Are you in a healthy relationship? Are you looking for the right things in a partner – and would you know if you found them? Many people spend so much time looking for that “spark” or that feeling that they’ve found “the one” that they forget to examine whether the relationship is good for them. You must take a step back and learn how to have a healthy relationship before you can find true fulfillment and happiness with another person.
Healthy relationships have been shown to increase our happiness, improve health and reduce stress. All romantic relationships go through ups and downs and they all take work, commitment, and a willingness to adapt and change with your partner. But whether your relationship is just starting out or you’ve been together for years, there are steps you can take to build a healthy relationship. Even if you’ve experienced a lot of failed relationships in the past or have struggled before to rekindle the fires of romance in your current relationship, you can find ways to stay connected, find fulfillment, and enjoy lasting happiness says Stirling Cooper.
Stirling says every relationship is unique, and people come together for many different reasons. Part of what defines a healthy relationship is sharing a common goal for exactly what you want the relationship to be and where you want it to go. And that’s something you’ll only know by talking deeply and honestly with your partner.
We all want to have healthy relationships, but most of us were never really taught about what that actually means. As a therapist with over a decade of experience working with couples, here are my top tips for how to have a good, healthy relationship. The key is being communicative and proactive.
Communicating With Your Partner
When you talk to your partner, tell them about your day. Be completely open with what bothers you and what you enjoy. Be specific about your emotional wants and needs. By opening yourself up, you’re expressing vulnerability and trust in your partner. Furthermore, by being so open with them, you invite them to be just as honest with you.
Trust involves honesty and integrity. You don’t keep secrets from each other. When you’re apart, you don’t worry about them pursuing other people. But trust goes beyond believing they won’t cheat or lie to you.
It also means you feel safe and comfortable with them and know they won’t hurt you physically or emotionally. You know they have your best interests in mind but also respect you enough to encourage you to make your own choices.
Meet your partner’s core needs
What does a healthy relationship look like? It looks like two people making each other’s needs their own. Cultivate the skill of heartfelt understanding. Going beyond just knowing what your partner needs at an intellectual level, this means connecting at a deeper emotional level and empathetically standing in their shoes.
Recognize that all relationships have their ups and downs
Just as you can’t expect to be happy all the time, you shouldn’t expect your relationship to be at a continuous high. When you make a long-term commitment to someone you have to be willing to ride the highs, as well as the lows, together.