I used to think that a supportive partner or friend was someone who constantly told me I was awesome and championed my every idea. But after 11 years of marriage, I've come to see that there are many iterations of support, all equally valuable in a relationship. Some are more overt and other have a way of sneaking up on you — which means you could be missing some of the signs you're in a supportive relationship. No matter which way it is coming at you, feeling supported is a crucial part of any successful twosome.
There are few things more satisfying that knowing the people you care about have your best interest at heart. They show they love and respect you when they extend their support. Although it may not always be what you want to hear, real support means saying the truth with the best of intentions. When you receive this type of reinforcement, it spurs you on to extend the same type of support to the people in your life. In the ideal scenario, you and your partner are both equally supportive up one another.
These nine signs you're in a supportive relationship show how standing by and lifting up the person you care about make all the difference.
1. You Have Regular Quality Time
To stay engaged with your partner about their goals and daily struggles, you need to set aside check-in time. According to Psychology Today, couples who make time to talk about what's on their mind and discuss plans for the future tend to have more supportive relationships.
2. You Show Empathy
When you need support, you're looking for someone who can connect with how you feel. When your partner tries to empathize with how you're feeling, you're more likely to feel like you have their support, according to Psych Central.
3. Encourage Growth
Supporting one another take practice and discernment. As Mind Body Green pointed out, "true support is about about encouraging someone's growth as a human being. Support doesn't mean we encourage people to do whatever they want, just because they want it."
4. You Pay Attention To Detail
Whenever I am embarking on a new endeavor, my husband shows his support by giving me something that will help me reach my goal. For example, when I started a new workout routine, he bought me running shoes. These actions show that he is listening and wants to help me succeed.
5. You Offer Help
When you're drowning in work, sometimes you need a helping hand. By helping out with responsibilities — both big and small — you can support your partner by lightening their load, according to Men's Health magazine.
6. You Don't Judge
Sometimes it's easy to judge others, but it definitely stings when you're on the receiving end. As Family Circle magazine pointed out, part of being supportive is withholding your judgement. When you feel seen and heard and not judged, it's a good sign you're in a supportive relationship.
7. You Cheer Each Other On
One of the most obvious ways to know you're in a supportive relationship, is when you see and hear your partner cheering you on. Knowing the person you love is in your corner gives you the motivation you need to achieve what you want.
8. You're Always Honest
Sometimes the truth hurts, but if it's given in a loving and thoughtful way, it can make all the difference. As Pysch Alive pointed out, to be honest in a supportive way, you must be clear about your intentions, and just blurt out your first thoughts and feelings.
9. You Feel Safe
When you feel like you won't have someone's support, it's easy to avoid telling them your thoughts and feelings. Feeling safe means you've come to expect that what you share will be met with support. And that's a great feeling to have in any relationship.