Of course, we want all the relationships we enter into to be healthy, not just the romantic ones. We want good relationships with friends, families, children, siblings, etc, but for the purpose of this article I'm going to concentrate on the romantic variety of relationships (though much of this advice will work for other types of relationships too),
People make a lot of mistakes on their quest for love. They overlook very obvious signs of trouble in the beginning. Its' much easier to end a relationship when you start to see signs that the person you're involved with isn't really right for you, early in the relationship. The further the relationship progresses, and the deeper the feelings become, the harder it is to end things.
That's why it's so important to take off the blinders right from the start. Now, a word of caution, you can't get too caught up on every little thing and set your expectations so high that you're being unreasonable either. No one is perfect, not even you. The trick is to find someone as close to your definition of perfect as possible.
Someone who lies, especially early in the relationship when everyone is supposed to be on their best behavior, should be a deal breaker. Someone who is always a few minutes late, while annoying, might be something you will be able to overlook if everything else is wonderful.
You do have to pick and choose, just like they will have to do with you and your foibles. The point is that things that are a sign of a serious character flaw such as lying, cheating, or being abusive are not the kinds of things that should be overlooked. More often than not, these traits tend to get worse with familiarity which means the longer the two of you are together, the worse things will probably become.
So the next time that 'great' new guy you just met makes a 'joke' about how fat you're getting you really need to stop and think. If his 'jokes' bother you, tell him. The way he responds will tell you all you need to know. If he sincerely apologizes for hurting your feelings and follows that apology up by not doing it anymore he was probably really just making a joke and meant no harm.
But if he turns it around on you and blames you for being 'too sensitive' and then continues to do it over and over again (or some variation thereof) he's an abusive person and you should kick him to the curb before it goes any further.
There is a lot of information available on how to find and have healthy relationships, and a lot of it can be helpful. But in the end, you'll have to rely on your own common sense and if you don't ignore the warning signs early on you'll greatly increase your chances of finding someone who can make you happy for the long haul.