Tips for maintaining a healthy relationship
Falling in love is a wonderful experience, but once you have finally ‘landed’ and secured a relationship with your chosen one, you begin a whole new journey – a journey of constant learning, ups and downs and a lot of self-discovery.
There are moments of joy, during which you feel complete, but there are also those moments when misunderstandings can get in the way of being truly happy, and in some cases result in the end of that relationship.
It’s important to consider that in today’s world full of high expectations and ideals, a world in which, with the development of technology, everything is much more accessible and readily available than ever before, human interactions, emotions and feelings will remain a complex matter. We can’t just ‘undo’ an action or ‘delete’ a certain person from our life. But we can try to improve our attitudes and ways of communication – something that requires time, perseverance and patience.
Being in a healthy relationship is vital for your sense of happiness and well-being. In some cases, this is easily achieved and in others it requires a little bit of work. Here a few tips on how to maintain a healthy and loving relationship with your partner.
1. Communication is Key
Discussing household responsibilities and other day-to-day topics is normal, but it is also important to talk through deeper and more personal issues in order to stay connected with your partner in the long-term.
Bottling up concerns or problems within you can result in a built up of negative emotions that will eventually end in an outburst. If something is bothering you, take some time to calmly discuss the issue with your partner. Let them know that you care about them, which is why you want to resolve this. It is not a game where one has to win and the other lose. Remember that you are in this together, as a team. Therefore, it’s for the benefit of both parts to talk through issues and look for ways to improve the situation.
Disagreements can occur in any relationship but, as experts emphasise, the style of communication is key. Avoid personal criticism, yelling at each other as well as using aggressive language or gestures. Instead, take it in turns to listen to one another and try to understand what your partner is feeling. Other constructive strategies include allowing your partner to express their point of view and trying to make him or her laugh.
2. Take Responsibility for Your Own Happiness
Sometimes we can rely a little too much on our partner to make us feel valued and happy. So spend some time reflecting on the things that can make you truly happy from within, without the constant emotional support of your partner. Take on a hobby, meet with friends, take good care of your health and well-being and remember that there are many sources of happiness out there – it’s up to you to discover them.
3. Keep Things Interesting
For couples that have been in a relationship for years, and with all the other responsibilities in their busy lives, it can be easy to lose the connection and experience a sense of boredom. That is why adding a bit of variety every now and again can be healthy for your relationship. If you always stay in and watch TV, try going on a dinner date at a restaurant that you have never been to before. Experts also recommend doing other activities such as going to a dancing class together or packing an afternoon picnic.
Intimacy is also important, so ensure that you allocate some time for sex. Even if you are busy, make sure to have on your weekly ‘to-do’ list. It may seem silly to even write it down in your calendar but if there are many things going on in your life, this can be a good way to ensure you also spend some private time with your partner.
4. Give What You Want to Receive
If you want to feel understood make an effort to understand your partner too. If you want to feel more love, give and express more love. Be kind, be gentle and smile, and you’ll get the same in return – simple, yet effective.
5. Do Not Try to Change Your Partner
A person can only change if they really want to. If you forcefully try to change something in your partner, chances are you won’t succeed. They have a personality of their own and asking them to suddenly change to meet your own ideals and expectations will not work. In the same way you can’t change who you are in response to their demands. This is where clear, constructive communication and compromises come in.
6. Show Respect Towards One Another
Respect and value each other’s likes and needs – an important step towards creating and maintaining a harmonious and healthy relationship. Remember to be considerate towards your partner’s hobbies and other activities which may not always include you. It’s normal to allow for some personal space so that each of you can do the things that you enjoy and make you happy.
7. Do Not Let Anger Get to You
If you are having a difficult time controlling your anger, try to take a few moments away from your partner, take a few deep breaths and clear your mind. Sometimes the reason why we got angry in the first place seems to be completely small and insignificant once we have calmed down. It’s better to realise this while it’s still early and not after an argument. Remind yourself that being in an angry state of mind won’t help solve your problems, but a more relaxed and calm one can.
*** If, however, you feel a relationship is draining all of your energy, you are under constant stress, or your partner is being physically aggressive – always seek help and consider breaking up. You deserve to feel safe and accepted in your relationship! ***
1. American Psycological Associaiton ; Happy couples: how to keep your relationship happy – http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/healthy-relationships.aspx
2. Psycology Today; 10 Truths to Keep Your Relationship Healthy – http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-fitness/201107/10-truths-keep-your-relationship-healthy
3. Love is respect.org ; Healthy Relationships http://www.loveisrespect.org/dating-basics/healthy-relationships