Home Love & Relationships 7 Healthy Relationship Behaviors Most People Perceive As Toxic

7 Healthy Relationship Behaviors Most People Perceive As Toxic


Love is not always sunshine and butterflies. Every relationship has its set of ups and downs and every couple is faced with challenges and problems and goes through struggles.

We all know what kind of behaviors can easily ruin a relationship. And the aim of this article is to show you that certain behaviors that most people perceive as toxic are actually healthy.

Behaviors like fighting with your partner, or spending time apart from them, or being occasionally attracted to others are perceived by most people as negative and detrimental to the trust and intimacy between partners and the happiness in the relationship.

However, this article explains that such behaviors are not toxic. In fact, they’re necessary ingredients for healthy, meaningful, and successful relationships.

In what follows there’s a list of 7 relationship behaviors that most people think are toxic, but, they’re actually healthy:

1. Not resolving every conflict in the relationship.

The American psychological researcher John Gottman, who is best known for his work on relationships and marital stability, explains that couples don’t need to talk about and resolve all of their problems.

Gottman carried out research on thousands of couples who were happily married, some of whom have been together for over 40 years. The research showed that most successful couples have unresolved problems.

On the other hand, he found that a great number of the unsuccessful couples insisted on resolving every issue since they believed there should be no disagreements between them.

The reason why couples that don’t try to resolve every issue in the relationship are more successful than those who do is that they perceive conflict in a different way from the latter. They simply understand that there will always be some things that they don’t like about their partner and that they won’t always agree with each other.

They accept each other’s opinions and ideas and don’t let their disagreements affect their relationship. They also understand that when you try hard to resolve a conflict, you can sometimes create more problems than you can fix. Some issues are simply not worth fixing and therefore they should be better left unresolved.

2. Sharing your relationship problems with others.

Maybe many will disagree with this one, but talking about your relationship problems to your close friends and family members can actually help you see your problems from a more objective perspective. After all, they’re your best support system and they want the best for you.

Yet, if you decide to share your relationship problems with other people, make sure you can have absolute trust in them. You don’t want anyone to use your relationship issues and secrets against you or your partner.

3. Being willing to hurt each other’s feelings.

Successful couples know that honesty is an essential ingredient for a healthy, meaningful relationship. And, here, we’re not talking about hurting your partner’s feelings on purpose.

Instead, this is about not being afraid to openly disagree with your partner about something or call them out on their behavior when they say or do something that hurts your feelings.

It’s about feeling free and comfortable to say what you really think about your partner’s opinions, attitudes, actions, or even physical appearance. It’s about saying you need more time alone without blaming your partner and it’s about them respecting this without blaming you too. 

Partners in healthy, successful relationships openly express their opinions and feelings about everything, no matter how different these are from those of the other person or how difficult or painful this could be for them.

They know it’s always better to be honest with your partner, even if that means hurting them, than to lie to them just so that you make them feel good about themselves.

4. Being willing to end the relationship.

For sure, “until death do us part” is romantic and sounds really nice, but when we idealize our relationship and worship it as something more important than our needs, values, and ourselves, we create a relationship that prevents us from growing. Both you and your partner think there’s no reason why you should work on yourselves since the other person will always be there no matter what.

Since romantic relationships are idealized, many people stay in a negative, abusive relationship and suppress their own misery and suffering just so that they keep their relationship forever (“until death do us part”). They stay with negligent, overcritical, inconsiderate partners and give up on their own wants and identity.

So, in order not to turn yourself or your partner into a martyr, you should know when it’s the appropriate time to end the relationship before it becomes too detrimental to both of you.

5. Being attracted to others.

We live in a culture where any light emotional thought that does not involve your partner is perceived as high treason. For the record, we’re not talking here about lying or cheating on your partner. Instead, we want to point out that feeling attraction for people outside the relationship is a biological inevitability.

After the honeymoon phase is over, especially when you’re in a long relationship, feeling attracted to someone outside the relationship is quite common. You can find someone interesting and attractive at the same time even though you’re in a happy, successful relationship or marriage. These are thoughts that you simply can’t control or change.

However, what you do have control over is your choice whether you’ll act on them or not. Most of us choose the latter and these thoughts just come and pass through us without affecting our relationship in any way whatsoever.

The problem is that feeling attracted to someone outside the relationship causes many people to feel horrible and guilty and many others to feel jealous. What you should understand is that it’s always better and healthier for both you and the relationship to accept and just let go of these feelings rather than suppress them.  

Because by suppressing them you allow them to control and dictate your behavior. This way, you’re likely to succumb to them eventually or project them onto your partner and become insanely jealous.

6. Accepting your partner’s flaws.

Nobody is perfect may sound like a cliché to you, but if everyone understood this for what it is, there wouldn’t be so many unrealistic, disappointed expectations and failed relationships. People who try to change or “fix” their partner so as to make them look, talk, walk, and behave as they want can never enjoy healthy, meaningful, successful relationships.

Trying to mold your partner into the person that in your view is perfect is not only unfair but absurd too. This kind of behavior has nothing to do with honest, unconditional love. True love is about accepting your partner the way they are-with all their imperfections and weaknesses, and even adoring some of these as well.

7. Spending time apart from your partner.

Unfortunately, many people allow their identity to be consumed by the person they’re in love with. As soon as they start dating him/her, they distance themselves from their friends, stop practicing their favorite hobbies, and suddenly decide they like everything what their partner likes.

You need to remember that by changing yourself so as to be closer to your partner, you actually stop being the person they got attracted to in the first place. Therefore, you should try to get some distance from him/her from time to time.

Make sure you hang out with your friends and maintain your interests and don’t forget about practicing your hobbies and doing the things that make you happy. It can also be helpful if you occasionally go on a trip somewhere alone.