Healthy relationships allow you to express your individuality (both with and without your partner), bring out the best in both of you, and encourage growth. Especially if you are in a new relationship, it’s best to set a foundation for a positive and healthy relationship from the start. By setting your focus on respect and helpful communication, you can enjoy a healthy and satisfying relationship.
A. How to Build a Healthy Relationship?
1. Speak Up
Don’t expect your partner to be able to read your mind or “figure it out.” If you have a need or want to express something, you need to communicate it yourself. It’s not fair to you or your partner when you don’t communicate your needs. Likewise, don’t hold in the things that bother you. If something is bothering you, say something to your partner.
2. Listen Intently
Part of a healthy relationship is knowing when to talk and when to listen. Develop your listening skills by not interrupting and letting your partner finish their thoughts and feelings.
3. Create Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are not meant to make you feel trapped; they are created to maintain respect and understand expectations in the relationship. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, bring it up and discuss how things need to change and how each of you will make changes.
4. Communicate Clearly
Without clear communication, a relationship can quickly bring out the worst in people. When you have a want or a need, express it to your partner clearly. Don’t beat around the bush or say something you think will please your partner when it makes you unhappy.
5. Express Emotions
Share your thoughts and feelings with your partner and stay open to the feelings that arise. Show interest in your partner’s feelings and support them during stressful situations. Connecting emotionally with your partner allows you to empathize with their experience.
6. Check In With Each Other
Make time periodically to discuss the relationship. Sometimes changes occur or schedules become busy and you may miss time to connect or talk about things. You may want to bring up relationship goals and expectations, as these can sometimes change.
B. Treating Each Other Well
1. Creating a Foundation of Respect
Relationships can be fun and exciting early on, yet it important to make sure that you and your partner are rooted in respect. Act in ways that demand respect from your partner. Strive to treat each other with respect at all times, even when you are mad at each other.
2. Appreciate Each Other
A healthy relationship should be one in which you and your partner feel appreciated. Often, relationships are built from many small things added one on top of the other. Find the things your partner does for you and say “thank you.” Instead of focusing on mistakes your partner makes, focus on the ways your partner adds to your life. When you notice something, speak out and show your appreciation.
3. Spend Quality Time Together
It’s easy to transition from face-to-face time together to digital communication. Yet, sometimes meanings can get lost in translation or non-verbal communication becomes non-existent. Spending quality time together can help strengthen your relationship and increase the bond you and your partner feel together.
4. Give Each Other Space
No one person can fulfill everything and every role for another person. Let your partner have time with friends and family and engage in hobbies. It’s important for each person to have their own friends and activities that are enjoyed on their own. While you may want to spend every moment together during the beginning of the relationship, respect each other enough to spend time apart and know that time spent apart doesn’t mean anything negative for the relationship.
5. Expect Changes
Know that your relationship will likely change. Allow growth for yourself, your partner, and for the relationship itself. Recognize that changes in your relationship are opportunities for new growth. Change is inevitable, so welcome changes and accept that the relationship will adapt.