Just like acrylic nails you can't seem to get off or a brutal hangover you experience after a long night of drinking, some things really do seem to last forever. When it comes to relationships, it's not always easy to tell what will make love last, but there is one key to healthy, happy, and fulfilling relationships that all couples can count on. "The main characteristic of a healthy relationship is the ability for each individual person to be an individual and remain an individual when paired with another human," Marriage and family therapist Rabiia Ali told POPSUGAR. "A healthy relationship involves two people who have whole lives, which include other healthy relationships, who have mutually decided to share each other's lives."
"The main characteristic of a healthy relationship is the ability for each individual person to be an individual and remain an individual when paired with another human."
While romantic relationships can seem like the most important thing in your life, being able to stand on your own, nurture other relationships with family members and friends, and have a life separate from the one you share with your partner is crucial. "Before becoming serious with someone, an individual should be a whole person," said Ali. This means having connections with other people, cultivating hobbies and personal interests, being OK with being alone, and working through any healing they might have to do in order to be fully present and happy in the current relationship.
The best way to do this is by having each person know what characteristics and personality traits will complement their own. For example, if you love to be the centre of attention, find someone who will not hide from the limelight, but who will cheer you on instead. Traits that complement you doesn't mean being with someone who is opposite from you, but someone who can fill in your gaps while also letting you grow. "I tell my clients all the time that when entering a relationship, one person is blue and the other is red," said Ali. "When you are together, it does not mean you turn into purple! You should move forward as blue and red side by side and find someone who complements you."