Relationships have their ups and downs, and while many may not display it nowadays, they genuinely take work, commitment, and willingness to adapt and change from both parties. Anyone and everyone in all stages of a relationship can take steps to build a healthy relationship. A genuine, fulfilling relationship can be achieved where both parties are implementing healthy day-to-day tactics that lead to a happy and satisfying overall life. Feel free to read further for these tips and tactics.
- Accept and celebrate differences.
We’re all different from one another and we can perceive the world and situations in many different ways. This must often be remembered when differences arise and should play a big part in working out conflict. These differences in the heat of the moment may be perceived as an annoyance, but it can also be seen as an opportunity to appreciate our uniqueness. Most importantly, we must accept our differences as well as celebrate it, by appreciating the novelty of our partner.
- Communicate & listen effectively.
We often assume things or make our partners read our minds, but we must vocalize our needs, feelings and thoughts. With time this can get exceptionally difficult as we may think that our partner fully understands us enough to know what we are thinking or needing, but it is far from the truth, as people change. As much as we must communicate verbally, we should also take note of our partner’s nonverbal cues, which include Eye contact, tone of voice, posture, and gestures.
I also encourage you to practice active/reflective listening. Be genuinely interested in understanding what the other person is saying, thinking, and feeling, as well as what the message means, before responding. Provide feedback and showcase true understanding.
- Dedicate time to one another.
Quality time is often always generously accepted, but hard to be offered. Life’s demands and obligations may make it harder to find time for ourselves, let alone to spend with others, but we should go out of our way to MAKE time for those we genuinely seek a healthy relationship with.
Taking time to send a well thought out text instead of the usual hurried ones, sitting down together to carry out a conversation where you both take time to understand one another, and even participating in an activity that you both may enjoy can go a long way.
- Learn how to properly resolve conflict.
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, but how you resolve and deal with them can change. Both parties must participate in healthy conflict resolution instead of aiming to win or hold on to pride.
Below, HelpGuide.org has best outlined the top tips to properly survive the difficult times in every relationship.
Make sure you are fighting fair. Keep the focus on the issue at hand and respect the other person. Focus in on one issue at a time. Don’t start arguments over things that cannot be changed.
Don’t attack someone directly but use “I” statements to communicate how you feel. For example, instead of saying, “You make me feel bad” try “I feel bad when you do that.”
Don’t drag old arguments into the mix. Rather than looking to past conflicts or grudges and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the here-and-now to solve the problem.
Be willing to forgive. Resolving conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive othersand possibly ask for forgiveness.
If tempers flare, take a break. Take a few minutes to relieve stress and calm down before you say or do something you’ll regret.This is called an adult time-out. Always remember that you’re arguing with the person you love.
Know when to let something go. If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.
Don’t take out your problems on your partner. Life stresses can make us short tempered. If you are coping with a lot of stress, it might seem easier to vent to your partner about themselves when we are frustrated with external stressors, and even feel safer to snap at them. Fighting like this might initially feel like a release, but it slowly poisons your relationship. Find other healthier ways to manage your stress, anger, and frustration.
Trying to force a solution can cause even more problems. Every person works through problems and issues in their own way. Remember that you’re a team. Continuing to move forward together can get you through the rough spots.
Be open to change. Change is inevitable in life, and it will happen whether you go with it or fight it.The most successful person / couple is one that can adapt and adjust to inevitable change. Flexibility is essential to adapt to the change that is always taking place in any relationship, and it allows you to grow together through both the good times and the bad.
If you need outside help for your relationship, reach out together. Sometimes problems in a relationship can seem too complex or overwhelming for you to handle as a couple. Couples therapy or talking together with a trusted friend or religious figure are some ideas to of whom you can turn to in time of need.
- Understand what healthy relationships entail.
In order to maintain a healthy relationship, constant work needs to be put into it. A healthy relationship consists of many things, but mostly revolves around a mutual respect. Below is a great chart that highlights all of the best principles that a healthy relationship should have.
By researching this topic alone, you are already on the right track to building a healthy relationship. The initiative to do so is a huge step. If you would like more insight and one on one relationship counseling, feel free to reach out to me via the contact page.
Resources: 9 Principles for Healthy Relationships