What makes a happy, healthy relationship?

Relationships  |  November 1, 2022

Recent research conducted by eharmony reveals that Australians define a happy, healthy relationship as a one that is trusting, honest and respectful. Almost every respondent (97%) agreed that trust, honesty and/or respect was important for being both happy and healthy in a romantic partnership. The top traits were closely followed by loyalty (69%), good communication (66%) and kindness (63%).


Almost every survey respondent defined a happy, healthy relationship as one that is trusting, honest and respectful

The ideal relationship

A happy, healthy relationship is something most Australian couples strive for, and according to the majority of those in a relationship (85%), regularly spending time together is essential to achieving it. It’s also important that both parties feel safe communicating. Of those in a relationship, the vast majority (82%) of respondents agreed that you need to feel comfortable expressing your opinions and concerns to your partner.

Maintaining a healthy relationship also requires making time for fun and spontaneity according to almost three-quarters (72%) of Aussies. Showing that you can’t give up “dating” once you’ve established your connection. It was noted by 69% of respondents that a happy, healthy couple wouldn’t restrict each other from being friends with someone; demonstrating the importance of maintaining independence in a partnership.


of those in relationships say it’s important to maintain independence in a relationship.


of people in relationships state the need for fun and spontaneity in a relationship

Men v women

Men and women differ slightly when it comes to the nitty-gritty of what a happy, healthy relationship looks like in practice.

  • 68% of women versus 48% of men believe that couples shouldn’t spend time on 0their phones when they’re with each other
  • 48% of women believe happy and healthy couples spend time apart, compared to 27% of men
  • 34% of women are more likely to need the approval of their friends and family in a relationship, while only 16% of men seek the same approval
  • One thing 52% of men and women can agree on is that having sex often would be typical of a happy, healthy relationship
% men who agree
% women who agree

Couples should ignore their phones when together

Happy couples should spend a certain amount of time apart

Family and friends should approve of my partner/relationship

Having sex often is typical of a happy, healthy relationship

n = 2,000; Percentages rounded; supported

Generational divide

55% of Gen Zs and 48% of millennials think spending time with each other’s families is an integral part of top tier relationship, compared to only 34% of Gen Y’s and 38% of Baby Boomers. 78% of baby boomers think a holiday together is a sign of a connected couple, whereas only 60% of Gen Zs agree. 82% of Australian boomers agree its normal to have arguments, but resolving them is key, while only 30% of Gen Zs would say the same. Every generation can agree that happy, healthy relationships laugh a lot with a similar amount of Gen Zs, Millennials, Gen Ys and Baby Boomers agreeing (66%, 69%, 67% and 67% respectively).

% of Baby Boomers that agree
% of Millenials that agree
% of Gen Z that agree

Spending time with each other’s families is integral to having a ‘top-tier’ relationship

Taking a holiday together is a sign of a connected couple

It is normal to have arguments (but resolving them is key)

Laughing together is important

n = 2,000; Percentages rounded; supported

Celebrity examples

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the relative publicity around the two royal couples, Prince William and Kate were considered to have a much healthier relationship than that of Harry and Meghan Markle. Other standouts were Australian actress Nicole Kidman and her husband, the musician Keith Urban, who have been married since 2006.

% of people who agree

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds

Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky

Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen

David and Victoria Beckham

Prince Harry and Megan Markle

Zendaya and Tom Holland

Beyonce and Jay-Z

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith

Matty J and Laura Byrn

Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly

n = 2,000; Percentages rounded; supported
Study information
  • Study typeOnline survey
  • Populationy2,000
  • Reference PeriodOctober 2022
  • Region/City/CountryAustralia
  • LanguageEnglish