A healthy relationship requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.
Everyone deserves to be in a healthy and loving relationship with the right person by their side. A healthy relationship is completely possible, but of course, with some efforts. If you want to be that #relationshipgoals couple, here are the 10 essential pillars of a healthy relationship.
You’ve definitely heard the cliché “communication is key.” But it’s a cliché for a reason. Good communication is one of the most important pillars of having a healthy relationship.
In a new relationship, it’s crucial to be able to talk about what you both want and expect. Sometimes this means being honest and having some uncomfortable conversations, but if you’re in a healthy relationship your partner will be receptive and listen (and you should do the same).
While communication is important, you should both be comfortable with how often you talk to one another. If your partner needs you to always answer instantaneously and text them all day long, and you don’t want that, that’s not healthy.
On the other hand, if your partner is always ignoring your texts and it doesn’t make you feel good, then that’s not healthy either.
Finding a communication balance that you’re both comfortable with is extremely important.
Listening to your partner (like actually listening, not just waiting for the other person to stop) and trying to understand their perspective is a key way to show respect in your relationship. Sometimes listening to what the other person has to say is the utmost respect you can offer.
Even if you disagree on something, respect your partner’s choices and opinions. Don’t try to convince them to change their mind about things that are important to them, like going abroad for a job or changing their carrier.
In a healthy relationship, both partners will have mutual respect for one another. Just because you don’t always see it that way, it doesn’t mean that one person needs to change their mind for the relationship to work.
This one is really crucial. All healthy relationships require mutual trust between partners. Regardless of what either partner has experienced in the past, like a cheating ex or a parent’s divorce, in a healthy relationship your partner will trust you completely.
But do remember that it takes time to build trust and a moment to shatter it. So, when your partner fully trusts you with their feelings, you should respect them and not betray their trust.
Cheating on them or doing things to make them jealous isn’t right. On the flip side, if you don’t trust your partner then you shouldn’t be with them.
Whether it is a friendship or a relationship, all bonds are built on trust. Without it, you have nothing.
We all have personal boundaries that make us feel good, comfortable, safe, etc. In a healthy relationship, you should feel 100% comfortable communicating those boundaries with your partner and know that they will be respected (and vice versa)
If you only want to hang out 3 times a week – that’s fine; if you want to wait before getting intimate – totally cool; if you want a night out alone with your BFFs – do it! Remember that you shouldn’t feel nervous or scared to set personal boundaries in any relationship.
One of the best things about being in a healthy relationship is having a supportive partner on whom you can bet. Whether it’s standing for you when someone says something mean about you, or always being that rock you can rely on, in a healthy relationship you and your partner will support each other and treat each other as equals. You should be their equal half, not the better half.
Words also matter. When you talk, do you often use words like “we,” “us,” and “our?” If someone asks, “What are you up to these days” do you reply with, “We are planning for a holiday”? That use of “we” shows a strong sense of intimacy in your relationship. The couples who are interconnected like this tend to be more satisfied and committed.
6. Keeping the Cool
In happy relationships, partners try to empathize with each other and understand each other’s perspectives instead of constantly trying to be right.
It is crucial to control your anxiety and emotions. So, during any disagreement, keep your mouth shut and don’t act out. If you can’t help yourself from getting mad, take a break by heading out for a stroll, reading a book or calling a friend — anything that avoids a blunder.
No partner is perfect. So, if you can overlook those little things for a while and just focus on what’s important, it’s good for the body, good for the mind and great for the relationship.
7. Being YOU
You and your partner should accept each other for who you are. So, you don’t need to change each other. You can simply be yourself and show your true personality without worrying about your partner being judgemental about you.
And that works. The partners who accept each other tend to be more satisfied with their relationships.
Find someone who loves you for exactly who you are. The good, the bad, the everything, the YOU.
If your partner is your best friend, trust me, you don’t need anything else in life because research suggests that romantic partners who emphasize friendship tend to be more committed and experience more gratification. (physically and emotionally)
If your partner is your friend, it brings out emotional intimacy, affection, and maintains a strong bond between you because you’ll know each other like the back of your hand.
One of the myths of a “Perfect” relationship is the “No Disagreement” clause. But in my eyes, if your relationship is healthy, you shouldn’t be afraid of (respectful) disagreement. Some couples talk things out quietly, while others may raise their voices and passionately disagree.
The key to a strong relationship is not to be fearful of conflict but to feel safe to express things that bother you without fear of harm. You should be able to resolve conflict without being a critic or humiliated or insisting on being right. You just need to choose the right words with the right intensity.
Too often a relationship becomes about keeping score of who wins and who loses. It’s not about settling the scores. If you care about that person enough, none of that matters, the only thing that matters is the two of you can find a way to come to an agreement and move forward.
10. Maintaining Interests
This is the most common thing that I’ve witnessed in many relationships. One of the partners gives up hobbies to invest in their relationship but this is totally unnecessary.
You should keep your interests alive. Despite the claims of romantic fiction or movies, no one person can ever meet all of your needs. In fact, expecting too much from your partner can put unhealthy pressure on a relationship.
To enrich your romantic relationship, it’s important to make your own identity outside of the relationship, preserve connections with family and friends, and pursue your hobbies and interests.
Happier Relationships, Happier Lives
Finally, the quality of a person’s relationships decides the quality of their life. Good relationships aren’t just happier and nicer, When we know how to heal relationships and keep them strong, they make us flexible.
So today, spend a few moments reflecting on how each of these applies to your own relationship. You may want to give yourself some kind of score to affirm your relationship is in good shape. How many of those 10 pillars do you have? How many do you lack?
But that’s not the point. Chances are, your relationship has all 10. The key is to do a better job of noticing, nourishing and strengthening them
A true relationship is two imperfect people refusing to give up on each other.
Stay tuned for my next article on-
‘How to keep your romantic relationship healthy’.
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