Ask several people to define a healthy relationship, and you will get all sorts of answers. Each person has their own detailed definition of a healthy relationship. Even so, all of us can agree on one thing; a healthy relationship doesn’t just come about by itself. Each person must play a role to improve the state of their relationship.
Yet, the world offers so much advice on how to build a healthy relationship. Surprise your partner, buy her flowers, cook for him a new dish; the list is countless. With all these available tips and pieces of advice, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and confused.
The good news is; you don’t actually have to follow through all the thousands of tips provided by other people or on the Internet. You can make yours a healthy and fulfilling relationship by following just 5 simple, yet very essential tips. Do you want to know the 5 Tips on How to Build a Healthy Relationship? Well, read on!
5 Tips for Building a Healthy Relationship
Professor Wassilios Fthenakis, an enthusiast of family life, noted that “people look for intimacy and want to find a maximum of happiness in their relationship.” Yet, these feelings of euphoria usually end up being unrealized in most relationships, with these only proving to be unhealthy relationships in the long run.
Still, this does not mean that the relationship with your partner is also doomed to fail. Even if you have been unsuccessful in building a good relationship in the past, you can still do that now. Yes, you and your partner are not a lost cause; you still have hope. However, you have to be ready to put in some extra effort. A healthy relationship between the two of you won’t just happen. Think of it this way.
They say, ‘home is where the heart is.’ This statement is used to mean that once you love someone, then your relationship with them becomes like a cozy home to you. Yet even a literal home takes time and effort you build. You have to pay contractors to build the home and spend money buying decorative items for the home. If a literal home requires so much effort to make it comfortable, then how much more so ‘a home where the heart is’?
Falling in love is easy; it takes seconds to fall in love. However, staying in a relationship is not as easy; it requires time, effort, and commitment. Both you and your partner need to work at making your relationship healthy. The following are 5 tips that, when put into practice, will help you build a healthy relationship.
1. Spend Quality Time with your Partner
You see your partner everyday. He or she is the first person you talk to everyday, and most likely the last person you talk to and kiss goodnight. The fact that you see them everyday means that yours is a healthy relationship, right? Absolutely not.
Spending quality time with your partner means more than just the daily routine of seeing and talking to your spouse. It’s more than just watching Netflix with your partner and eating popcorns together. You need to actually set aside time to spend with your partner.
However, the increasing demands of work and busy schedules make it even more difficult to find free time to spend with others. Most of us don’t even find time for ourselves. So, how can you make time to spend with your partner?
Start out with the small things. For instance, after work, can you cook dinner together? How about taking up a common hobby that you engage in during the weekends. Also, you can consider exercising together each morning. And, when you do find some free time off work, go out to a park, or eat out at a restaurant.
Doing such small things together is guaranteed to bring you closer to your spouse. When you watch and listen to each other during these simple occasions, you will continue falling more in love with your partner every day.
2. Connect with your Partner through Good Communication
Have you ever tried opening a door that had not been used for quite a while? The rusted hinges of the door might have given way after some squeaking. What about a door that is regularly used, and its hinges are regularly greased? No doubt such doors are quite easy to open. The same case applies to the door of communication. When you regularly communicate with your spouse, it will be much easier for you to solve problems and build a healthy relationship.
Frank communication between couples is very important. Simply put: the more you communicate with your partner, the lesser the problems and misunderstandings you will experience. Communication involves two main things:
- Speaking out verbally
- Learning the body language of your partner
Speaking out our minds doesn’t come out naturally. However, you need to learn how to share your thoughts and feelings with your spouse. After all, your partner is not a mind reader. Keeping thoughts and complains to yourself won’t do you any good. Rather, it will only serve to strain your relationship in the long run.
Also, remember to choose the appropriate time to speak with your mate. For instance, if you notice that your partner is too tired from work, could you consider giving them some time to relax and refresh. The Journal of Applied Science, ‘Effect of family problem-solving on marital satisfaction’, encourages couples to find the appropriate time to communicate. Create a good environment for communication. And, when you do start talking, do so in a kind and loving manner. Such open communication is the key to a happy and healthy relationship.
