7 Essential Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Relationship
What is a healthy relationship?
We are all unique, and so are our relationships. No two people can have the same bond as the others. When we come together in a relationship we bring in our individuality, our expectations, and common goals. We all want different things in a relationship.
We make a meaningful emotional connection with each other. We give love andfeel loved and emotionally fulfilled. Wefeel accepted and valued by our partners. We are not afraid to speak our minds. We do not fear conflict. Conflicts can be healthy if done correctly.
We feel safe in each other’s company. We grow and help the other person grow. We become great friends. At the same time maintain our relationships with our family and friends as well. We share common interests. But we pursue our hobbies as well.
Healthy relationshipsincrease our happinessandimprove overall health. They provide us with the necessary affirmation and validation. It boosts our confidence, provides support and companionship, and reduces stress.Below are a few things that I believe are essential for a healthy relationship.
Be honest. Trust and respect each other
Honesty, trust and respect are the keystones of a healthy relationship. We need to be faithful and trust our partners. Are we being suspicious of them? Do we wonder who are they meeting and what are they doing when we are not around? Or is our partner suspicious of us?
If not addressed, this will harm our relationship. Baseless suspicion suffocates our partners making them want to run away from us. How do we treat our partners when angry or in an argument? It is easy to be kind and respectful during good times, but our behaviour in such testing times decides the fate of any relationship.
Make aneffort and put in the time
Each of us is different. When two people come together in a relationship, there are bound to be differences and conflicts. We have to pay attention to what bothers our partners. We must work to resolve our differences. We should commit to our relationship and be ready to walk the extra mile.
We mustaccommodateone another’sneeds and find solutions that suit both. We should respect and accept each other’sdifferencesand compromise wherever needed. Spending quality time together in an activity that both enjoy. It strengthens our bond. Being there for the partner in their difficult times deepens the faith and shows we are dependable. Having at least one meal together daily gives us a chance to share the day’s events and our life and connect better. Following through on our plans and fulfilling our commitments helps build trust.
Patient and open communication
Open communication starts with being a patient listener. We should not hesitate to communicate our personal needs, emotions or vulnerabilities. We must also listen patiently without interrupting and understand their perspective.
Over-reacting to situations, jumping to conclusions and judging friends and family of our partners will make them uncomfortable. This will also prevent them from opening up to us. Being honest, kind and straightforward in our communication prevents misunderstandings. We must treat our partners as equals while communicating.
Avoiding important matters like plans, finances, and children brings insecurity and suggests fear of commitment. We should own up to our mistakes, rectify them as soon as possible and apologize whenever needed. Denying our mistakes strains the relationship.
During stressful times it is easy to lose your cool and get angry. It can lead to fights where we vent out on our partner. It eventually sours our relationship. Exercise and talking to a friend or partner can help us deal with stress better. When in a fight, always calm down before communicating. Never abuse the partner – verbal or physical. Physical and mental abuse are red flags in any relationship. No sweet-talking, expensive gifts or fancy holidays can justify such behaviour.
Maintain a good sex life
Physical touch, holding hands, hugging, kissing and sex are ways of communicating affection. It triggers the secretion of the hormone – oxytocin. This boosts bonding and attachment to one another. Even if we have hectic work schedules or personal commitments, we must make some time to be intimate.
Being intimate doesn’t mean just having sex. It should also include spending romantic time talking to each other, holding hands making dinner together, etc. All these gestures communicate love. Though touch is important, one should be wary of the touch that makes our partner uncomfortable.
Respect each other’s boundariesand avoid controlling the other person
Setting boundaries helps the other person understand your likes and dislikes. Set your boundaries and let others know about them. It avoids embarrassment and unrealistic expectations.
No one is perfect. We must learn to accept our partners without trying to change them. We must accept their flaws as well. One can change over time or have a different approach to things. We should be flexible and keep room for growth. We should not try to controlour partners. Even when we are one in a relationship, we are individuals. We need to maintain our individualism and identity.
Our relationship requires us to take important decisions together. But we should be able to make our own decisions as well. Learn to appreciate each other’s individuality. Love and cherish the partner and also ourselves. We can provide support to others only when are strong and can support ourselves. We should be able to stand back on our own after a fall. Taking care of ourselves and following our values and hobbies helps us stay independent.
Give it time
Rome was not built in a day. A good relationship takes time and effort. It may seem that everyone’s relationship is perfect but they are all having their struggles.
Comparing our relationship to others is not fair. Everyone’s life is different and unique. It takes time to understand someone and know their positives and their shortcomings. Healthy relationships are developed and maintained. They get better over time. Planning ourfuturetogether brings a sense of commitment and stability. Sharing our experiences and feelings helps our partners know us better.
We should show interest in our partners’ lives by asking them about their activities and opinions. Small things such as complimenting our partners, buying them flowers or a small gift; positively reinforce the relationship. Checking on them when at work are ways to show them we care and grow our connection stronger.
Reflect and correct
Conflicts can help grow our relationship. Expressing our disagreements and disappointments politely and healthily makes the relationship stronger. When we are angry, we need to understand the reason for it and communicate well. When we make mistakes, we must accept them and correct our behaviour.
At the same time, we must not hesitate to politely point out the mistakes of our partners. We must learn from our past. Implement what works best for us in our relationships. Sometimes our problemsmay betoo complex or too challenging for usto handle. We feel like we have fallen into some kind of a loop. In such situations do not hesitate to seek external help. Discussing your issues with your well-wishers – your parents, a trusted friend or a counsellor may help you find a solution.