Publication date December 12, 2023

5 Healthy Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Toxic

It's not always simple to establish and keep strong, lasting partnerships. Every couple experiences problems once they move past the initial, heart-fluttering stage of their romance, so it's critical to learn constructive methods for handling disagreements. 

Most people think that the perfect relationship is one where there is unconditional love and never a disagreement, but that is untrue. It is more difficult to identify if a relationship is healthy or toxic, especially in today's chaotic society. 

Nobody can accurately predict what is happening in another person's relationship because no two relationships are the same. In relationships, things are rarely black and white; instead, they tend to be primarily grey. 

Every relationship is different, and so also is how disagreements are handled; therefore, what works for certain couples may not work for others. Certain behaviors might even seem harmful, but that does not necessarily mean they are. Here are a few relationship practices that everyone believes to be harmful but which are actually completely healthy.

5 Healthy Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Toxic

Source: Pexels

Making Complaints

Nobody wants to hear a long list of complaints from anyone, much less their partner. Nevertheless, you should allow space in your bond for both giving and receiving complaints. Complaints are oftentimes a means for us to communicate with our partners what is important to us. 

Contrary to criticism, which can emotionally tear down your partner's character, complaints point out actions that can be changed. You can express yourself by saying ‘‘I'm disappointed that you failed to take out the garbage as you said you would.’’ By expressing your displeasure, your partner can be aware of things you don’t like and feel uncomfortable 

By complaining, a problem can be brought to light and then resolved. Complaints can be fixed, but some criticism can be destructive. That implies that a reasonable resolution to the dispute is possible.

Taking a Break

Nobody enjoys hearing the phrase, "I need a while to myself." You might feel uncomfortable if your partner is considering ending the relationship or merely wants to spend time alone. However, the fact that certain people require their own space to breathe is not harmful. This makes sense, in particular, if you and your partner have opposing interests, such as when you prefer a sporting event, and he chooses a board game night. 

It's crucial to keep certain hobbies or interests exclusively yours, establish your independence, and periodically distance yourself and your partner. Have some different friends, occasionally travel by yourself, and keep in mind the things that made you who you are and what first attracted you to your partner.

Ignoring Texts From a Partner

We are more linked than ever, thanks to the development and widespread use of cell phones, especially with our partners and families. Even while it's incredibly practical, it can divert attention from other tasks. 

We live in a time where complete accessibility and transparency are expected. As a result, it's weird if you're not totally there for your partner. But being occasionally unavailable might be pretty healthy. Additionally, being too demanding with your partner's time or the other way around might have negative effects. 

Continuous phone availability might result in neediness and dominating tendencies. The healthy habit is to ignore your partner's texts to concentrate on your work, exercise, drive, or just consciously enjoy the present. When you have time and are prepared, you can reply.

Additionally, it may render you less fascinating if you're constantly on your phone. It is advantageous to occasionally delay responding since you should be engaged in other activities. So don't be afraid to lock your locker with your phone inside.

Leaving During an Argument

Leaving during an argument can give both parties time to calm down, reflect on their emotions and thoughts, and come back to the conversation with a clearer mind. It can prevent the argument from escalating into a full-blown fight and allow for a more productive discussion later on. In this sense, walking away can be a healthy way to manage conflict in a relationship.

Walking away for a while is the best thing you can do if you're in the middle of a disagreement with your partner and suddenly feel claustrophobic and unable to think clearly. However, ensure that you don’t walk away from a disagreement in a bad manner. 

Allow your partner to understand that you are not fleeing the problem but would prefer to resolve it at a more convenient time so that your emotions do not get the best of you and you do not say anything hurtful to them.

Establishing Boundaries

Everyone has unique emotional requirements and thresholds, and these needs and thresholds aren't necessarily innately compatible with those of others. It's wise to establish limits for yourself right away because of this. 

Setting and respecting boundaries is crucial for a healthy relationship. While some people may view this as being controlling or restrictive, boundaries can promote mutual respect and understanding and prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.

Even if you are trying to be compassionate toward others, you may need to set firm, clear, and consistent boundaries to protect your emotional and mental well-being. Although it is difficult, saying no to those you care about is essential. As a result, communicate your desires to your partner, from time alone to uninterrupted time together. 

