Are you in a healthy relationship? How to build one?
We are meant to be – is it as easy as it sounds?
Is a healthy relationship one where your partner will compliment you and bring out your best qualities? Will you begin to see untapped opportunities within yourself and in the world just because you are with this person? That may be the case, but remember that in any relationship you will face difficulties and your love will be tested.
If your expectations are for an effortless relationship, you might be in trouble, because you could feel the urge to give up at the earliest sign of any dispute.
A healthy relationship requires work
As romantic as a soul mate sounds, it also gives falls expectations because healthy relationships are developed and don’t just appear. It takes time and effort from both partners to build a fulfilling relationship. Partners have to be willing to be open and vulnerable in order to create an environment of mutual understanding and intimacy.
Whether your relationship is new or you’ve been together for many years, there are steps you can follow to build a healthy relationship. Don’t worry if you’ve had a lot of failed relationships in the past or struggled before to restart the romance in your current relationship, you can learn to stay connected, gain fulfilment, and experience lasting happiness.
What makes a healthy relationship?
Every relationship and people are different and unique. Part of what determines a healthy relationship is sharing a common goal for exactly what you want the relationship to be and where you see it going. You can only know that by talking deeply and honestly with your partner. Nonetheless, there are some characteristics that most healthy relationships have in common. Understanding these fundamental principles can help keep your relationship meaningful, fulfilling and exciting whatever goals you’re working towards or challenges you’re facing together.
The key to a strong relationship is not to be fearful of conflict. You need to feel safe to expose things that upset you without fear of punishment and be able to settle the conflict without humiliation, degradation, or insisting on being right.
Keep yourself in the relationship with all that interests you outside it – maintain connections with your family and friends, and keep your hobbies and interests. This will only benefit and enrich your romantic bond.
Working on your relationship as a priority
It is quite common for couples to focus on their relationship only when there are unavoidable problems to overcome. When they have been dealt with, their focus would go back to their careers, kids or other matters. This is where many fail because romantic relationships require ongoing attention and commitment for love to thrive.
Recognising and fixing a small problem in your relationship now can often help prevent it from growing into a much larger one down the road. Read the following tips that can help you to maintain that falling in love experience and keep your romantic bond healthy.
Spend quality time with each other
Falling in love is inseparable from looking at and listening to each other. As time goes by you have to continue to look and listen in the same attentive way and thus sustain the falling in love experience in your relationship. Often demands of work, family or other commitments can take up the most of your time. The emotional fulfilment you both need to feel loved can only be achieved in person, so no matter how busy life gets, it’s essential to find time just for both of you.
You should both commit to spending some quality time together. These are ideas you can consider:
- Find something you enjoy doing together;
- Focus on having fun together;
- Try new things, challenge each other;
Communication is a must in a healthy relationship
Remember, this is fundamental for a healthy relationship. Open, free and deep communication makes you feel safe, connected and happy. If a couple stops having good communication, they stop relating well and times of change or stress can really bring out the disconnect. As long as you are communicating, you can usually work through any problem you are having.
Let your partner know what are your needs. It’s not necessarily easy to talk about what you need. You may not even have formulated your needs but even if you have, talking about it can make you feel vulnerable, embarrassed, or even ashamed. But look at it from your partner’s perspective. Providing comfort and understanding to someone you love is not a burden but an enjoyable act.
Get to know the nonverbal language of your partner as it may say completely different story from what you can hear. When you experience positive emotional cues from your partner, you feel loved and happy, and vice versa. When you stop taking an interest in your own or your partner’s emotions, you will most likely damage the connection between both of you and it will show just in the right moment – during stressful moments.
Pay attention when your partner is talking. When you really listen, you’ll hear the subtle intonations in your partner’s voice that reveals you how they’re really feeling and the emotions they’re attempting to communicate. Being a good listener will help you find common points of view that can help you to resolve conflict.
Keep your physical intimacy alive
Touch is a fundamental part of human existence that starts at your birth. Studies show that affectionate contact boosts the body’s levels of oxytocin, a hormone that influences bonding and attachment, often called the love hormone.
While sex is often a foundation of a dedicated relationship, it isn’t the only form of physical intimacy. Holding hands, hugging, kissing, touching is equally important. A healthy relationship comes down to how well you communicate your needs and intentions with your partner to know or even feel the other person’s comfort zone and respect it.
Find some regular couple time even if other things are taking most of your attention (kids, work or other obligations), whether that’s in the form of a date night or simply an hour at the end of the day when you can sit or lay back and talk, touch and feel each other.
Healthy relationships are built on compromise
Knowing what is truly significant to your partner can go a long way towards building goodwill and an atmosphere of compromise. But be sure to remember about yourself – constantly giving to others at the expense of your own needs will only build bitterness and anger.
Conflict is unavoidable in any relationship, but in a strong relationship, both people need to feel they’ve been heard:
- Be willing to forgive;
- Don’t start arguments over things that cannot be changed;
- Don’t drag old arguments into the mix;
- Know when to let something go;
- Turn your differences into fair compromise.
There are ups and downs in every relationship
Life stresses can make us short-tempered. It might seem easier to vent with your partner, and you could feel safer to snap at them. After this kind of arguing you might initially feel better, but it slowly poisons your relationship. Find other healthier ways to manage your stress, anger, and frustration.
Know that every person works through problems and issues in their own way. Remember that you’re a team. Continuing to move forward together can get you through the bumpy bits.
Be open to change. Change is unavoidable in life, and you can choose to go with it or fight it. Flexibility is essential to adapt to the change that is always taking place in any relationship, and it allows you to grow together through the good times and the bad. Encourage each other to grow and change. In other words, inspire each other to be a better person.
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