spending time together and having a laugh?
- Have you found your ‘equilibrium’ – a good balance between time spent as a couple, and time alone or doing your own thing with friends?
- Do you feel a connection and common understanding between you?
- Do you feel you work well together as a team, and do you want the best for each other?
- Do you communicate openly and honestly with each other?
- Do you feel the interest and effort goes both ways and isn’t one-sided?
- Do you feel able to discuss what you like and don’t like about the relationship, and have the big difficult conversations together?
- Does the relationship feel unpressured and unforced?
Psychologist M Wallace has this advice if you are concerned around any 'red flags' in your relationship at the moment:
"Warning signs can be that you or your partner don’t make time for one another, don’t show the same kindness or attention that you might to others, or don’t enjoy spending time together.
Sometimes people want different things, and this can cause an imbalance and may make it difficult to move forward together. But that’s ok. While relationships always involve some compromise, it’s important to make sure you stand up for yourself and your beliefs and you aren’t in a relationship for the wrong reasons."
Where to find support
If you have concerns about your relationship, visit Relate for more information about relationships, and to message a counsellor for support.
It is always good to speak to someone you trust about the issues you might be facing, no matter how big or small. Although it can be hard talking about relationships, everyone finds them challenging at times, and if you are experiencing difficulties, don’t feel ashamed or different, and don’t feel you have to hide away from it.