Reviewed by Rashonda Douthit, LCSW
Being in a relationship with someone you love is supposed to give you strength during tough times. However, there are many people out there who struggle to maintain healthy relationships. You might be in a committed relationship right now that is somewhat tumultuous due to various differences with your partner. It isn’t unusual for your relationship health to come into question during stressful times, but not everyone knows how to be in a healthy relationship.
If you want to turn things around, then read on to get important tips to help you develop a healthy relationship with your significant other. A relationship is something that requires work, and you’re going to have a better relationship if you’re willing to grow alongside your partner. These tips will help you learn about healthy relationships and what you can do to be happy.
Work On Communication Issues
Communication issues are often the biggest hurdle that couples will need to overcome. You see, many people don’t understand how to talk to their partners about problems or important subjects. This causes feelings to get twisted due to people misunderstanding each other. You might wind up fighting because your partner said something that you understood in a different way than they intended.
Good communication is about being ready to sit down with your partner to figure things out. You need to learn how to have a solid dialogue with your partner about the things that matter to you as a couple. In many ways, strong communication is what defines a healthy relationship. If you can talk to each other and figure things out, then you’re going to have a much easier time maintaining a healthy relationship.
Of course, developing better communication skills on your own might be a little tough. This is why many couples turn to therapists or relationship counselors to get assistance. They can work with couples on communication skills while also addressing other problems. Some couples might need to learn to work through anger issues or jealousy problems so that good communication can become a regular thing.
There are also times when relationships have a hard time staying in a healthy place due to misplaced expectations. You’ll find that there are a few different ways that expectations can make your relationship worse than it should be. Your expectations might not line up very well with your partners, and this disconnect could cause some hurt feelings. It’s also possible that you might be expecting too much from your partner.
People aren’t perfect, and even those you love will make mistakes from time to time. You might wish for your partner to find success or do certain things differently. However, you shouldn’t place expectations on your partner that they don’t want for themselves. When you’re with someone, you should try to be as supportive as possible without trying to change them or mold them into something else.
Expectations in a relationship can be a good thing, but you need to talk about them together. You need to try to be honest with each other so that you can develop expectations together. Clearly defined expectations can help your relationship remain on solid ground, but skewed expectations can make it less likely that your relationship will thrive. Be mindful of this and try to start talking to your partner about expectations soon.
Learning How To Fight
Arguing with your partner isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it’s unlikely that two people in a relationship will get along 100% of the time. Even people you love will sometimes get on your nerves, and you might wind up arguing with your partner about various things over the years. Spats with your significant other aren’t pleasant, but you can try to mitigate things by knowing how not to make disagreements worse. Some people say horrible things when arguing with their partners, which escalates a little spat into something that can hurt their feelings very deeply.
It is important to keep your emotions in check even when you’re upset with your partner. If you’re both in a bad mood, then it’s sometimes healthier to agree to walk away so that you can cool down. When you both have anger issues, this can be pretty tough to do without a proper understanding of anger management techniques. You can de-escalate an argument and try to turn things around if you can approach the situation properly.
Improve Your Flexibility
Becoming a more flexible person can help your relationship to stay healthy as well. Sometimes it’s going to be tough to have everything line up perfectly in a relationship. You might have a hard time making time for one another if you’re both busy professionals. This is why it’s good to be flexible and to understand that you need to be able to “roll with the punches.”
If you’re able to be flexible about things with your partner, then you’ll have an easier time staying happy together. If a date has to be canceled because of a work meeting, it’s good to be understanding. As long as you know that your partner wants to make time for you, it’s going to be possible for everything to work out just fine. Try to be flexible in your relationship so that you can develop a healthy bond that you desire.
Do Things Together
Couples need to spend time together, and you might need to make a bit of an effort. Sometimes life gets in the way when you’re very busy with work responsibilities. Not having enough time to spend with your partner can make it tough to maintain a healthy relationship. Too much distance in a relationship can start to make it feel like you’re not really in a relationship at all.
Even if your time together is limited due to how busy you both are, it’s going to be good to plan things together. Go out on dates and try to make the most of the time that you do have. You should put forth an effort to spend time with the person that you love. Also, it’s good to do things together that you will both enjoy so that everyone has a good time.
Make Time For Intimacy
Making time for intimacy can improve the health of your relationship, too. What is a healthy relationship if it doesn’t involve intimacy? This isn’t referring to just sexual contact either. Intimacy is about being close to your partner and giving each other affection.
You can improve your intimacy over time by becoming more comfortable in the relationship. Even if you don’t live together, it can be very beneficial to make time for intimacy. This could be something as simple as cuddling up on the couch together when you both have a day off. Physical intimacy is nice, and can help your relationship to grow.
Remember That Independence Is Still Good
Independence is something that can strengthen your relationship in various ways. Some couples suffer because they get too dependent on one another. This can be especially bad when one member of the relationship becomes very needy and doesn’t have much of a social life outside of the relationship. Your relationship will be healthier if you can maintain friendships, hobbies, and social life.
It should be fine for you to spend some time just doing your own thing and enjoying yourself. You likely have some interests and hobbies that your partner isn’t into. This is a good chance for you to spend some time doing things that you love that will be fulfilling to you. If you can both do this, then you’ll have an easier time appreciating the time when you’re together.
What Is A Healthy Relationship?
Now that you’ve read through the tips above, it should be easier for you to form an idea of a healthy relationship. The healthy relationship definition that you come up with might be a little different than normal. Everyone has different expectations, desires, and standards. However, if you can take the above advice into account, it’ll be easier to grow your relationship to become stronger over time.
Not everyone has an easy time maintaining healthy relationships, though. If you still feel like you’re struggling, then you might need to seek out professional help. Thankfully, there are lots of options for relationship counseling that can make a difference. It’s even normal to feel a bit depressed if you have a tough time finding your groove in a relationship despite having strong feelings for your partner.
You can take this depression test to see if you are dealing with a type of depression or not. Those who are going through depression issues should know that they don’t have to do it alone. You can also make contact with a licensed mental health professional to get an official diagnosis and help. Addressing your depression problems can also positively impact your relationship.