This Doctor Is Here to Diagnose the Health of Your Relationship


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Every relationship has its ups and downs—romantic relationships especially—so it's natural to wonder how healthy your relationship is. Suzanne Degges-White, PhD, author of Toxic Friendships and a licensed counselor who specializes in women's relationships and developmental transitions, provides a framework of ways to measure relationship health in Psychology Today. She presents a series of questions that gauge the health of the relationship by determining its value in terms of satisfaction, benefits, and returns. While her self-assessment guide can be applied to a range of relationships, from professional to familial to cordial, we've highlighted the questions best suited to assess your romantic relationship.

Does fulfilling another's needs leave you pumped and self-satisfied or drained and resentful? Every romantic relationship comes with compromising for your partner and putting his or her needs before yours from time to time. In a healthy relationship, fulfilling your partner's needs should leave you feeling just as fulfilled as meeting your own. You'll derive satisfaction and enjoyment from making your partner happy. By the same token, you should feel that your needs are being equally met and that your partner is happy to meet them.

Are you getting the results or benefits you long for? We all have a tendency to create idealistic scenarios in our minds, but grounding ourselves in the real world shouldn't mean giving up on our fundamental expectations. Is your relationship giving you what you need? Do you find that you and your partner are on the same page in terms of day-to-day desires and long-term goals? If you and your significant other are significantly out of sync, you may consider having a talk to make sure you're both signed up to work for the same thing or make the right adjustments to get back on board.

Are the costs associated with this relationship in proportion to the returns? While the aforementioned compromises, and even sacrifices, are natural parts of every romantic relationship, you shouldn't feel like you're always giving something up to make it work. If you feel like what your putting into the relationship exceeds what you're getting out of it, it may be time to reassess whether the relationship is really in your best interest.

Next up, discover the three daily habits of the happiest couples, according to relationship experts.