How to Have a Healthy Relationship

There are reliable tools that can be used to create a healthy relationship, many of which have not been taught in our culture. If you want to have a really healthy relationship, follow these simple guidelines.

  1. Do not expect anyone to be responsible for your happiness. Ask yourself why you aren’t happy. Too often, relationships fail because someone is unhappy and blames the partner. Your life is solely under your control, with your relationship you have to take the good with the bad. You need to give as well as take. This is with the exception of domestic violence.
  2. Make and keep clear agreements. Respect the differences between yourself and your partner. Do not expect your partner to agree with you on every issue. Reach a mutual agreement or plan, and then commit to it. If you say you’re going to meet your partner for lunch at noon, be on time or call if you absolutely must be late. If you agree to have a monogamous relationship, keep that agreement. Keeping agreements shows respect for yourself and your partner, as well as creating a sense of trust and safety.
  3. Use communication to establish a common ground to understand different points of view and to create a mutual, collaborative agreement or plan. You can choose to be right or to have a successful relationship. You can’t always have both. Many people argue to be “right” about something. They say. “If you loved me, you would…” and argue to hear the other say, “Fine, you’re right.” If you are generally more interested in being right, this approach will not create a healthy relationship. Having a healthy relationship means that, while you have your experience, and your partner has his or her experience, you love and share and learn from those experiences. And if you can’t reach any kind of mutual agreement, that doesn’t mean either of you are wrong.
  4. Approach your relationship as a learning experience. Each one has important information for you to learn. A true relationship will consist of both partners who need to equally contribute. Not only is that the only type of relationship that will work out, but it will work out in both of your favor.
  5. Tell the unarguable truth. Be truthful to yourself and your partner if you want true love. Many people are taught to lie to protect someone’s feelings, either their own or their partner’s. Lies create disconnection between you and your relationship, even if your partner never finds out about it. For any sort of relationship, to work you need to have trust.
  6. Forgive one another. Forgiveness is a decision of letting go of the past and focusing on the present. It’s about taking control of your current situation. Talk about the issue and try to reach a mutual agreement on how to handle the situation in the future and then commit to it. If you can’t reach an agreement, it’s a bad sign. If you learn from the past and do not repeat the same pattern, it’s a good sign. It’s the only way to prevent yourself from more disappointment, anger or resentment. Respect your partner, when your partner tells you to leave them alone, do give him or her the time and space.
  7. Review your expectations. Try to be as clear as you can about any expectations – including acceptable and unacceptable behavior and attitudes, especially attitudes towards money. Everybody needs love, intimacy, affection, and affirmation.
  8. Be Responsible. Here’s a new definition: responsible means having the ability to respond. Respond to the real problem, to your true needs. It does not mean you or your partner are to blame. There is tremendous power in claiming your creation. If you’ve been snippy to your partner, own up to it and say sorry. You’ll be amazed how this works
  9. Appreciate yourself and your partner. In the midst of an argument, it can be difficult to find something to appreciate. Start by generating appreciation in moments of non-stress, and that way when you need to be able to do it during a stressful conversation, it will be easier. One definition of appreciation is to be sensitively aware so you don’t have to be sugar-coating anything; so tell your beloved that you love him or her, and that you don’t want to argue but to talk and make it better.
  10. Admit your mistakes and say sorry. One possible way to do this is to talk after having a misunderstanding or argument. For example you can ask your partner to give you some time to think of the wrong and right things that you and he/she did. Ask your partner to do the same thing and talk to them when you are both ready. Ask your partner to give you time to talk and explain to them why you were angry, the wrong things you did, the things they did that you did not like and what you would like them to change. Ask your partner to do the same thing and give them a fair chance to talk and explain also. This will make your relationship stronger and help strengthen the communication between you and your partner.
  11. Spend some quality time together. No matter how busy you two are, there is always an excitement when you do something together, when you share your precious time. Play a sport, eat at a restaurant, or watch your favorite movies together. You will feel the magic of love and connection that you have with each other.
  12. Laugh Together. Not only is it true that laughter is the best medicine, but it’s also true that laughter can make a great relationship. In a tedious relationship, it is hard to communicate with your partner and share humorous feelings. Not only does laughing establish a connection, it can help keep passionate feelings in perspective.
  13. Develop a realistic expectation about sex and intimacy. This should not be based on what is taught in the media or films. This also implies finding new and creative ways to pleasing each other intimately.
  14. Arrange a safe haven (time and place) from the stressful daily hassles of life to enjoy one another. This can include a quiet dinner along the beach, a walk in the park, etc.
  15. Very importantly, support each other. If your partner has to do something for his school, studies or work, support them. This will make them feel loved, and it will make them realize that they also have a friend in you, not just a romantic interest. Be supportive. Be their number one fan.

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