5 Tips for a Healthy Relationship
We buy gifts and cards for our partners on Valentine's Day, but all year round it’s important that we show love and respect to our partners. How to have positive and healthy relationships isn’t something we’re taught in a classroom, we’re shown it through other people’s relationships and sometimes, those examples aren’t the best.
With Domestic Abuse rising, we need to acknowledge and learn what is normal and healthy within in a relationship.
1. Demonstrate Trust
In every relationship a human-being can have, trust is essential – even in non-romantic ones. It is a lot more than believing your partner won’t cheat on you, it’s having confidence in them to do the right thing and feeling safe with them physically and emotionally. It is important for both partners to trust and to be trusted. Building trust has to be a mutual commitment.
This shouldn’t have to be said, but don’t go through your partner’s phone or personal things without permission. If you have a weird feeling that they’re trying to hide something from you, talk to them about it.
2. Open and honest communication.
Communication is one of the most important factors in a healthy relationship. We’re not taught how to communicate properly, or sometimes feel like we can’t due to fear of how the other person will react. In a healthy relationship, you should be able to vocalise the bad and the good. If you’re upset, talk about it, but don’t ‘accuse’ your partner.
It’s important to feel comfortable saying ‘I love you’ and compliment your partner but also being comfortable vocalizing the bad without being criticized or threatened with a break-up. In order to grow in your relationship, you need to be able to truly talk about your feelings, no matter how uncomfortable this may feel.
3. Quality time not quantity.
You may spend a lot of time together, but is it quality time? It’s fine to enjoy distractions, binge watch series and zone out to your phones, but it’s crucial to your relationship to ensure you are still engaging with one another, talking about how your day was or whatever you feel like talking about, or by going out to do something you both enjoy to maintain the connection that brought you together in the first place.
When making plans with your partner, follow through. Don’t say yes to something you’re not sure you’ll be able to commit to or cancel when your friends want to do something else. This can lead to broken trust and feelings of disappointment.
There will be times when you have no choice but to cancel and your partner should understand that, you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty.
4. Time apart
When you’re in a new relationship it’s tempting to spend all your time with one person and spending time together is important, but you are people with your own lives and you need time to grow on your own. Being able to do your own thing and remain independent is vital to a relationship, when couples spend too much time together it can create an unhealthy co-dependence and make it hard to spend time apart.
Everyone needs time with their friends and family, that shouldn’t be compromised because of a relationship. No single person can take care of all your social and emotional needs nor are they responsible for making sure all of these needs are met – you are.
Isn’t it better that when you do spend time together you both know it’s because you want to, without pressure?
5. Sharing decisions.
In a healthy relationship, partners are equal to one another. Neither partner has authority over the other, each is free to live their own life and are free to decide which aspects of their life they share with one another. Respect your partner’s feelings, character and their time. They are not to be controlled or seen to be something to be controlled.
All decisions, large and small, should be shared, both partners should feel they have a voice in a relationship and feel confident that when they do speak up, they will be listened to respectfully.
Love isn't perfect, you won't always agree and there will be highs as well as lows but handle those lows and disagreements in a healthy manner and your relationship will continue grow.
Happy Valentine's Day everybody!