Love, trust and communication are the cornerstones of every healthy relationship. Constant communication with your partner keeps the relationship positive for both parties.
The five principles below are very helpful in keeping relationships healthy.
- Speak your mind – It is much better to talk about what’s bothering you instead of bottling it up.
- Mutual respect – Your partner’s opinions, ideas and desires are just as important as yours. It is always important to try to consider both you and your partner’s ideas in mind.
- Compromise – There will be disagreements in any relationship, but it is always prudent to find ways to compromise. Be sure to resolve conflicts in a fair and rational way.
- Support – It is important to offer reassurance and encouragement to your partner. It is equally important to reach out to each other whenever you need support. Healthy relationships thrive on building each other up, not putting each other down.
- Space – It is common to want to spend all your time together, but it is equally important to give each other space.
Boundaries can enable you and your partner get the most out of your relationship. They can help you clearly communicate the things that make you feel comfortable and respected whenever you’re spending time together.
Setting boundaries shouldn’t be equated to a lack of love or trust for your partner. It shouldn’t equally imply that you have anything to hide from your partner. Boundaries shouldn’t stop you from
- Hanging out with your friends without your partner
- Taking part in your preferred hobbies and activities
- Keeping your email, social media and phone passwords private
- Respecting each other’s’ needs and likes
Dealing with disagreements
Any relationship will have its fair share of disagreements. It is important to handle them in a mature and healthy manner. Here are a few steps to amicably resolving disagreements.
- Timing – Do not start an important conversation if the both of you lack the time to fully exhaust the conversation. Unresolved matters often make bad situations worse.
- Focus – Stick to the matter at hand, do not let the argument veer into unrelated topics.
- Always have the best of intentions – Whenever you are in a healthy relationship, you or partner never want to hurt each other. You may have arguments but always remember that you’re on the same side and have each other’s best interests at heart.
- Pause when overcome with anger – It is perfectly ok to feel angry at times, but it is never ok to take out your anger on your partner no matter how frustrated you feel. If you ever find yourself getting angry, pause, take a time out and revert to the conversation when you have calmed down.
Signs of a healthy relationship
- There is an existence of mutual trust and respect between both partners.
- Your partner allows you to “be yourself” without having to look or act in a particular manner
- Neither party will feel destroyed if the relationship ever ends.
- There is no need to be together all day, every day.
- Neither partner attempts to change or control the other
- Appreciation of each other’s thoughts and feelings
- Each partner encourages the other to be self-sufficient
- Acceptance of each other’s friends and family without envy or jealousy
Signs of an unhealthy relationship
These signs manifest themselves when your partner
- Is scary – makes you worry how they will react to your words or actions
- Is violent
- Uses threats against you
- Doesn’t let you have friends
- Manipulates or uses “guilt trips” against you
- Disregards your opinions
- Checks up on you constantly
- Makes derogatory statements about people
As you celebrate love on Valentine’s Day, remember to celebrate your healthy relationships, striving to make them better.