Being in a relationship is more than just butterflies and rainbows. Relationships require hard work, earning trust, being respectful, being honest, continuous effort, and open communication between partners. Every relationship is different in almost every way, but there are some things that are present in almost, if not, all healthy relationships: Being supportive.
What does being supportive mean?
Being supportive, in the context of relationships, is when both partners are constantly providing encouragement, sympathy or emotional help to each other. No relationship is perfect and there are bound to be disagreements and arguments along the way, but understanding how and why one person is the way he/she is and understanding that not everything is a competition, can make you view relationships in a new light.
How to know if someone is in a supportive relationship
Spending quality time together is one of the crucial parts in any relationship. It is very important that a partner understands that time is one of the important aspects in a relationship. It is also important to understand that both parties may have something to do like work, chores, and certain tasks within each day, and it is crucial to respect these boundaries.
A supportive partner does not demand time, but respects time. A supportive partner sees priorities, and understands that people may be busy at some times but that does not mean that it is taking away time from the relationship. The desire to be together is also important in a relationship. Examples of quality time are having breakfast together, doing errands together and even just merely talking about each other’s day.
Being in a relationship does not mean that partners have to be together all the time. There is a popular phrase that says “You do you”, which is the very center of individualism in a relationship. A partner does not need to change who he/she truly is just to stay in a relationship. People have their own hobbies, interests, and friends, before entering into a relationship and a supportive partner does not strip away these things from their partner. At the end of the day, both partners are two individual beings that have lived totally separate lives until they met. People may have hobbies, such as collecting, music, gaming, and a lot more, and showing support for your partner in their interests even though you’re not entirely into it is a sign of being in a supportive relationship.
Being supportive lets the other person who they really are and supports them not changing the other person to a standard of what a perfect relationship is.
• Healthy and Constructive Arguments
Disagreements and arguments will always be present in every relationship. There are some relationships wherein partners tend to overstep and overprotect their partners to show affection, though this isn’t always the right decision. For example, Will Smith’s actions during the 2024 Oscars, you can read more about the incident on Lordping, this may be an indicator of being supportive, but it is far from genuine support. There is no denying that different people have different opinions on things.
People might think that the best relationships are those who do not involve any conflict at all, however, it is understanding how to argue and resolve differences together far outweighs the former. The main word that should be focused on is respect. Mutual respect. A significant other will not always agree with the other person’s choices and decisions. But disagreeing with one another does not always have to result in a big fight. Supportive partners try to understand where the other person is coming from, why they made this particular choice or decision, and try to explain the consequences of each decision. Supportive partners may even support the person, even if they don’t support the decision.
Being in a relationship is like being in a team. A team works hand-in-hand to achieve certain goals and helps each other to reach certain milestones. Reciprocity in a relationship also does not mean that if a person gives his/her partner a certain amount of something, it has to be given back the same amount. It is also not about keeping a scoreboard of what a person should give or owe the other person. Reciprocity in a supportive relationship is more properly defined by genuinely giving, be it time, efforts, or physical things, to your partner because you want to. Different people have different needs, and it doesn’t have to always be equal, but a supportive partner would give what his/her partner deserves nonetheless.
• Healthy Communication
All types of relationships, even non-romantic ones, require healthy communication to flourish. Be it in conflict, affection, or even just by simply asking your partner how his/her day went can make wonders in a relationship. Avoiding confrontations and arguments can be detrimental to a healthy relationship. As funny as it may seem, but confrontations and conflict can even strengthen a relationship. There are moments in life that serious problems and situations need to be addressed and allowing each other to talk about these problems and hearing each other’s side can benefit the future of one relationship. A supportive partner understands that conflicts are inevitable.
Conflicts and issues will eventually arise, but those in supportive relationships are able to overcome these challenges. A supportive partner never attacks his/her significant other personally and instead remains respectful and empathetic with their partner whatever the situation may be. Even simple communication such as letting the other person know of certain decisions, especially when the decisions that were made would directly affect the other person. In a relationship, privacy is still important but secrets are dangerous. Hiding things from the other person can result in the other person thinking of issues like mistrust.
At the end of the day, a supportive partner always thinks about the well-being of their partner. Understanding that your partner is a person with their own decisions and opinions is the first step to building a supportive relationship. And that love, respect, and communication are the foundations of a beautiful relationship.