6. Spending Time Apart 

I’m sure you’ve also experienced that when we fall in love we create irrational beliefs and desires. One of these desires is to allow ourselves and our lives to be consumed by the person with whom we’re infatuated. This feels great in starting. But when this desire becomes reality, the real problem arises. 

The issue with allowing your identity and desires to be consumed by a romantic relationship is that as you change to be closer to the person you love, you come to an end to be the person you fell in love with in the first place.

It’s essential to occasionally maintain some distance from your partner, assert your independence, and do some hobbies or interests that are yours alone. Also, have a few separate friends, take an occasional trip somewhere by yourself, and remember what made you and what drew you to your boyfriend in the first place.

7. Feeling Attraction For People Outside the Relationship 

One of the cruel situations we face in a dishonest or toxic relationship is that situation where any emotional or sexual thought not involving your partner amounts to high treason. No matter how much we’d like to believe that we only have eyes for our partner, biology says that’s not true. Once the couple gets past the honeymoon phase of starry eyes and oxytocin, the novelty of a partner can wear off a bit.

And sadly, human sexuality is partially wired around novelty. I’ve seen many people in happy relationships who get blindsided by finding someone else attractive and they feel guilty and horrible because of it. 

But the truth is, we are capable of finding multiple people attractive and interesting at the same time.

The thing is what is in our control is our decision to act on the attraction or not. Undoubtedly, this triggers a lot of guilt in many people and a lot of irrational jealousy in others. Why? Because of our cultural norm that tells us that once we’re in love, that’s supposed to be the end of the story. And if someone flirts with us and we enjoy it or we catch ourselves attracted towards someone there must be something wrong with us. 

 But, in reality, that’s not the case. In fact, it’s healthier to allow yourself to experience these feelings and then let them go. If you suppress these urges, you’ll end up becoming the person who projects them onto their partner and becomes blindingly jealous, attempting to control their partner’s attention and affection for themselves. 


Healthy relationship habits can often be misconstrued as toxic due to societal pressures and misconceptions. It's important to prioritize open communication, respect, and individuality in a relationship and to seek help from a professional if needed.

Most times, the most popular advice isn't necessarily the best. Ensure that you do what's best for yourself and your relationship. This might entail accepting some unconventional things, but if there's merit to them, you have no reason to fear. 

Source: Mark Rosenfeld

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. How to not be toxic in a relationship?

If you want not to be toxic in a relationship with your partner, you’ll need to put in consistent effort and the conscious choices to avoid toxic behaviors. Here are some points to consider to ensure you’re not being toxic:  

  • Practice open communication 
  • Embrace accountability 
  • Respect boundaries 
  • Promote positivity 
  • Prioritize healthy conflict resolution
  • Nurture self-awareness 

Q. How to be happy in a relationship?

To get a healthy relationship that increases your happiness improves your health, and reduces stress, here are some things you’ll need to consider:

  • Keep expectations realistic
  • Talk with each other
  • Be flexible
  • Take care of yourself, too
  • Be dependable
  • Fight fair
  • Be yourself 
  • Keep your life balanced

Q. How often should you see your boyfriend?

The right frequency of seeing your boyfriend depends upon several factors, such as the type of your relationship and individual preferences. However, here are some general guidelines that might be helpful for you: 

  • Early dating: 2-3 times a week
  • Established relationships: 1-2 times a week
  • Long-term couples: Variable, depending on individual needs and circumstances

Q. What to look for in a relationship? 

When looking for a healthy relationship, one should look for honesty, trust, respect, and open communication between partners and they take effort and compromise from both people. 

Q. Is it normal for couples to fight and not talk for days?

Yes, it’s completely normal for couples to fight and not talk for days. Little fights and disagreements with your partner are a healthy part of the relationship. Just remember that whenever you are involved in an argument with a loved one, take a step back, breathe a bit, and go back to them. That's all!

Q. Is it normal to question your relationship? 

Yes, it’s normal to question your bond with your partner. Everyone has doubts about their relationship at some point, afterall relationships are not easy things and no one is perfect in it. So some degree of uncertainty can be good.

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