The 3 Major Keys to a Healthy Relationship
The 3 Major Keys to a Healthy Relationship
Maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner isn’t as easy as it seems. By developing or strengthening some of the relationship habits that came so naturally years ago, you can reignite old feelings and build a healthier, happier, sexier, and more mindful relationship with your partner.
Even if things have grown difficult between you, and there are challenging issues to deal with, it’s possible to learn how to have a healthy relationship. Just adopting a few new positive behaviors or dropping some negative habits can change the entire tenor of your relationship. Because you are now paying attention with intention to your partner and the quality of your connection, you will see a positive shift in the way you interact with one another.
These habits will help you be more present with one another, communicate better, avoid divisive arguments, and understand and respond to one another’s needs in a more loving, empathic, and conscious way.
We know the idea of “developing habits” to improve your relationship might not seem sexy or appealing. Most of us think of hard work when we think about adopting new habits and dropping bad ones. We’ve all been through the struggles of trying to lose weight, start an exercise routine, or declutter our homes—only to give up too soon and feel like failures.
1. Embrace Your Love Languages
It’s natural to assume that what makes you feel loved and happy is what will make your partner feel loved and happy. But the truth is, if you are making a special effort to express your love in ways that feel good for you, you may be missing the mark with your partner.
Do you really know what makes your partner feel loved, cherished, and happy in your relationship? If you haven’t asked directly (or been told directly), your genuine efforts in building a healthy relationship might not be having the desired effect.
One of the most fundamental aspects of a mindful, intimate connection with one another is expressing and offering what author and relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman calls your “love languages.”
You and your partner should be aware of your own love languages, and you should be willing to show love in the way your partner receives it. Without this understanding, you might end up feeling resentful that your needs aren’t being met or frustrated that your loving efforts with your partner are unappreciated.
2. Initiate Productive Conflict
One of the best relationship tips to prevent a conflict from turning into a full-blown fight is by initiating productive conflict from the outset. We often initiate a conversation with our partner, knowing that the topic has the potential to start an argument. Yet we forge on anyway, arming ourselves to convince or coerce our partner into accepting our “rightness” about the situation.
Generally, this tactic backfires. Rather than mindfully working out a problem as a team, we end up seething in our separate corners, assured that the other person is unreasonable and selfish.
Empathy, negotiation, and compromise are essential to solving your solvable problems with your partner. As much as we might feel we have the right answer and want things to go our own way, we must put the health and strength of the relationship ahead of our own individual needs.
Initiating a conflict or potentially acrimonious discussion with some productive communication skills makes it a whole lot easier to navigate conflict with a lot less pain.
3. Use “I Feel” Instead of “You”
“You are so lazy. You never clean up after yourself.”
“You never pay attention to what I say.”
“You are self-centered, and you clearly don’t care about my feelings.”
Have you and your partner fallen into the habit of pointing the finger of blame or shame at one another when you feel wounded or angry? Have you tried looking for the best healthy relationship tips but none of them helped? If you find yourself telling your partner what he is doing wrong or defining her by the behaviors that are bothering you, you’re not alone. Most couples fall into this pattern after the initial infatuation phase begins to wane.
As a couple, you don’t want to get stuck in this phase of deflecting blame and hurling criticism. In a mindful relationship, you need to focus less on criticizing your partner and more on communicating how the behavior makes you feel.