Written by Karon Waddell Prosperity Mindfulness
The following 10 tips can help you build and maintain a healthy relationship:
A healthy relationship means different things to different people. However, relationships generally involve two people who love and respect each other.
“You can’t promise a partner a perfect relationship without ups and downs, or falling out over differences of opinion. However, you can promise loyalty, trust, respect and love.” Karon Waddell
The first step is taking the time to make sure that you and your partner both want and expect the same things from the relationship – “that you’re singing from the same hymn sheet”; making sure you both want and expect the same things—being on the same page is very important. Remember, healthy relationships are about building each other up, not putting each other down.
“A relationship is about commitment, making quality time to spend with each other, keeping lines of communication open, being honest and loyal, respecting each other’s differences, When one person stops doing this, the future of the relationship will be in jeopardy” Karon Waddell
Having a good relationship with yourself is imperative as it improves your relationships with others. A relationship with you includes compassion, forgiveness, self-care, self-respect and self-love. Be kind and gentle to yourself and this will spill over into your relationship with your partner. If you are mean to yourself and use cruel words to describe yourself, you are more likely to do this with your partner. It is important that we extend unconditional love towards ourselves too.
“Love yourself enough to make room in your life for someone that nourishes your Soul, inspires you and brings you joy” Karon Waddell
If you want to have a healthy and successful relationship, you have to start with respect. You need to make sure that you view yourself as part of a team and that you’re considerate, honest, empathetic and compassionate, as much as possible. Compliment your partner and be thoughtful towards them and be supportive. However, no relationship is perfect and one of you is going to let the other person down at some point. Apologising should not be seen as a defence mechanism. If you are confident in your self-worth, then you shouldn’t feel threatened when apologising. When we make a mistake we must apologise with sincerity so as to allow the relationship to move forward, rather than stagnate and fester. If both you and your partner are willing to put in the effort you can have a fulfilling and respectful relationship.
“Too often we don’t realise what we have until it’s gone. Too often we are too stubborn to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.” Too often it seems we hurt the ones closest to our hearts and we let the most foolish things tear us apart.” Unknown
Being honest in a relationship is so important but it can be difficult if you have a hard time being honest with yourself. Pretending things are okay when they are not, just leads to emotional turmoil. You owe it to yourself and your partner to be honest. Once you make the mistake of lying, you only end up telling further lies to cover up the first lie and unless you have a brain the size of Stephen Hawking, you will eventually be caught out.
Honesty is always the best policy; you and your partner know where the relationship stands and can make informed decisions.
“I am not upset that you lied to me. I’m upset that from now on, I can’t believe you.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Most people labour under the false belief that talking to your partner about every day occurrences in life is communicating. There is so much more to it than that. Each partner in a relationship brings a different level of skill of communication dependent upon their life experiences. Communication is a learnt skill, just like everything else. So if you suck at it, don’t give up because you can improve. Communication between partners is also not about what is being said but also about what is not said; learn to look out for non-verbal signals. Listening not just hearing, is a skill in itself – don’t rush to answer. Truly listen to your partner without judgement and watch whether their body language matches what they are saying. Sometimes it’s not what we say but how we say it ! Most important of all communication is a two way process. Don’t let resentment and hurt feelings simmer. When something is bothering you, it’s best to talk about it instead of holding it in.
“Many problems could be solved, if we choose to talk to each other rather than about each other.” Karon Waddell
If you don’t have trust in the relationship, you have no foundation to build a healthy relationship. Trust is a two-way street. When there is trust in a relationship, neither partner feels the need to control the other and check up on them. Trust allows each partner in the relationship their own individual space. Both of you must learn how to create trust, if you want your relationship to be the best it can be.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a friendship or a relationship, if you can’t trust them, you have nothing” Karon Waddell
Creating Healthy Boundaries
Setting personal boundaries is a necessity for maintaining a positive self-image. It is how we communicate to others that we have self-respect and self-worth; that we will not allow others to define use. We establish personal boundaries to protect ourselves from being manipulated or abused by others. They allow us to keep our individuality and enable us to express ourselves as individuals but we must acknowledge the same in our partner for it to remain a healthy and happy relationship.
“Be with someone who will never allow you to sacrifice your dignity, self-respect, or who you are, just to be with them.” Karon Waddell.
Compromise provides the relationship with the flexibility it needs from falling apart. Be willing to compromise in the relationship, by ensuring that each of you feels that your opinion counts in the relationship. Compromise is about balance, a sense of fairness and not about sacrifice and punishment. Try to compromise in a healthy and positive way, so you both feel valued and fulfilled in the relationship.
“Everyone deserves to have someone in their life that brings out the best in them.” Karon Waddell
Life is hectic and time is short and it is often the relationship that suffers. But it shouldn’t be like this. A relationship is a continuous process that needs to grow and evolve. What you put into a relationship you will get out, so it is important to make time to spend with your partner. This is one investment that won’t go to waste. Make your time together a priority.
One way to do this is to commit to at least an hour of time together each week. That’s time without children, friends or family members, when the focus is solely on the relationship. Put it in the diary and let it be something you both look forward to.
“If someone wants to be part of your life, they will make the time to be in it. So don’t waste your time keeping a space in your heart for someone that can’t be bothered to give you their time.” Karon Waddell
Celebrate your milestones
In the early days of a relationship most couples take the time to remember the important moments in their relationship: the time they met, their wedding day, births of their children. But after several years together, not all couples continue to celebrate these special occasions. So, celebrate that Anniversary; it doesn’t have to be anything fancy but marking the event is important. A meal cooked together can kick-start a romantic evening. It’s these rituals that can enhance a relationship.
Disagreements are part and parcel of any healthy relationship. How these disagreements are resolved is what is important. Try to solve conflicts in a fair and rational way. Mud-slinging and saying something that you regret later on will leave lasting damage and are often used as a weapon in any ensuing argument.
“Don’t use cruel words when you are in a bad mood. You will have many chances to change your mood, but you’ll never get the opportunity to take back your words.” Karon Waddell
Thank you for taking the time to read the article. I would love to see any comments you may have.