A healthy relationship is something that we all want; however, it’s not as easy as it sounds to achieve. Many of us are raised in damaging environments in which we’ve picked up toxic traits that we project onto our relationships. Similarly, a lot of us don’t really understand what a healthy relationship is and believe we’re in one solely because we’re not in need of domestic abuse aid. Despite this, there’s a lot more to a healthy relationship than not being abusive.
Building and maintaining a healthy relationship is something that takes time and work, and what works for one couple won’t necessarily work for another. With this being said, there are a handful of basics that everyone should look to master before they can achieve a healthy relationship.
Get to Know Yourself
First and foremost, you need to get to know yourself before you can even think about welcoming someone else into your life. You need to appreciate all the positive aspects you have to offer, as well as the negative traits that you need to work on. In order to express yourself clearly and effectively, you need to be in touch with your emotions and also know how to regulate them. Regulating your emotions and expressing them in a healthy capacity is the first step in assuring the mental wellbeing of you and your partner.
Put in the Work
One does not simply stumble upon a healthy relationship; it’s something that must be nurtured and built. In order to form a healthy relationship for yourself, you need to express commitment and a willingness to be accommodating to one another’s needs. No one is perfect and there are sure to be disagreements in every relationship; however, it’s vital that you work on how you deal with these disagreements, otherwise you could do more damage than good in trying to resolve them.
Establish and Recognize Boundaries
A relationship without clear and honest boundaries isn’t a healthy one. We all have our boundaries and making these known to our partner is essential to the building and maintenance of a healthy relationship. These boundaries aren’t only about what you don’t like but also what you do like. Similarly, regardless of whether you agree with your partners boundaries or not, you should always respect them. Violating someone’s boundaries is a sure-fire way to make them feel uncomfortable and destroy the level of trust that they have for you.
Talk and Listen
As previously mentioned, all relationships have their disagreements, but you need to talk and listen to one another correctly when these arise. For guidance, you should aim to listen to understand, rather than listen to respond. Similarly, you should be frank and honest about your feelings with yourself and your partner. After all, you shouldn’t be scared of expressing vulnerability or emotion to those you trust.
Let Go of Control
One of the hardest things that we all have to come to terms with is that it’s impossible to control everything. Therefore, for greater peace of mind, we should all recognize the things that we can’t control and accept this. This includes the behavior of others. All we can control is our response to these behaviors.
Reflect and Learn
If you’re able to healthily express your feelings, you can react to others in a healthy way. Feelings of anger come from a place of upset and hurt, and everyone is entitled to feel these emotions. What’s important is that you acknowledge what you’re feeling and communicate this with others. Reflect on instances that you effectively resolved conflict and work from these.