Healthy Relationship Tip #7: Be Best Friends

Until now, previous tips have focused on how to identify healthy vs. unhealthy relationships based on how a couple manages their fights. However, another strong protective factor against unhealthy relationships and divorce can be identified when the couple is not fighting. This factor is the level of friendship that the couple has with each other. The deeper and more solid the friendship between the couple, the less likely that each partner will feel resentful of each other and engage in the detrimental 4 horsemen of the apocalypse.

The reason is, when you have a strong friendship, there is automatically more positive sentiment in the relationship than when the friendship is weak and that tends to trump the negative feelings you have when your partner upsets you. Think about it, when do you feel disgusted with your best friend? Or when do you stonewall when your best friend and you disagree? Very rarely if ever, right? Because your friendship is so strong, you give each other the benefit of the doubt and you have much more patience with each other when they say something to upset you.

However, you are more likely to have become easily upset with someone who is more of an acquaintance, as the strong foundation of friendship is not there to protect against those negative feelings.

Here are some signs that you have a deep-rooted, solid friendship at the base of your relationships:

  • Mutual respect for each other (e.g. not taking each other for granted)
  • Fondness for the other (e.g. genuinely liking each other)
  • Enjoying each other’s company
  • Knowing your partner very well (e.g. likes and dislikes, quirks, hopes and dreams etc.)
  • Expressing appreciation for each other (e.g. acknowledge when he does things for you like filling up the gas tank in your car)
  • Listening empathically to each other (e.g. letting your partner talk and share about their day or their feelings and listening so you can fully understand

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