How to build a strong and healthy relationship

10 tips for maintaining a strong and healthy relationship

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Most relationships seem effortless in the beginning, but any long-term relationship will require both partners to contribute and make sacrifices.  Like most things in life, you will only get out what you put it in.  In order to establish trust and a lasting relationship with your partner, it is important to invest your time and energy.  Fortunately, there are several ways you can accomplish this.  Here are 10 tips for fostering a strong and healthy relationship with your partner.

1)  Communicate

Communication is one of the most important aspects of any relationship.  Expressing your thoughts, feelings, and intentions will allow you and your partner to develop a mutual understanding.  In doing so, you can face conflicts as they arise and prevent unspoken disagreements from growing into more massive impediments.  Failure to communicate can also create walls between you and your partner, effectively inhibiting your from trusting or understanding one another.  Check in on with your partner frequently and make sure you remain on the same page.

2)  Accept each other’s differences

Unless the difference is so unbearable to you that it is a deal-breaker, try to accept your partner’s differences.   If you are constantly trying to change one another, then the relationship will suffer a lot of tension and may end up dissolving entirely.  Accepting each other as you are and learning to appreciate your differences will help you to feel more comfortable with one another.

3)  Be willing to compromise

You can’t expect everything to happen exactly as you want.  Everyone has their own agenda, so be willing to work with your partner to make agreeable decisions.  This not only prevents hostility, but it also promotes cooperation.  Pick your battles wisely and decide what you are open to negotiating.

4)  Listen and pay attention

Be attentive to your partner and show them that you care.  Demonstrate that you are interested in their thoughts and feelings by listening to them when they talk to you.  If you seem distracted or more focused on something else, they may interpret that as dismissive and unaffectionate.

5)  Spend time together and apart

There is a fine balance between ignoring your partner and being too clingy.  Although it will be different for every couple, figure out how much time you and your partner need for solitude and for spending time together.  Some partners will require a lot of time to themselves, while others will require a copious amount of attention.  In either case, it is necessary to determine what you and your partner desire and then find a happy medium.

6)  Be kind to their friends and family

Getting along with your partner’s friends and family is a significant feat to achieve if you are trying to stay with them in the long run.  Your partner will probably feel encouraged if their loved ones also accept you, just as you probably want your partner to be accepted by your friends and family.  Talking about or acting negatively towards people they are close to can also create distance between you and your partner.

7)  Establish mutual respect

You and your partner may disagree on certain things, but show them that you still respect their opinion.  Second guessing your partner’s decisions or treating them as if they are inferior will create a divide.  They should not have to prove themselves to you if you have already accepted them.  Providing your partner with the requisite amount of respect will allow them to feel loved and appreciated.

8)  Expect change

People are dynamic, constantly developing, and different situations may require your relationship to adapt.  Don’t be afraid of change.  Rather, embrace it and figure out how it can improve your relationship and bring you and your partner closer together.  There are countless milestones in a relationship that lead to drastic changes.  Whether its meeting each other’s families, getting married, or having children, you and your partner will have to face these changes together.

9)  Provide emotional support

Support your partner in their endeavors and passions both at work and at home.  This is especially important when they are dealing with a negative situation.  From screwing up at work to losing a family member, it is important that they know you are there for them.  Everyone likes to have somebody to turn to when they feel like all is lost and their back is against the wall.  Allow them to lean on you for emotional support when necessary and your relationship will be all the better for it.

10)  Seek out counseling

If you have been experiencing obstacles that are shaking the foundations of your relationship, but you still aren’t ready to give up, then don’t be afraid to seek out help.  Couples therapy, or even individual therapy for that matter, can provide you with useful guidance from an outside source.  Therapists can give you more objective advice and typically have experience working with couples.  Their insight can drastically improve your relationship, particularly if your partner is willing to participate. Even people with healthy relationships can still benefit from going to therapy and evaluating their state of their relationship and their goals.

Has your relationship been struggling?  What do you find most important in establishing a long-term relationship? Let us know about your experiences.

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