10 Tips for Healthy Relationships

Synthia Stark

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Healthy relationships improve the state of our happiness, improve our overall health, and reduce the amount of stress that we have on any given day. When the times are tough, our partners are there by our sides to help us combat all the problems that are coming our way.

As scientific research and common sense have shown, to increase our happiness, we to make sure that the people supporting us are in a good place too. Sometimes that means doing things for our partners, to reciprocate the help that they have provided us. In return, they will help us back.

It’s not a competition against your partner. You’re not treading on eggshells around them. If you are, that’s the sign of an unhealthy relationship. If we look at this factually, there are essentially 5 options:

  • Stay but you have to be open to occasional compromises
  • Stay but don’t change and then things get worse
  • Leave but change with learning experiences and wisdom
  • Leave but don’t change and then things get worse with other relationships
  • Take a temporary break and then…. re-consider options 1–4

As you can tell, a lot of people want to make their relationships work.

While it’s not easy, relationships are often a long-term situation, where you’re in it for the long haul. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices to keep the clan afloat, such as spending more time with the family, especially since our lives on this earth are short.

You supported your partner, and they hopefully supported you back. Sometimes you had to make compromises because a relationship forces you to think about the perspectives of others. For example, if you’re a loving husband or loving wife, you will do a lot of things to make sure that the relationship stays afloat, including:

  • Working extra hours to ensure that you can pay the bills on time
  • Setting on a romantic night that has both your fave things and your partner’s fave things

Anyway, there are many ways to retain a healthy relationship. Even if it isn’t easy. Consider the following tips to help you out:

1. Keep Things Real and Simple

We want a lot of things from our partners and from ourselves. We just have to keep it easy and real. Extravagant plans fall apart, so take it easy, one step at a time.

We can’t control others to do our bidding, a relationship is an equal dynamic, and each party has equal say. Healthy relationships are like a team. Instead of fighting solo, you’re fighting together. The totality of the two will make up for the weaknesses of one party.

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2. Talk Directly and Clearly

Look, it’s pretty straight-forward but none of us are mindreaders. Your partner isn’t always able to read your body language reliably. If you have an issue, you have to find a way to verbalize it, even if it’s just a letter or a Word document with bullet notes.

On the upside, having things in writing means that no one can backtrack on what you are saying. Plus, you can communicate more effectively in the following ways:

  • By actively listening in to your partner and not interrupting them
  • Asking questions for genuine clarification
  • Actually setting aside the time to talk, even if that means scheduling a time on your calendar like as if its an appointment
  • Sharing what you know or have researched about in the past

However, just I said earlier, take it easy and keep things simple and realistic. Don’t bombard your partner with a verbal essay.

3. Be Open-Minded and Flexible

It’s okay to be nervous and uneasy about sharing things, especially if you want to make active changes in your relationship. You can’t just sit there and wait for problems to magically disappeared. Talk and make sense of the situation. Create a mental map if you need to.

Healthy relationships require some flexibility. We are not robots, so don’t treat the situation as if you are one. Relationships are constantly growing and evolving. Use your creativity chops if you need to, and figure out how to deal with your problems head-on.

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4. Take Care Of Your Needs

You and your partner are a tag-team against the unseen enemy. However, you gotta keep your reserves up, so you have to make sure you are taking care of yourself too. A good partner knows this, and will usually give you the space to take care of your personal stuff too.

These can include your dietary needs, your exercise regimen, your coping mechanisms (like watching TV), and so much more. Good relationships make this happen, but it will take time and practice to balance both your individual needs and the needs of your partner.

5. Be Reliable and Responsible

If you say you will do something, do that something and follow through with it. Otherwise, you’re going to come across as flaky and unreliable if you promise your partner to do something with them and then you slack off on it. Your trust with the partner is broken.

Your relationships are important and it’s always good to take everything associated with relationships seriously, including activities with your partner. I mean, relationships a long-term emotional investment, when you want to sustain the love for a long time.

Sure, our options are a bit limited these days, but you gotta do what you need to. If you’re both tag-teaming against the enemy, they need to know that you will show up on time to support their battles too. So, you show up and you’re trustworthy as often as you can.

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6. Be Fair

Relationships often have some low points and some highs as well. Conflict is in any relationship, but try to avoid saying something that you will regret. It’s okay to not always disagree with your partner but that doesn’t make it right to hurt others as well.

If you find yourself in a bad situation, try to cool down. Arguments are not productive and it’s better to talk to the partner once the steam has blown off. Go into another part of the house. Hide under the blankets. Workout in the basement gym. Wander into the garden. Whatever you do, don’t give in and don’t talk to them.

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Also, instead of using “you” statements, say “I” statements. When you say how you personally feel, no one can accuse you of throwing blame on the partner. Be the upper person. For example, do not say, “When you don’t do this specific thing that I like, I feel this way”.

You can instead say, “I feel this way because I can’t get X.” It takes the emotionality off of the other person. It’s the same info but delivered in a more neutral way. It also reduces anger from the partner.

Also, try to keep your language super clear, and specific. Very vague language will get misinterpreted real quick and the argument will veer into something else instead, and then it will devolve into a shouting match unrelated to the original topic. Avoid the shouting match.

If you can, steer the boat back onto the current issue. If you can try one of the following:

  • Walk away, and wait until you and the other person are cooled down
  • Apologize and take responsibility
  • Recognize that the issue is complex, such as language barriers, ideologies, etc.

If the issue is too complex, veer back onto waiting and walking away until everything is cooled down.

7. Be Affirmative and Warm

To be happy, you gotta make it worth it. Maybe you need to spice it up and throw in compliments on your partner. Make sure you mean it. If you liked a specific dress that they put on, compliment them. Don’t just compliment when you’re looking for something. Actually, mean what you say.

Your partner will appreciate it and do the same for you. Maybe you can set aside time where the two of you will sit together. Maybe one partner can explore and pepper in compliments.

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Each time you set aside these moments, you can find new things to explore, and compliment, such as their eyes, ears, personality, charming smile, and so much more. Affection doesn’t have to be crazy. It can range from a random hug to a simple peck on the cheek.

8. Promote a Work-Life Balance

Some of us have jobs and it’s hard to keep the romantic life sustained. However, your relationship is a life long investment compared to that job. Jobs come and go, but soulmates do not. Plus, you have to have a work-life balance.

You don’t want to be a workaholic. You’re going to feel overwhelmed and burned out. You need your partner to help support you in the battle against burnout and fear. They will provide that validation, every step of the way.

Find out what works for you. Maybe you need some break to watch TV, and that’s okay, but it’s also good to include your partner in your decisions since they will be worried for you if you don’t talk to them. They might assume the worst. Assuage their fears. Life for the moment. Cherish them.

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9. There’s Some Trial-and-Error

Okay, parts of what makes relationships fascinating are that there is some trial-and-error involved. You have to make sure that what works for you doesn't actively hinder or harm yourself or your partner.

Most people often struggle to fit in, especially when their partner is a little different, especially in personality. However, you have all the time in the world to explore one another, learn from one another, and find new activities to work on together.

You can checkmark or check-off the things that do and don’t work. At least you tried something. With time, it gets easier to figure out what to do.

10. Be True To Yourself

Don’t be a phony. Enough is said about our identities. It might be easier to play pretend, but don’t waste your time or anyone else’s time. Healthy relationships require both parties to be truthful.

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