Finding success in your life starts with having healthy relationships. Scientific research has proven that healthy relationships can decrease stress
, encourage healthy behaviors, and provide you with a strong sense of stability and purpose. When you manage to create and maintain these types of relationships, they become an integral part of your health and well-being. Don’t be mistaken; nurturing these connections takes an immense amount of work. It is not a one-off gesture that provides instant gratification for your partner, so if you’re considering planning an extravagant date night, or purchasing a gift, you’re not seeing the bigger picture.
There are certain habits and methods of communication that are necessary ingredients for a healthy relationship. Once you make a daily effort to practice the habits, these consistent and regular patterns of behavior will eventually become second nature to you, leading to a powerful and positive impact in your love life. If you’re looking to enhance your relationship, here’s the habits you need to adopt.
Prioritize alone time with your partner
Life can get hectic and between work commitments and your personal life, it’s rather easy to slip into autopilot when you are alone with your partner. Whether it’s watching TV, answering emails, or scrolling through social media, there’s no real connection being made with your partner. Setting time aside for one another, without any distractions, is a crucial component to improve your relationship and create a loving environment. When you invest time in your partner and explore common interests, not only do you find alternative ways to bond, but you also build into a deep sense of trust and intimacy.
Work on your communication skills
Good communication is the foundation and key to healthy relationships. Verbal and non-verbal cues are of the utmost importance, they bring people together and prevent any misunderstandings that can lead to fundamental disagreements over time. Jumping to conclusions without understanding the whole situation can quickly descend into anger, jealousy, and resentment. Instead, find non-judgemental ways to ask questions, ensure they are open-ended and allow your partner to explain what’s really going on. When you get comfortable with giving and receiving feedback, you will strengthen your relationship through seamless communication.
Arguing makes you stronger
You may have the most wonderful relationship and be head over heels in love, but this doesn’t mean there’s no room for disagreements. There will be times when you are not on the same page, or have clashing points of view. Leaving the issue alone is a temporary fix and it is almost inevitable that the scenario will arise in the future, at which point, you’ve had time to mull it over and become even more frustrated than when it first happened. Instead of letting things brew, take time to cool off and then address them as soon as possible. Remember, getting too personal and throwing out insults will only make the situation worse. Keep things focused, understand where your partner is coming from, and move on.
Learn how to apologize
It could be a minor issue, or something bigger, but it’s normal for couples to have disagreements or become frustrated with each other. Having the humility and maturity to know when you’re wrong and need to apologize is essential for a long-term relationship. It’s not just about saying sorry, it’s the need to take responsibility for your actions, realize your wrongdoing, and show that you are willing to change your behavior. Take note of when your partner is hurt, validate their feelings, and make an effort to prevent it in the future.
Show your gratitude
Getting into the habit of expressing gratitude for your partner will make them feel valued. You can do this by telling them in words, writing heartfelt letters, celebrating milestones, or giving them a gift. For many couples, showing gratitude towards one another only happens on rare occasions throughout the year, but if you can make an effort to do daily small acts of kindness, you will feel appreciated in your relationship and feel more inclined to do nice things for your partner.
Accept the people in each other’s lives
From time to time, you may feel a certain way about an individual in your partner’s life. Whether they are an overbearing old college friend, an interfering mother-in-law, or a nosy family friend, it might be tough to bite your lip and put on a brave face around them, but it’s the right thing to do. Healthy couples will recognize that no matter what they say, these people are important to their partner and therefore they must respect that. Of course, if they are a toxic person the situation is very different, but when you’re faced with someone that is important to your partner but grinds your gears, try to find your similarities and like-minded values so you can bond with them on common ground.
Celebrate each other’s differences
At the beginning of a relationship, the bond and connection between partners is very much focused on common interests and your likes and dislikes. But as the relationship goes on and other things about your partner are revealed, you will realize that you do in fact have some differences. When couples aren’t aware of this from the outset, it can provoke feelings of loneliness or abandonment, even though this may not be the case at all. In healthy relationships, couples will celebrate their differences, ask questions and understand what draws them to something. Doing this will strengthen your relationship and add a sense of exploration and curiosity.
Improving any relationship in your life requires you to spend a significant amount of time together in order to learn, grow, and love. But it’s not just about the love and time you spend with your partner, it’s also about the love and nurture you put into the relationship with yourself.
Carve out time to reflect on who you are, the journey you have been on individually, and identify where you would like to go in the future. By taking alone time to reflect, you can often identify the ways you can improve your relationships, understand how you can step up, and what you need in order to feel loved, secure, and wanted.