Every relationship is different, and people meet for many reasons. A healthy relationship has a common goal for what it wants to be and where it wants to go. And you can only find out by being honest with your partner.
But most healthy relationships share some traits. Whatever your goals or challenges, knowing these basic principles can help keep your relationship meaningful, fulfilling, and exciting.
The following advice can help you keep that feeling of being in love and keep your relationship healthy.
1. Spend face-to-face time with your loved one.
Commit to regular quality time together. No matter how busy you are, set aside your devices, stop thinking about other things, and focus on and connect with your partner for a few minutes or hours daily.
Find a shared hobby, a dance class, a daily walk, or just a cup of coffee in the morning.
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2. Maintain Communication
A healthy relationship requires good communication. You feel safe and happy when you have a strong emotional bond with your partner. People stop relating when they stop communicating well, and change or stress can exacerbate the problem. It sounds simple, but as long as you communicate, you can usually solve problems.
3. Listen Well
Despite our culture’s emphasis on talking, learning to listen well can help you form deeper, more meaningful connections with others.
This is not the same as hearing. When you really listen to what your partner is saying, you can hear the subtle intonations in their voice that convey their true feelings and emotions. Being a good listener does not require you to agree or change your mind. But it will help you find common ground to resolve conflicts.
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4. Don’t Leave Your Partner Guessing.
When you can read your partner’s non-verbal cues, you can tell how they truly feel and respond accordingly. To have a healthy relationship, both partners must understand nonverbal cues. Your partner’s reactions may be different.
5. Give and Take
In a relationship, expecting to always get your way is a recipe for disappointment. Relationships thrive on compromise. But it takes effort from both parties to ensure a fair exchange.
Recognize your partner’s priorities. Knowing your partner’s priorities can help foster goodwill and compromise. Conversely, it’s vital that your partner understands and respects your desires. Not taking care of your own needs will only lead to resentment and anger.
6. Learn respectful conflict resolution
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, but to keep it strong, both parties must feel heard. The goal is to keep and strengthen the relationship, not win.
Ensure you fight fairly. Focus on the issue and respect the other.
Don’t bring up old issues. Rather than blaming past conflicts or grudges, focus on what you can do now to solve the problem.
Be ready to pardon. You can’t resolve a conflict unless you forgive others.
Take a break if tense. Before you say or do something you’ll regret, relax and de-stress. Always remember you’re arguing with a loved one.
Know when to let go. If you can’t agree, agree to disagree. An argument requires two people. You can disengage and move on if a conflict is pointless.
7. Expect ups and downs
Every relationship has ups and downs. You won’t always agree. Sometimes one partner is dealing with a stressful issue, like a close family member’s death. Job loss or serious health issues can affect both partners and make it difficult to communicate.
Stress can make us irritable. Stress makes it easier to vent with your partner, and even safer to snap at them. This type of fight may feel good at first, but it slowly poisons your relationship. Locate more healthy ways to cope with stress.