3. Respect is the Foundation of a Healthy Relationship
Every person wants their relationship to always remain fun and exciting. However, this does not mean that you disrespect your spouse. Respect in a relationship is more of a necessity than a luxury. When respect is lacking in a marriage, this could lead to the relationship breaking at some point. So, how can you show deep respect for your spouse?
Men in particular have a need for respect. Your partner needs to feel that he can solve problems, handle all situations, and generally take good care of the family. When you take note of these capabilities and actually respect your spouse for these accomplishments, they will love you even more. In other words, respect can be said to go hand in hand with love; the deeper the respect you show to your mate, the more he will love you.
The female gender also needs to be respected. Husbands do well to attach importance to the feelings and thoughts of their wives. Make your lady feel that she is of great value and is desirable. Also, respect in relationship means giving your partner their own space. Don’t be the sort that goes about asking for your partner’s phone passwords; you don’t own them. As a matter of fact, behaving as if you own your partner could cause your relationship to rift.
Therefore, cultivate respect for your partner. Let it show in your words and actions. And, when you have made respect a major part of your relationship, then you will have attained the real meaning of a healthy relationship.
4. Have Patience – a Golden Rule for a Healthy Relationship
When you were single, patience wasn’t that much of a big deal. However, now that you have settled with your spouse, you realize that your patience is tested daily. The ‘Romeo and Juliet’ romantic feeling that you once felt for each other is gradually wearing off, and you have now started noticing the less desirable qualities of your partner. When this negative attitude starts to creep in, it is time to cultivate patience.
When you are patient, you realize that your spouse is not perfect. Therefore, you won’t expect 100% from them. Also, patience will help you learn how to compromise. Healthy relationships only develop when there is appropriate exchange.
So, don’t always insist to have your way. Remember, the main goal here is to build a healthy relationship, and not to win over your spouse. Therefore, always be ready to let go of your opinions and compromise. Like they say, ‘if you want something, you must let go of something.’
Also, think about how you react to disagreements. How do you behave when your partner makes a mistake? Cultivating patience will help you to overlook the minor mistakes that your spouse makes. And even when these mistakes are too big such that you can’t ignore or overlook them, patience will help you talk these out with your spouse, in a mature and loving way. After all, if the damage has already been done, arguing will do nothing to solve it.
5. Don’t Vent Stress and Frustration on your Partner
In all relationships, stress is bound to be there from time to time. This could be due to work pressures, health problems, or even problems within the family, such as financial strains, difficulties in raising children, or even the death of a loved family member. Such stress can lead to unnecessary conflicts in relationships, as either one or both partners are simply too stressed to deal with their emotions.
When most people in relationships get stressed, these tend to vent their frustrations on their partners. However, note that venting out stress on your partner is not the best way to go about your pressures. Taking out anger on others is actually like poisoning your relationship with them. So, find a better solution to deal with your stress, rather than venting it out on others.
One of the most selling books, ‘Overcoming Stress’, has a chapter with the title ‘Kill Your Stress with Kindness.’ In this chapter, Dr. Tim Cantopher mentions that being kind to others when stressed can actually do a lot to help you heal. More so, doing so promotes healthier relationships with others.
Therefore, rather than vent your stress and frustration to your partner, try to be more kind. Sit together with your spouse. In a kind manner, explain to them your situation. Listen attentively as they try to help you. Also, when you are stressed, try to remember the ‘good old times’ and all the fun than you had with your spouse. Reviving such good memories and being kind to your spouse will do a lot to help your relationship grow happier and healthier.
Life changes over time. The ‘You’ you were when you first met with your partner is not the ‘You’ you are now. Let the same case apply to your relationship. Do you remember how you were head over heels for your partner when you first saw him? Well, you can still cultivate an even better feeling than that now, even if your relationship seems to be already strained.
The 5 above simple tips can help you do that. Discuss these with your partner and put them into practice. And, when you do, your relationship will remain a healthy and strong one, no matter what comes your way!