A healthy relationship can be wholesome, enjoyable, and a source of calm and peace to you. You only have to do the work to make things better. In this article, we go through 15 tips for maintaining a healthy relationship.
1. Approve and Understand Yourself
Understanding and eventually approving yourself is the single most important thing to be done if you are to maintain a healthy relationship. Not just with others but with yourself as well.
When you understand yourself, seeing yourself for who you really are, all your flaws, and of course, all the good you are capable of, it becomes easy to accept yourself.
It also becomes easy to accept love from someone else. We often accept the love we think we deserve. And believing that you are deserving of your partner’s love is the only way to accept it.
Accepting it is, thus, the only way to truly maintain a healthy relationship with them.
2. Learn to Express Your Own Feelings
Expressing feelings is the foundation of a healthy relationship.
It is, therefore, necessary that you find ways to express yourself in healthy ways without projecting, virtue-signaling, or avoiding.
It helps to truly understand that your feelings, no matter how weird you think they are, are valid. And so are all your concerns about your partner and the relationship.
Your partner is not a mind reader. The best you can do for them is talk about your hurt and displeasure when you have to.
Related: Top 8 Qualities Of A Healthy Family
3. Learn Your Partner’s Love Language
It is one thing to love someone. But it is another to love them the way they need to be loved.
The manner in which a person desires to be loved is their love language. For some, physical touch makes the perfect display of love. For others, some acts of kindness and service stick. For some more, just spending time together goes a long way.
Find out what your partner’s love language is, and love them just that way. It can go a long way to make your relationship healthier and happier.
4. Create Boundaries
Boundaries, even though they might not seem so at first, are meant to protect you and your partner in the relationship. I like to view boundaries as a real-life fence that reads: “This is how far you can go.”
All healthy relationships comprise healthy boundaries that ought not to be crossed. While some boundaries are flexible, others are a bit firm. Together, these boundaries work to deepen respect and love between partners.
Create healthy boundaries for yourself and your partner. Let these boundaries guide the relationship and deepen your love for each other.
5. Listen More
If you just learn to listen a bit more, I can promise you that your relationship will begin to see many improvements.
Listening to our partners makes them feel loved and appreciated, opening them up even more. The opposite happens when we are in the habit of dismissing rather than listening.
When your partner expresses their concerns to you, try as much as you can not to blame them or talk over them. Just listen up until the point where they demand your response.
6. Don’t Escalate. Prioritize Problem Solving.
Since relationships are made up of two different people, who share different belief systems and ideas, there will always be periods of misunderstanding.
Dr. Jordan Peterson, Clinical Psychologist, author, and speaker, had this to say about relationships: “Relationships involve periods of peace punctuated by some misunderstanding.”
He went on to explain that it is only through problem-solving that couples can truly grow to love and understand each other.
This, therefore, means that if you are to maintain a healthy relationship, you will have to escalate less and solve more.
7. Don’t Cross Your Partner’s Boundaries
Just as it is helpful to create your own boundaries, it is also as helpful to show respect for your partner’s boundaries.
This shows that you respect your relationship as well as your partner. And respect translates as love and affection.
Do not say words that make your partner feel upset about themselves. Stick to only doing things that foster feelings of honor.
8. Have Independent Lives
You will be surprised to figure out that one of the telltale signs of an unhealthy relationship is the complete disappearance of independence.
This shows that one or both partners are controlling each other rather than working things out in such a way that allows them to live happily independently.
A healthy relationship works in a way that allows both partners to live as themselves while loving together and grooming a bond.
Be yourself; allow your partner to be themselves as well. Go out alone sometimes if you have to. Pay close attention to your hobbies and let your talents announce ‘you.’
Grow individually, and there is a big chance you will be able to grow together as a team.
9. Let Go
Healthy relationships don’t involve control. In itself, unhealthy control can be considered abuse and usually tells that one or both partners are afraid to be themselves in the relationship.
Psychologists, and rightly so, often link control to fear. Particularly the fear of letting life take its course. In relationships, it presents as the fear of letting the relationship take its course.
Do not let this fear consume you. Instead, though counterintuitive, let go. Allow your relationship takes its course, and enjoy every minute of it. Even moments when you have misunderstandings. Consider these moments of learning.
10. Be Vulnerable
When you have been able to let go of control and, of course, the fear and toxic shame associated with it, the vulnerability will come easier.
Every healthy relationship can be maintained by being more vulnerable with each other.
Let them see you for who you are and, in turn, accept you. Love is only “truly love” when flaws, as well as peculiarities and goods, can be accepted.
You know a person truly loves you when they do so in spite of all your flaws.
11. Do Tasks Together
Achieving tasks together has been seen to deepen bonds between any two people. You can, of course, maintain a healthy relationship by fostering feelings associated with teamwork.
When you begin to see your partner as your teammate, it becomes easier to love them. It also becomes easier to trust them because, of course, you know that they have your back no matter what.
You also know that, whatever comes, you both will find ways to work things out no matter what.
12. Don’t Act Based on Fear / Jealousy
Though jealousy can be a helpful feeling sometimes, most times, especially when it has been deepened by fear, it becomes problematic within the confines of the relationship.
Jealousy is so powerful sometimes that it can influence the way you view yourself, your partner, and the relationship itself. It can make you see issues where there are none.
Often, I have seen partners accuse each other of infidelity just because they felt a hunch groomed by jealousy.
What do you think will happen in such a relationship? Of course, there will be fights and unnecessary episodes of anxiety.
Whenever you feel jealous, it is best you do not act on your jealousy. It helps to remind yourself that you are good enough for your partner’s love and that they do not plan to harm you.
13. Be Trustworthy
If you are struggling with crippling difficulty in trusting your partner, it might be because you are doing a couple of things that make it hard to trust someone else.
In this case, it helps to become trustworthy.
Tighten your own boundaries, and become more respectful of your partner and your relationship.
We have seen that placing more respect in your relationship is able to make it deeper and better. Respect is key to maintaining a healthy relationship.
14. Be Affectionate
Affection is vital in any relationship. You ought to show and tell your partner that you hold them dear and love them for who they are.
This means you have to express your love verbally. This will mean more compliments, more random texts and calls, and more teasing and playing.
Also, you ought to show your love as well. This means more gifts. Gifting is a great way to show affection. As mentioned above, to some, it is a love language.
You will have to go out more and spend time together. Random hugs are fine as well.
15. Be Intimate
This means that you have to be intimate as often as possible. Intimacy includes, but is not only limited to, sex. It can be many things: laying in bed together in silence, cuddling, or seeing a movie you both love.
It can be anything at all that makes you both feel closer to each other.
Maintaining healthy relationships can be a bit of hard work sometimes. But in the end, it is always worth it. Do anything that makes you both feel closer to each other.