Qualities of a Healthy Relationship

Mia Souther, Chief of Staff, Editor of Wellness

Healthy qualities are the foundation for building strong relationships. These qualities are applicable to most kinds of relationships including family relationships, friendships, acquaintances, and romantic relationships. It’s important to note that while every relationship looks different, taking note of the following qualities will help you decide whether or not the relationship is the best fit for you. 


The ability to effectively communicate is vital to the overall success of your relationship. Communicating allows both people in the relationship to feel validated and understood. Not to mention, it also contributes to working through conflict with ease. Communication will allow the other person to better understand your needs and expectations. Navigating communication can look different for every relationship. As author and expert Bréne Brown says, “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.” Being open and clear about your feelings will work towards a more stable relationship. 


You should be able to feel like you can be yourself without the other person. Maintaining your sense of self in a relationship of any kind is essential. In a healthy relationship, you have the ability to see yourself as a whole and not need the other person to complete you. Therapist, Gal Szekely says that ​”the most satisfying relationships happen when two ‘whole’ people come together to create a third entity, known as the relationship.” While this idea may contradict what we see portrayed in movies, most experts agree that it is the basis for a successful long-term relationship. 


In the context of relationships, individuals should see each other as equals in the relationship. Whether or not you agree with the other person, you still need to recognize their perspective and do not place harsh judgments upon it. The Adolescent Health Center located in New York City defines respect as the ability to “recognize that your partner is a whole person and not just a way to get something that you want.”

It’s also important to note that in order to build respect in a relationship you have to have respect for yourself. Self-respect will allow you to recognize your own worth and understand how it can supplement your relationships. 

Trust and Vulnerability 

Trust provides a layer of safety for each person in the relationship. With trust, the process of being vulnerable or sharing sensitive conversations becomes easier. Trust will give a sense of approachability and security. 

As vulnerability expert, Brené Brown puts it, “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.” There is no doubt that vulnerability can be the key to unlocking emotional bonds and a deep connection with another individual. In fact, a 1997 study conducted by Arthur Aron titled “The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness” proved just that. The study split students into two different groups, within each group students were randomly paired up. One group was given meaningless and surface-layer questions to ask each other. While the other group was given more thought-provoking, emotional questions. It’s no surprise that the pairs from the second group were able to form much deeper and more meaningful bonds. At the end of the day, “if we share the ups and downs of our human experience in the right way in the right context, we build deeper connections” says Micheal Simmons of Harvard Business Review.  

Thus, sharing our truth and story if done in a proper manner can help build profound connections. Relationships won’t always be easy to navigate but having a secure foundation of healthy qualities will make it less difficult.