Healthy Relationship Checklist

The following checklist (in no particular order) is one that all couples should review regularly – whether they have known each other for a few days, or for decades. Chances are that the more of these you can check off, the healthier your relationship is.

Love yourself. Only when you love yourself are you truly ready and capable of loving someone else

Humour: have fun, laugh lots and don’t take things too seriously. Someone who can laugh at the little things in life tends to be healthier than someone who gets upset by those same things – and they are also more pleasant to be around

Trust: it takes some time to build trust in a relationship, and when someone violates trust it takes a very, very long time to rebuild it

Mutual respect: if you want to be respected in your relationship, you better be giving it too. Remember the old saying, “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you” – which means basically treat people the way you want to be treated

Intimacy: in our community, people generally don’t talk about what they enjoy sexually. A healthy relationship is one where there is intimacy, and both people feel pleasure in being intimate

Having an equal say in decision-making that affects both of you. All major decisions should be discussed by both of you, and you should arrive at a decision together

Letting your partner have their individuality. Spending time is important, but so too is spending time on your own or with your own friends and / or family. Remember, you were an individual before you were a couple, and it is okay to maintain some of that individuality.

At the same time, you’re married, so you can’t expect to keep living as if you were single – so there should be a good number of things that you do just as a couple, on a regular basiso Sharing of duties / responsibilities. It is a misconception that everything the two of you do has to be 50/50. If you enjoy cooking and your spouse is better at yard work then you can cook most of the time, and they can do most of the yard work. They key point: the decisions are jointly-made (this is respectful) – the responsibilities aren’t imposed on you (this is abusive)

Don’t hold on to things. If your partner made a mistake (like forgot you anniversary, something a guy may do) or went over-budget with shopping (something a girl may do) and is apologetic, be willing to forgive and forget. Of course, if that person keeps making mistakes then obviously it needs to be addressed

Use healthy communication skills: be honest, talk openly about your feelings, listen to your partner, do not criticize, blame or ignore your partner’s ideas or beliefs and take responsibility for your feelings, thought and actions

Talk about your relationship – and more importantly, pick the right time to talk about your relationship. Talking about your relationship while your arguing, when emotions are high, is the wrong time to do it; when you’re both calm and aren’t distracted by other things is the right time to talk about it

The relationship is free of violence. You can’t have respect, trust, humour or any of the other factors mentioned above if there is violence in the relationship.