10 Ways to Build a Healthy Relationship
A friend recently asked me, “What do you do differently to build long-lasting relationships?”
Honestly, nothing has taught me more about relationships than actually being in them. People’s emotions can be unpredictable and in certain situations, experience really is the best teacher. Thankfully, we can share the lessons we’ve learned with others to help them create better connections.
Below are 10 ways that I’ve found essential to keeping a strong romantic bond.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Have an issue? Speak up in a nice and calm way. Otherwise, your partner may not even know they did something that upset you. Holding grudges and harboring bad feelings leads to resentment.
Tell the truth and don’t keep secrets
It’s not worth lying and ends up making things worse in the long run. Plus, the truth usually hurts less than finding out a lie.
Learn to apologize
This was a hard one for me. If you did something wrong or got a little too angry, man-up and say you’re sorry. Sometimes you’ve got to drop your pride to make things right.
Don’t try to change your partner
You have to accept a person for who they are. Often we have expectations of what a person should be and try to force them into that mold. Instead, voice your concerns, work through them as a couple, and grow together.
Flirt and touch often
Many healthy couples that I’ve seen last for 20 or more years are still very attracted to each other. They flirt, tease, play around, and connect physically as well as emotionally. Keeping that passion alive on a regular basis is important.
Don’t guilt trip or do things with strings attached
When you do something, do it from the heart and without expecting something in return. Using your actions as leverage and guilt tripping is not a fair gesture.
Variety is the spice of life and without it, you can fall into boring routines. Go on a random adventure or discover new hobbies that you both enjoy. I’ve turned a relaxing Saturday afternoon into an journey of exciting cliff walks overlooking magnificent mansions. These memories keep life fresh and interesting.
It’s easy to become comfortable in a relationship and let yourself go a little. You may feel like you already “got” the girl but remember that a relationship always takes effort. Exercise, (cut out a 30-minute show a few times a week), keep clean, groom yourself, and dress up occasionally.
Arguments are going to break out, it’s normal. But try to not raise your voice, storm out, shut down, or swear at each other. Stick to the topic at hand and avoid personal attacks. Also, touching (like holding hands) can really help during those tense moments.
Don’t stay in a relationship that makes you miserable
A relationship should make you happier being in it than not. As a couple, is there a bright future ahead? You should be excited for the times ahead and not dread tackling problems together.
What life lessons have you applied to improve your own relationships?