As children, we think about what our future holds. We dream about finding the perfect partner and living happily ever after. These same dreams and expectations carry right on through our teenage years and adult lives. As we mature, we begin to become involved in new relationships.
As with everything else in life, there is a period when everything is still new, and we begin to settle in. In the beginning of the relationship, everything is great. But for some of us, as a relationship ages, there are things that are just not making it the best of relationships. We begin to think about breaking off the relationship because too many problems are adding up and preventing it from being a healthy relationship.
The number-one thing that needs to be present in each healthy relationship is communication. Without communication, the problems already causing us issues in the relationship may escalate. And both partners in the relationship must communicate. If just one is communicating, then the other’s needs go unmet. Both should be able to communicate openly and honestly with each other.
If we communicate with our partner and make sure we’re on the same page as our partner about what we need and want from the relationship, then we’re in agreement, so the relationship stays healthy. The following communication tips will help us keep things going smoothly.
1. Learn to compromise.
In all relationships, there will have to be some give and take. Having a disagreement doesn’t mean that the relationship is unhealthy. All normal, functioning relationships will come to points where compromise is going to be needed. A healthy relationship consists of the partners giving and taking.
2. Have respect.
Having respect for each other is something that needs to be at the top of our list. Mutual respect is something that keeps a healthy relationship flourishing. Our partner’s feelings are just as important as our own. Our significant other’s ideas are important, and making that clear makes for a happy relationship.
3. Don’t keep things bottled up.
If something’s bothering us in a relationship, then we need to be able to speak up and let our partner know how we’re feeling. Bottled-up emotions may expand and eventually break out, leaving a broken relationship.
4. Offer support.
There will be times when we’ll need to be supportive and encourage our partner. Day-to-day life can be rough enough, so let’s not allow loss of support to add to the strain. When a couple supports one another, their feelings will be great knowing what they can handle together. Together, the two can conquer the world!
Each of us needs our own personal space. It’s important to remember that both partners were individuals before the relationship. We and our partners will continue to need our own space after the relationship begins. There are still things that we can do without having to have our partner with us. Was shopping our favorite pastime before the relationship? If so, then be sure to continue to do that and other favorite activities from before this couple-stage of life.
Here are a few tips on having our own personal healthy boundaries.
• We should be able to spend time with our friends without our partners. If a partner is telling us not to go out with our friends, this isn’t healthy.
• We should be able to continue to do the hobbies that we enjoy.
• We shouldn’t have to share passwords to email or social media accounts. This also holds true for the password on our cell phone and other personal items.
• We should respect each other when it comes to likes and dislikes.
Red flags in unhealthy relationships.
As partners become more comfortable with each other, the new begins to wear off. There will be things about our partners that drive us nuts, but we learn to deal with them. However, there are certain things in relationships that should raise red flags.
• A relationship based on control and power is unhealthy. A healthy relationship is based on mutual respect.
• A partner not letting us pursue hobbies or leave home alone is a form of control and not healthy at all. A partner who is so jealous as to bombard our cell phone the minute we leave home with a friend is very unhealthy and can make us feel trapped.
• A partner’s quirks and demands becoming overbearing is unhealthy. We may not think of those little quirks too seriously in the beginning of the relationship, but if quirks and demands become overbearing, that’s not acceptable.
• A partner becoming so possessive that we almost feel smothered is unhealthy. This can be anything from not letting us go out alone to having to know who we talk to and what about.
• A partner not allowing us any privacy is also unhealthy. If we’re trying to do something like speak on the phone, and our partner follows us around to hear every word, this is a big red flag.
We should never, ever, ever tolerate any: accusations, yelling, pushing, hair-pulling, or any other violent or combative negative behavior. If a partner is abusive, it’s time to end the relationship until both can seek professional help. Taking a step back always lets us think more clearly.
If we feel like we’re walking on eggshells all the time, this isn’t a healthy relationship. If at any time we feel in danger, then it’s time to leave and be safe.
Good boosts for a healthy relationship.
There are times when every relationship could use a bit of a boost. It’s important to do new things together in order to grow as a couple.
• Enjoy spending time together and just doing nothing but relaxing.
• When times get busy, make sure we spend time with our partner, even when that time isn’t simple relaxation. Life gets hectic and can take a toll on even the healthiest of relationships.
• Remember to take care of ourselves. The better we feel, the more we’ll enjoy being with others. Watch our stress level and be sure we’re getting enough sleep and eating right.
All relationships will have ups and downs. But by compromising and communicating well, the relationship will rest on a solid foundation indeed!