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Relationships

What are the Components of a Healthy Relationship?

“A components of a healthy relationship is one in which love enriches you; not imprisons you!”

Isn’t it true that we’ve read a lot of quotes about this topic? After a big fight or a heartbreak, some of us even save these quotes and share them on our Instagram stories.

couple holding hands

Undoubtedly! We all crave a healthy relationship and the best partner for us. As we grow older, the meaning of a healthy bond changes somehow.

When I was in 7th class, we were in a healthy relationship because we both shared lunch box chocolates and helped each other with homework. Good old days!

However, those meanings are now replaced with something more intricate and deep— I found love to be so powerful and yielding. Along with its true essence, love and romance came with complexities, insecurities, envy, and jealousy. 

Individuals are often lost while contemplating what truly defines a healthy relationship. 

  • Is jealousy alright?
  • Can we behave like little kids with our partners? 
  • What’s too much love and too little love in a relationship?

In fact, people who seem happy in a relationship (or at least claim to be) might as well be dealing with an unhealthy relationship. To understand the true depth of your relationship, the love you both share, and your partner closely—it’s essential to learn about all the positive components of a healthy relationship. 

One of the most important foundations of a relationship is LOVE. Love doesn’t reciprocate jealousy, selfishness or possessiveness— So, ask yourself, do you truly, passionately, and selflessly love them? 

How can someone claim to be happy forever with their partner when they don’t know if they are really in love? So, let’s first relearn and unfold the true essence of love!

Definition of Love

What is Love? This is surely the most simple question with a lot of complex answers.

“Love is friendship”— it’s one of the most cliché lines we have read. You must have heard the definition of love in multiple songs, movies, romantic novels, and quotes. Love has multiple meanings, every meaning differing but still colliding. Love is a very broad term.

They say and we quote, ‘Love is when you smile without any reason, by looking at the picture of that special someone, love is when you wait for them to start a new web series so that you both can watch together, love is appreciating the food your partner cooks (for the first time), and blah blah!’

Infatuation can make you feel the same way! While all the things mentioned above are a part of love— they are not truly the definition of love. 

Philosophically speaking, love is pure, selfless, and boundless. When truly in love— you become selfless; you give/share to make them happy— not demand something in return. 

I have never truly felt this for human beings. However, I do love my animals selflessly. I wish to give them the whole world without ever wanting anything in return. 

Apart from this emotional definition, if I wanted to define love, I would say, “Love is a dish made with equal amounts of affection, care, trust, loyalty and a little garnishing of support, passion, and intimacy.” 

Love itself isn’t perfect, and that’s what makes it more lovable. True love is when you both know each other’s drawbacks and yet choose to nurture them.

Just give it a try and ask yourself, “what is your definition of love?” You’ll get an answer that will be meaningful to you or how you can foster your bond. What are the components of love? It’s pillars! Let’s discuss.

Components of Love

You may be wondering if love has a concept; well, technically, yes. There are many theories defining the essence of love. Robert Sternberg, the famous psychologist, has the most popular theory, called a triangular theory.

According to his theory, there are three major foundations of love— 

  • Intimacy: means the closeness shared in a relationship. 
  • Passion:  The intense emotion one fosters for their partner— passion refers to the most intense emotion you feel for literally anything. A relationship derived from passion keeps love and romance alive.
  • Commitment: loyalty within a bond.

The above three are solely the strong pillars for a healthy bond. 

You can say that “relationship is a seed and intimacy is the soil, passion is water, and commitment is the sunlight.” 

And the entire process of loving your partner is called LOVEsynthesis (a cool word, no?). Sorry for spoiling your science; I apologize.

There are 7 components of a love relationship:

  1. Friendship, 
  2. Infatuation,
  3. Empty love,
  4. Romantic love,
  5. Compassionate love,
  6. Famous love,
  7. Consummate love.

Is love sufficient for a relationship?

“Yes! Love is enough for a relationship!”

Hold your horses! Listen to me first; love is enough initially— at the start of the relationship or when you are simply admiring your crush’s profile! 

However, social, romantic relationships require something more than that. 

Love is simply not enough for a long-term ongoing healthy relationship. There are other crucial things, like care, social relations, support, good communication, acceptance, intimacy, and a little bearing so that your fights don’t take an endless mode. 

While love is genuinely selfless— relationships demand reciprocation. Without reciprocation of feelings— you will gradually find yourself being used emotionally, physically, and mentally. 

“Love is enough only when there is enough space for acceptance, sustenance, resilience, and faithfulness.”

Anyways! What elements make up a healthy relationship? Ahhh! Finally, let’s go over the ingredients quickly.

