Human beings are social animals and inherently crave companionship. Relationships, especially romantic ones, play a significant role in our biological, psychological, and social well-being.
Every relationship is unique as it depends on the individuals involved. However, there are some common things that are found in all successful and healthy relationships. Let us explore these commonalities in detail. Listed below are the 10 best pieces of relationship advice you will ever need. Keep reading!
1. Be Together For The Right Reasons
People get into relationships for various reasons. Some don’t want to be lonely, while others think it is the right time to start a family. Some people do it because everyone around them is in one.
Although none of these reasons are invalid, the most important reason to be in a relationship is that you want to be with someone you love, appreciate, and respect. They are someone whose company you enjoy and you can see a future with. You may or may not end up together, but you should at least choose someone you think you have a shot with.
To keep that feeling of love bright and burning, keep the romance alive. Set up date nights regularly. Go for walks, watch movies and sunsets, and bask in the sun on weekdays. Just make sure you do not neglect each other.
2. Be A Healthy Individual First
To build a healthy relationship, you also need to be emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy as an individual. Become the best version of yourself, and you will attract similar individuals. It is important to be well-adjusted, independent, and authentic as a person before you get into a relationship.
If you went through a break-up recently or have any unresolved issues, work on them first. Learn to enjoy your own company. Moreover, learn from your mistakes and previous relationships. Cultivate diverse interests and hobbies. Not only will you develop a well-rounded personality, but you will also increase your chances of finding someone with common interests.
3. Set Realistic Expectations
Most relationships crumble due to unmet expectations. That is why it is crucial that you are transparent about how you feel and what you want from the relationship. Giving false hope or leading someone on if you are uncertain about them can jeopardize your relationship and also hurt the other person.
It is also not fair to waste both of your time, energy, and money pursuing such relationships. Communicate your needs and wants and encourage your partner to do the same for a healthy relationship.
4. Make Space For Each Other
Being in a relationship does not mean that you both become a single entity. You must remember and cultivate your own individual personalities and interests. This also means that you should give space to each other to grow and develop individually.
When you acknowledge each other’s need for space, you have a better chance of making the relationship work. Your work, career, hobbies, friends, and support systems can overlap, but make sure you have something that is only yours. It reinforces a sense of identity and builds confidence.
Giving each other space to grow and be yourself shows that you trust each other. Reserve some days where you spend time on your individual interests or with your family or friends individually. This freedom and independence make the relationship interesting and healthy.
5. Respect Each Other
Respecting each other is absolutely essential for a healthy relationship. Resentment, bitterness, unmet expectations, jealousy, and mistrust erode the respect that keeps the relationship.
Treating each other with respect and understanding is non-negotiable for a long-lasting relationship. Once that line is crossed, it is very difficult to get back to normal. So, always keep in mind that whatever the situation, be courteous to each other. It is even more important if your children are around as they learn from you.
Never let a third person into your relationship as it can lead to unnecessary misunderstandings. So, avoid complaining about your partner to your colleagues, family, or friends. Don’t make fun of their hobbies, quirks, or dressing sense in front of others.
In a relationship, it is normal to get on each other’s nerves. So, if you have to rant, make sure you have a trustworthy ally who knows that you are only venting out your temporary frustrations. Better still, try therapy.
6. Honest Communication
The cornerstone of a thriving relationship is honest and transparent communication. This builds a solid foundation for a relationship that can withstand jealousy and insecurity. Trusting each other is important and that can only be achieved through complete honesty with each other.
If you know your partner well, you can handle all the challenges life throws at you. It will also prevent petty misunderstandings that often create cracks in a relationship. Tell your partner if you messed up. You are only human. We all want to have someone with whom we can share our most intimate thoughts and deepest fears.
Your emotional vulnerability with each other will make you stronger as a couple. Follow through with your promises or be honest if you can not keep them.
7. Grow With Each Other
The dynamics of the relationship keep changing with time. You both grow as individuals over time, so it is important to keep up with each other. You don’t have to be completely in sync, but your lives must intertwine harmoniously.
When two individuals are in a relationship, there can be many conflicts – from religious beliefs and political affiliations to style aesthetic and family values. People constantly grow and evolve, so try to grow with each other. Do not expect your spouse to be the same person you met on the first date.
Personal tragedies, spiritual awakening, psychological changes, and grief are some of the many things that can realign how people behave. Obviously, their core values and personalities may not change drastically, but you have to learn to embrace each other as authentically as possible.
Contrary to popular belief, these changes make the relationship more interesting and keep the couple on their toes. But, you should have an honest discussion if you notice behavior that is threatening your safety or the relationship.
8. Look At The Bigger Picture
Choose your battles carefully. Do not waste your time fighting over trivial matters in a relationship. Let them get away with a few (small) things. It establishes a sense of goodwill between the couple and creates room for negotiation. In a long-term relationship, you will need to make a lot of compromises – so brace yourself.
Take a break from each other – like a timeout – when things get volatile. In the long run, silly arguments about who left the dryer on or whose turn it is to do the dishes are not important. Go for a walk or call a friend and vent to let off some steam so you do not make matters worse. After some time, you will realize that both of you were riled up unnecessarily.
Be ready to forgive each other. It is not important who is right or wrong. It is important to be kind to each other. After all, in the long haul, you both will make mistakes.
9. Fighting Is Not Bad
It is important to have fights in a healthy relationship. It shows that you are willing to stand up for your rights and beliefs. The ability to resolve conflicts is the biggest factor that turns short-term relationships into long-term relationships. Arguments are a healthy way to be assertive and to build boundaries.
Keep in mind that you should have a discussion about what is bothering you and how you can solve the issue. So, it is important to make up after the fight. Do not criticize your partner or get too personal or contemptuous. Similarly, being too defensive, giving your partner the silent treatment, or stonewalling them are unhealthy to the relationship. Avoid name-calling or insulting because you can hurt the partner deeply. This can lead to the deterioration of the relationship.
Learn to fight fairly. Once you have resolved an issue, do not bring it up again and again. Try to negotiate where you can so you can keep the peace in the relationship. Learn to compromise. If a partner hates taking the trash out but does not mind grocery shopping, share your chores accordingly. There is no point in nagging someone or making them do something they dislike when you can easily swap the work.
Pause the fight. Sometimes, you cannot come to an agreement. Take a break. Leave the discussion neutral. Go ahead with the rest of your work and come back to it later. You will improve the chances of resolution this way.
10. Have Your Own Traditions
Have your own traditions. Traditions are like reminders to show each other appreciation and love. Simple gestures, like saying “I love you” before going to bed or kissing after a fight, make the relationship warm and romantic. Be consistent as these things add up over time and help in building a solid foundation for the relationship. They help you know for certain that you are loved and wanted.
Help each other with everything – from household chores to finances to raising a child. Do not let the other person bear the brunt or shoulder too much responsibility. This creates bitterness and resentment which can break a relationship easily.
Humans crave relationships. The truth is, most relationships can get messy, chaotic, or stressful. The key to a healthy relationship is to be open to change, respect each other, and learn to give each other space. Honest communication, the willingness to resolve conflicts, and the ability to forgive each other can help you get over most obstacles that life throws at you.
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