Components of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship is unique and what keeps it vigorous is the common goal and expectation they have for/with their partner! Here are some of the most crucial ingredients of a healthy relationship recipe:

1. Communicate: 

How can you or your partner know what you want or what worries you? The key is through communication, and talking is the panacea for strengthening your bond. 

We often are uncomfortable while conversing and sometimes close off instead of sharing what our heart holds. After some time, this lack of communication will enlarge the gap between you and your partner and barriers will form. Find a little time to talk and simply ask, “how was the day?” 

Start slow, but pour your heart’s content. 

2. Polarity

Polarity means having different opinions, aspects, and thought cycles of two individuals. Remember, it’s the polarity that attracted you once; relish that. Start building a passion for solving and appreciating the polarity in your bond.

Having a different personality and opinion makes everything much more lively and fun— you have a lot to discuss and learn. 

3. Honesty: 

Being honest doesn’t mean sharing the office work and troubles furiously with your partner or telling them rudely what you don’t like about them. Rather, Honesty is telling what you feel so that you can create a bridge of understanding between the two.

Of course, you can keep some secrets to yourself.

4. Listen: 

You can’t read your partner’s mind. However, there is a simple, effective trick to knowing someone’s thoughts. Yes! You are right; be all ears. Use your ears when your partner is sharing and telling you about anything. This tends to the understanding between both of you. 

Listen to them intently and show full compassion and attention while doing so! You can learn a lot about your partner and their buried emotions if you listen intently.

5. Show Respect: 

Everyone deserves to be respected, right? This doesn’t mean you call them ‘your Highness’ and then treat them in a reverse way. Honoring each other for their decisions, thoughts, and actions will strengthen your bond tightly.

6. Intimacy

It doesn’t only mean sensuous, intimate hours in bed. Intimacy is a lot more than that. 

couple hugging each other

Intimacy roughly translates to being close emotionally, physically, socially, and mentally— spending time watching favorite movies or web series together or cooking on the weekends will work, too. One more thing, do a little quirky cuddling and kissing for no reason.

7. Trust: 

You already knew that! But the thing you don’t know is the chaotic nature that may bring a little conflict between you and your partner. Trust will decide the journey of your relationship, and a partner who doesn’t trust will always live in insecurities. So, make sure to trust your partner before jumping to unknown gossip.

Instead of suspecting them, talk things out and let them tell you the whole story of events. Trusting can also be seen when you embrace your partner’s decision in suggestions & opinions. 

8. Understanding: 

Every person is different, and so is the relationship. We often compare our connection with our friends or characters from novels or movies. Try to understand the habits, behaviors or ideology of your partner. 

And then, if you come across anything to counter, have a patient conversation that benefits the both of you.

9. Partnership: 

If you want to go a long way with your lovey-dovey, then you need to build an alliance. Love is one thing, but creating a bond of teamwork not only intensifies the closeness between you two but also fosters a strong, passionate bond.

10. Deny Sacrifice

I am not trying to put petrol in the fire. We often make sacrifices for our partners one way or the other. But sacrificing your worth, self-respect, and life purpose aren’t needed if you consider yourself in a healthy relationship. 

So, understand this and don’t let the concept consume you. Don’t succumb to your partner’s demands; your mental peace should always be prioritized. 

11. Forgiveness: 

To forgive the honest apology of your partner is an ecstatic characteristic. Please note: there are mistakes that we can never forget or forgive. So, it’s necessary to decide what you can accept and what you cannot handle for your mental health. 

Big mistakes like constant trauma, abuse, and cheating aren’t something you should forgive or even accept. 

However, we are all humans, and mistakes make us. If your partner is genuinely sorry and you think things can work out— accept their apology and forgive their actions/words. As nothing is perfect, forgiving some of the negotiable things is acceptable.

12. Boundaries: 

You read it right! Having boundaries in a relationship can be helpful for a strong bond. 

We all need our personal space and time, and that’s not all! We also have other relationships to tend to and not just our girlfriend/boyfriend. So, a little space from your partner will help you connect to other individuals as well. 

Giving space doesn’t mean you are hurting your partner— it’s a sign of a healthy relationship. 

Couples have a hard time understanding the importance of boundaries, but it’s very crucial to have a long-lasting relationship. 

I suspect you are having a blurry vision regarding relationship boundaries, right? So, let’s talk about how limits help to strengthen a relationship.

Healthy Boundaries in a Relationship

Boundaries are an important part of maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner. It aids in the formation of a strong link and reduces unnecessary fights. Let’s talk about how to set or avoid limits! 

girl reading a book
  • Personal Space: Spending time with your partner every minute is romantic but providing space or asking for space leads to building your own identity. 
  • Prioritizing Respect: Being mature and calm while your partner is angry is a good thing, but when it exceeds the limit and your partner forgets your individuality— it’s time you take some time out from them. 
  • Learn to say No: Sacrificing for your partner is an important aspect of a relationship. But if something is beyond a limit, then hold on! Stand for yourself. 

You don’t need to be harsh but clear with your statements. Say ‘no’ to things if you are not comfortable with them. If you are in a healthy relationship, your partner will understand the severity of your words. 

  • Vulnerability: Not everyone deserves to know your vulnerable side. Opening up gradually in a relationship or keeping some things (not keeping secrets) for yourself is important, too.  

Apologizing for being vulnerable is okay but changing yourself is like killing some part of you. If you can’t be in a relationship, you won’t be happy for long.

  • Intimate Boundaries: Sex and intimacy are one of the most vital parts of a relationship. However, everything that exceeds overly is dangerous. So, setting up the boundaries of how often you want to be intimate, unwanted sexual touch, consent, and sexual comments are some of the things you should discuss.

Creating boundaries with your partner/family/friend is not bad, it’s necessary. Being selfish is a good thing when balanced with selflessness. 

As a result, I’ve narrowed down a few factors that paint a hallmark of a healthy relationship. So that you can scale yourself and embrace the best. 

Signs of a healthy relationship

Trying new sexual activities, going on romantic rides, or having a candle-lit supper may indicate that your relationship is good. Still, there are other factors to consider for a healthy bond.

1. Look for Joy & Balance: 

Being joyous in a relationship is important, and it doesn’t mean that you both have to giggle around 24/7. However, make sure you both keep each other happy and lively. 

This world and society can make life a little hard; sharing joy means sharing your partner’s pain and tough times and bringing a smile on their face. 

Similarly, creating balance with work and other things stimulates harmony between you and your partner.

2. Your Safe Place: 

If your partner is your craziest safe place in trouble, you are lucky. It doesn’t mean that you cannot indulge in fights with your partner. Rather, it means looking for your partner as the relieving non-judgemental place.

3. Appreciative & Kind: 

Being supportive and kind with your partner is the most delicate thing. Not only does it help to cultivate more affection for each other, but it also shows your committing and empathetic side. Appreciation and kindness will help your partner flourish and get comfortable with you. 

4. Encourage fights

Yes! Fights also tell you how strong your bond is and how much you care about it. Healthy fights help to go over the glasses and see your partner’s perception and thus encourage a sense of adaptability. 

couple reaching disagreements

Holding grudges within can be a serious issue for a good relationship. So, be open!

5. Expressive & Cooperative: 

This means that you don’t hold back while affirming your thoughts or feelings, and your partner accepts them heartily. Cooperative means taking decisions together in various daily issues or scenarios. 

Tips for building a healthy relationship

  • Understand but don’t agree (if you don’t want to): Yes, when often you are in an argument with your partner, try to seek their point of view and be calm. Don’t agree when they are wrong but wait until the time is correct to discuss your point of view. 
  • Listen & not hear: If you are with your partner, be present fully. Listen to them rather than just hearing the words. Abandon your distractions when you are with your traction.
couple together about to kiss
  • Be creative with sex: Sex or some cozy moments are essential to maintain a relationship’s good health. But sometimes you both aren’t in the same mood, or it didn’t spark the way it used to. Adding creativeness can keep the spirit in motion.
  • Implore, not just ask: “How was the day?” is a cliche question that can work as a barrier in delightful communication. Instead, asking “What new you came across today?” Or “What made you happy?” can help you have good gossip. It can also introduce you to the creative side of your partner. 
  • Cherish beyond praise: Remember when you used to adore their small things. Just like that, admire them whenever you find a chance. Praises can be as small— from expressing how good the food is to how amazing she looks with those wet hair. 

Practice these tips and follow the above points. It will undoubtedly improve and spark things with your partner.

Wrapping it up!

We all crave to have a healthy relationship. For a healthy relationship, remember that love is not the only thing to be dependent on; there are other things, too. 

If the relationship is your bike, then love is the fuel,

  • intimacy is the motor, 
  • supporting and accepting each other’s ideologies are the stand that provides support, 
  • adaptability is the headlight, 
  • Fights and arguments are the brakes. They may slow you a little down to save you from the upcoming hurdles of your long-drive journey.

Embrace and love yourself, too. Don’t forget to bring flowers randomly for your partner, or write a small note. And please change your habit of leaving the wet towel on the bed. Love with actions and love with words.

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by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.


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